Frequently asked questions


Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Is there anything I need to know before entering?

Please read our Instructions for Entering Work, and Terms and Conditions of Entry to the Summer Exhibition and Sale of Your Work, which you’ll find on our homepage under Helpful Links. For more information, see our FAQ below.

How do I open an artist account?

Click register now on the home page, select the appropriate category and enter your details. Once you have completed the registration form, we will email you an activation link to your artist account, where you can login and purchase your Entry Form.

I’m having problems registering. What should I do?

Make sure that your internet browser is up-to-date. Our website is only compatible with the following browsers:

▪Google Chrome 22+

▪ Safari 7 +

▪ Moxilla Firefox 27+

▪ Internet Explorer 11 (not on Windows Vista or XP)*

*Older versions of Internet Explorer running on Windows Vista or XP are not compatible with our website, so please ensure that you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer or try another browser. If the problem continues, please contact us.

I am representing an artist? What should I do?

Select 'I am an individual Artist' OR 'I am representing an individual Artist’; then enter the artist’s name in the ‘first name’ and ‘last name’ fields; then enter your name in the first line of the address section; e.g. c/o followed by your name or gallery.

Can I represent more than one artist?

Yes, but you must contact us so that we can register all the artists under the one email address. The account activation links, results and art sales reports for the artists will be sent to the given address.

Can I enter on behalf of a deceased artist?

Yes, but please register in the deceased artist’s name with the prefix ‘The late …’ in front of the first name. Please note that notifications are generated automatically, so emails will be addressed to the name on the artist account. Please see section 3 of the Terms and Conditions.

I am entering on behalf of an architecture practice. What name should I register in?

You must register in the name of the practice.

How do I set up an account for a collaboration/group of artists?

Select ‘I am part of OR representing a collaboration’ on the registration page. Then enter your name under ‘Contact Artist Details’ and the other artist’s name under ‘Collaborator Details’.

If your collaboration consists of more than two artists or you are registering under a group name, please contact us so that we can list the names correctly.

Can I enter in my own name and as part of a collaboration?

Yes, but you must register separately as an individual and a collaboration. You can't use the same email address for both accounts and you can only enter two works in total, one on each account.

Can I use a pseudonym or a mononym?

Yes, but both the name fields on the registration form are mandatory, so if your pseudonym is a single word please register and purchase entry in your full billing name and then contact us. We will then change your billing name to your pseudonym on your account.

I’ve registered successfully. What happens next?

We will email you a link to your artist account. Click the link to activate your account. You only need to click it once. If you click it a second time, you might get an error message but your account should still be active.

I have not received my account activation link. What should I do?

If you don’t receive your activation link within 24 hours, check your spam/junk email folder. If it’s not there, contact us.

If you have a personalised web domain, your activation link could be delayed by the filters on your website.

You can also prevent our emails going to your junk/spam folder by adding the following email to your contact list: noreplySummerExhibition.Mailing@royalacademy.org.uk

I have activated my account. What happens next?

Once you have activated your account, you can login and purchase your Entry Form.

I already have an artist account, but I’ve forgotten my password? What should I do?

Click the ‘Forgotten your Password?’ link on the home page – below the Password field on the righthand side.

I’ve tried resetting my password by clicking the ‘Forgotten your Password?’ link on the homepage, but I still can’t login. What do I do?

Make sure that you have activated your account before you try to change your password (see above). You should also check that you only have one browser window open when you login; you might not be able to login if you have multiple windows or tabs open. Finally, make sure you’re using the ‘Existing User’s Login’ box on the right-hand side of the homepage and the details of your email address are correct.

Can I purchase an Entry Form on behalf of someone else?

Yes, but you must register and create the account in the artist’s name, not yours: the name on the account is linked to the artwork details and accounts are non-transferable.

All notifications and any other messages to the artist will be sent to the email address on the registration form/artist account.

I keep getting an error message when I try to make payment. What can I do?

Try making payment on a different computer, tablet or phone.

Update your internet browser – we recommend Google Chrome. Clear the cookies and cached images on your internet browser

If none of the above works, please contact us with a screenshot of the error message. 

I’m getting the error message ‘Error: 8003’ what does this mean?

It probably means your payment is failing the 3D Secure check, which is set up by your bank, not the RA. Please make sure that your password is correct and contact your bank if you continue to experience problems.

