The RA Schools Show is the annual exhibition of works by artists graduating from the UK’s longest established art school, the historic RA Schools and this year marks the 140th anniversary of the Schools’ students exhibiting their work to the general public.
Each year the Royal Academy accepts 17 students on to its free three-year postgraduate course. Such a selection allows the RA to tailor the course to address the requirements for each artist, giving them the space and flexibility to develop work across a wide range of media, with support from leading figures in the art world including Royal Academicians Michael Landy (Professor of Drawing), Fiona Rae (Professor of Painting) and Richard Wilson (Professor of Sculpture).
The 17 artists graduating and therefore showcasing their work this year are: Caroline Abbotts, Rebecca Ackroyd, Victoria Adam, Matt Ager, Sofie Alsbo, Hannah Bays, Josie Cockram, Henry Coleman, Adam Collier, Ziggy Grudzinkskas, Declan Jenkins, Maria de Lima, Evelyn O’Connor, Laurence Owen, Max Prus, Sean Steadman and Joel Wyllie.
It’s not often we get a glimpse inside RA schools as the rooms are often closed to the public but this show is held in the studios, with each artist exhibiting in solo spaces within the RA Schools.
There is great diversity within the works on show, from woodcut prints and large-scale paintings to ceramics, sculptural objects and installations. There are also video, drawings, books and silver gelatin prints. And there’s a pretty diverse range of media too with everything from pebble dash and cement to algae and ketchup being used.
Also, similar to the Summer Exhibition elsewhere in the Royal Academy, many of the works exhibited will be available for sale, which directly supports the development of the students and the production of new work.
Indeed, as Michael Craig Martin RA, who has co-ordinated this year’s Summer Exhibition observes, “It is not always fully appreciated that the funds raised by the Summer Exhibition contribute towards the funding of the RA Schools which are the only graduate art school in England which does not charge tuition fees.”
The RA Schools Show is a great opportunity to see work from the next generation of artists so if you’re going to the Summer Exhibition, take some time out to visit the RA Schools Show too.
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Open: Friday 12 – Sunday 28 June 2015
- Joel Wyllie, Come On Up, acrylic and emulsion on wall, 2015 © the artist
- Caroline Abbotts, Cue, unique blue-toned silver gelatin print exposed to moonlight, 2015 © the artist
- Rebecca Ackroyd, Rebecca Ackroyd with legs, Photograph by Gabby Laurent, 2015 © the artist