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Bath Society of Artists 118th Annual Open Exhibition

Date published: 2023-03-31 | Category: Heritage

Don’t Stop The Carnival, 2022 by David Wilkey, oil painting, 96cm x 96cm

The Bath Society of Artists Annual Open Exhibition, now in its 118th year, will open at the Victoria Art Gallery on 22 April and run until 24 June 2023. The show has long been a highlight of Bath’s cultural calendar, bringing a vast array of artistic talent to the Victoria Art Gallery each year.

Art enthusiasts can browse and buy from a selection of fabulous paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, and mixed media works by the region’s top artistic talent, at prices to suit every pocket.

Visitors to the exhibition can also vote for their favourite exhibit, and the artist with the most votes wins the £600 Public Choice Prize.

Any artist aged 18 or over can submit work for possible selection, and all of the artworks are for sale. The submissions have now been received for 2023 and it has been a record year, with the Society receiving the highest ever number of entries – 1,204 submissions in total.

The online selectors are now busy making very difficult decisions about which works will go before the Selection Panel, which this year includes gallerist Peter Slade; artists Lou Baker, Iain Cotton, Richard Crooks, Maxine Foster, Victoria Atkinson, Guy Thomas, Jen Gash, Oliver Bedeman, Peter Davies and Jenny Morse; 2022 Young Artist Prize winner Millie Claxton Keys; and Victoria Art Gallery Senior Curator Nathalie Levi.

Nathalie Levi, Senior Curator at the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this popular exhibition once again. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this year holds and sharing the wealth of local creativity with our visitors. Hundreds of artworks will be on display, and you’ll be sure to find something you like, and maybe even take home with you. Each year the quality of artworks goes from strength to strength and we’re grateful to all who applied to take part. I only wish we could show everything!”

Tim Carroll, Hon. Exhibition Organising Secretary, said: "The BSA Open has an initial online selection but still has a traditional handing-in day followed by all the excitement of work shown to an expert selection panel the next day. There is a great sense of community amongst the members and the public, as everyone pulls together to process the huge amount of work to get every selected piece onto the walls and plinths of the prestigious Victoria Art Gallery in time for the opening."

Each year, the Bath Society of Artists invites a prominent artist to display their works in the exhibition. This year’s invited artist is Ros Ford RWA, RE, a painter and printmaker based in Bristol. Inspired by the unordered and overlooked, her etchings are often based on hidden industrial landscapes close to her home and studio, as well as in Wales and Italy.

Ros Ford is also one of this year’s prize judges, alongside Meryl Ainslie, who established the renowned Rabley Gallery. Peter Slade will judge the Bradford Gallery prize and a representative of the Jeremey Houghton Gallery will select their prize winner.

The prizes on offer include:

  • Bath Society of Artists Prize of £2,000
  • Bath Society of Artists runner up prize of £1,000
  • Public Choice Prize of £600
  • Bath Society of Artists Young Artist Prize of £500
  • Bath Society of Artists Prize for a 3D work of £350
  • Bath Society of Artists Painting Prize of £350
  • Bath Society of Artists Drawing Prize of £350
  • Bath Society of Artists Print Prize of £350
  • Bradford Gallery Figurative Prize of £250
  • Bath Artists Printmakers – The Wendy Batt Young Artist Printmakers Prize of £120 workshop voucher
  • Meltone Gallery Framing Prize of £100 gift voucher
  • Pegasus Art Prize of £100 gift voucher
  • Minerva Art Supplies Prize of £50 gift voucher
  • St Cuthbert's Mill Works on Paper Prize of 20 sheets of Saunders Waterford 300gsm paper, worth £120
  • The Jeremy Houghton Gallery Prize of £100

Bath Society of Artists was founded in 1904 with 26 members. It has grown over the years to a membership of about 120 diverse artists. Many distinguished 20th-century painters have exhibited with the Society including Walter Sickert, John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Gilbert Spencer, Patrick Heron, Mary Fedden, William Scott and Howard Hodgkin.

For more about Bath Society of Artists please visit

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