The check can take a while, so don’t exit the window, refresh the page or double click your mouse during the process.

If I purchase an Entry Form for one work, can I then purchase an Entry Form for a second work later?

No, you can’t purchase an Entry Form for a second work later.

Do I have to submit my Entry Form immediately?

No. You can edit and save your artwork details, but once you have submitted your Entry Form you can’t then make further changes.

Is there any advice on how best to photograph my work?

Yes, there’s a tutorial on how to photograph your work here.For further information, please see the How to Photograph Your Work document listed under Helpful Links on the homepage.

How many photographs/ images should I upload?

If you are entering a two-dimensional work, you must upload a primary image showing the work in its entirety.

If you think it would help the judges, you can also enter secondary images showing details of your work.

If you are entering a three-dimensional work, upload three images, showing the work from different angles.

Can I upload images of three different artworks?

No. If you upload images of more than one work, we will only show the primary image to the judges. The only exception to the rule is an artist book.

I’m entering an artist book, but I’m not sure which images to submit for the first round of judging. What should I do?

You should upload three images showing different aspects of the work. 

Should I include the artwork frame in my photographs?

You can upload three images of each work, so if your work is framed, we suggest that you upload a secondary image including the frame. 

What type of image should I upload?

Images must be in one of the following formats: TIFF, TIF, JPEG, JPG or PNG. Each image must not exceed 5.00MB. Make sure you upload high-quality images, as poor images may hinder your chances of success.

How do I resize my images?

There are plenty of free online tools that will resize images for you. We suggest searching ‘image resize tool’ in your browser.

My image is the wrong way round. What should I do?

Make sure your image is the right way round before you upload it. Open the image file on your computer and look for an option to edit or rotate the image. Once you have the image in the correct orientation, you should be able to upload it to your Entry Form.

If you are certain that you have orientated your image correctly, but it is still the wrong way around on your Entry Form contact us.

How do I price my artwork?

You should decide what you want to receive from the sale once our commission of 30% of the net price plus VAT is taken into consideration. If your work is an editioned print, you should also factor in the cost of inland (UK) postage and packaging for unframed prints and the cost of framing the work intended for display. There are separate fields on the entry form for the prices of the framed and unframed prints.

I am not VAT registered. Do I still need to include VAT in the price?

If you are not registered, you do not need to include VAT in the full price but you must add it to our commission. The VAT rate is 20%, so our commission would be 30% plus VAT, which makes 36% of the total price.

Do I need to register for a VAT number?

If you live in the UK, you don’t need to register for a VAT number unless your earnings exceed the threshold as outlined by HM Revenue & Customs (www.gov.uk/business-tax/vat).

I am VAT registered. Do I need to include VAT in the retail price?

If you are VAT registered, you must include VAT in the retail price; i.e. the whole amount. All prices given in the exhibition catalogue (List of Works) are inclusive of VAT where applicable.

Can I change the price of my submitted artwork?

No, once you have submitted your artwork you cannot change the price.

I live outside the UK. Do I need to register for a UK VAT number?

If your work is for sale, you must supply us with a UK VAT number or register with a UK address. Please see the VAT Information – International Artists document under Helpful Links on the homepage. If your work is not for sale, you do not need to supply us with a UK VAT number.

Can I use a non-UK VAT number?

No, we can’t accept VAT numbers from other countries

How do I know if my VAT number is a UK VAT number?

A valid UK VAT number is prefaced with the letters “GB”.

Can I enter the price of my artwork before I receive my VAT number?

Yes, you can enter the retail price of your artwork on your Entry Form and wait to hear if your artwork is shortlisted before you register for a UK VAT number.

What is the deadline for supplying my UK VAT number?

You must give us your UK VAT number by the deadline specified in your results notification. If you do not, we will not be able to make your work available for sale. If it is selected for the exhibition, we will show it as NFS (not for sale) in the List of Works and the Summer Exhibition Explorer. (the online catalogue and sales platform).

An application for a VAT number can take a month or more to process, so make sure you allow enough time.

Should I include the cost of postage and packaging in the retail price of my work?

If you live outside the UK and will be fulfilling your orders from your place of residence, you should factor the cost of international postage and packaging into the retail price of your unframed prints or casts, as the likelihood is that the buyer will be based in the UK.

How do I know if I have successfully submitted my artwork?

When you have submitted your artwork, the status will change to Submitted on your account. If your artwork status does not say Submitted, your work has not been submitted and you should try again.

How do I know when my work has been judged?

After the first round of judging the status of your entry will change to Shortlisted or Not Selected on your artist account. You will also receive an email notification.

How many rounds of judging are there?

There are two rounds of judging. The first is made from digital images of artworks, from which the judges shortlist up to 4,000 entries to be delivered to the Academy for the final round.

If you are successful in the first, digital round, we will notify you by email and ask you to deliver your artwork to the Royal Academy for the final round.

Do I have to enter a new work?

It is not mandatory, but we encourage you to enter new work.

Is there a size limit?

2D submissions must not exceed 244x350cm and any one part of a large sculpture or architecture model should not exceed 200cm on the longest side.

Can I enter an audio-visual work?

Yes. Enter your artwork details and upload a still on your Entry Form; then encode your film as an H.264 .mov file and send via WeTransfer to summerexhibition@royalacademy.org.uk

Make sure you include your artist name and artwork title when you transfer your film to us.

What is an original print?

An original print is created solely as a print and does not exist in another physical form.

Can I submit a copy of a work that exists in another medium?

No, we don’t accept copies and you can’t sell multiples of drawings or paintings.

What is meant by a copy?

A copy is a reproduction of a work that exists in another medium and physical form; e.g. a digital reproduction of a lino cut, or a photograph of a drawing.

Can I sell prints that are a different size to my work intended for display?

No, prints from an edition must be the same size and made of the same materials as the print on display.

I don’t want to frame my work until I know it has been shortlisted. What should I do?

Please estimate the framed dimensions. If your work is selected for the exhibition, the dimensions will appear in the online list of works, so if the final dimensions vary significantly, contact us.

My work has electrical elements and will need to be plugged in to the mains. Do I need to supply a PAT certificate?

Yes - once you’ve been notified that your work has been shortlisted, you must send a copy of your PAT certificate to summerexhibition@royalacademy.org.uk before your artwork is delivered to the RA. If you don't supply us with a PAT certificate, we won't be able to display your work.

Can I enter a polyptych as one work?

Yes, but diptych, triptych or polyptych should be written in brackets after the title and, if the works is shortlisted, the parts must be clearly labelled - e.g.1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.. Please make sure that the primary image on your Entry Form shows the work in its entirety.

Can I enter an interactive work?

We may not be able to display interactive pieces that require handling – such as touchable sculpture and audio works with headsets – in the event of a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Please contact us in advance of the digital submission deadline if you are planning to enter an interactive work. 

Do I need to treat my textile work for pests?

Yes, any work that comprises textile elements of animal origin (including, but not limited to, wool, silk, animal hair, leather and feathers) must be treated for pests before it is delivered to the RA. You must contact us to confirm what treatment has been carried out on the work before delivering it to the RA.

What do I do if I don’t receive my email?

Check your artist account page for the status of your artwork.

It can take up to 24 hours for notifications to arrive and for the status of your artwork to be updated on your account.

Can I appeal the committee's decision?

No, the committee's decision is final.

If my work is rejected, will I receive feedback?

No, the committee’s deliberations are confidential and we are not able to divulge their comments.

What happens if I don't receive my labels and barcodes in the post?

Go to your artist account page, click 'View Artwork', then 'View printable version' at the top of the page. Print the artwork information page, which includes the barcodes, and attach it to your work.

Can I swap my barcodes with another artist?

No. Barcodes are non-transferable. 

Do I have to make an appointment to deliver my artwork?

Yes. Please refer to Booking delivery and collection slots

Do I have to deliver my shortlisted work myself?

You can ask a friend or courier to deliver your work, but it must be unpacked and the barcode scanned before it is given to our art handlers.

We will not accept works until they have been unpacked. If you use a commercial courier, such as DHL/UPS, they will be required to unpack the work and present it for inspection before we will accept it. Packed works will not be shown to the judges.

In line with our policy to reduce the environmental impact of our activities, we ask that you take your packing materials away with you for recycling. 

Why do I have to remove hanging fixtures from my work?

You must remove hanging fixtures, because they might not meet our standards and could cause damage to other artworks. If your shortlisted work is selected for the exhibition, we will affix our standard hanging fixtures to the frame.

How should I deliver my unframed shortlisted work?

If you submit an unframed artwork, it’s at your own risk. If you do, we advise you to submit your work in a simple travel frame, with instructions to indicate that it should stay in the frame until it’s hung.

What should I do if I have specific installation requirements?

If your work has specific requirements for display, please contact us if it is shortlisted.

How should I attach barcodes and labels to my Artist's Book?

If it is shortlisted, please deliver your book in a box (for protection purposes only, not for display), with the barcoded sticky label applied to the outside of the box and the tie-on label looped with string around the spine.

Will I get a receipt for my work?

You won't be given a physical receipt, but the status of your artwork will change to delivered on your artist account.

Do I have to make an appointment to collect my artwork?

No. Please refer to Booking delivery and collection slots

I have missed the deadline for collecting my shortlisted artwork. What do I do?

If you don’t collect your unselected artwork by the deadline given in the exhibition schedule, you will have to make an appointment. 

Collection appointments will be restricted to Monday to Friday only.

The collection address is West Yard, Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly, London, W1S 3ET

Are there any prizes for work shown the Summer Exhibition?

Yes, prizes are given each year and more information will be given in due course.

 

If my work is selected, can I bring guests to the Varnishing Day?

The event is for exhibitors only.

How do I find out if my artwork has sold?

If your work sells, we will send a Sales Report to the email address on your account. The report will show the contact details of the buyer, the amount paid to us (Deposit) and the outstanding amount owed to you (Payment to Artist).

The Sales Report is sent in an Excel document.

Sales Reports are sent on a weekly basis.

Is there any guidance about art sales?

Yes. Please see our Guide to Selling under Helpful Links on the homepage.

How do visitors know if my work is available for sale?

The details of your work will be given in the List of Works and the Summer Exhibition Explorer, our online catalogue.

If your displayed work sells, we will place a red spot against the catalogue number on the wall or plinth. If one of your unframed prints or casts sells, we will place a small spot on the glass inside the frame or on the plinth.

I have not heard from my buyer. What should I do?

If you do not receive a response from the buyer within four weeks of your acceptance of their offer, please contact us.

My buyer has paid me for my exhibited work. What do I do next?

Once you’ve been paid, send the signed Removal Order for the artwork to your buyer.

How do I get information about the Summer Exhibition 2024?

In January 2024, please visit summer.royalacademy.org.uk

Do I have to make an appointment to collect my artwork?

No. Please refer to Booking delivery and collection slots

What is the ‘Removal Order’?

The Removal Order is a receipt for your artwork. If your work is selected for the exhibition, you will receive a Removal Order so that you, your agent, or buyer can collect your artwork at the close of the exhibition.

The Removal Order will show your name; the title and catalogue number of your artwork. You must write the name of the person who is collecting the artwork on the Removal Order and sign it.

When the person collecting the work comes to the RA, they will need to sign and date the Removal Order before exchanging it for the artwork.

It is a legal document and we won’t hand out an artwork unless we receive your signed Removal Order.

When will I receive my Removal Order?

If your artwork is selected, we will send you your Removal Order a few weeks after the exhibition opens.

I’ve misplaced my Removal Order. What do I do?

If you have misplaced your Removal Order, please contact us immediately.

Can I use a digital copy or scan of my Removal Order?

No. The Removal Order is a legal document. The person collecting the artwork must give us the hardcopy Removal Order, or we will not release the artwork.

The buyer of my work lives overseas. Who covers the cost of shipping the work?

If the buyer resides outside the United Kingdom, they should bear the transportation costs, but you are the seller and the final arrangement is between you and the buyer.

Do I need to inform the RA if I sell my work after the exhibition has closed?

Yes, please see our Terms and Conditions.

If your work sells as a result of its having been seen in the Summer Exhibition or on our website, you should let us know, so that we can invoice you for our commission.

If a prospective buyer contacts us after the close of the exhibition, we’ll let you know.

What happens if my artwork is not collected?

We cannot keep works at the RA indefinitely. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for information regarding the disposal of uncollected artworks.

How do I book a delivery or collection slot?

If your artwork is shortlisted, we will email you a link to book a delivery slot in advance.

For the collection of unselected and exhibited works, works can be collected between the dates and times specified in the exhibition schedule and there is no need to book.

Please refer to the exhibition schedule for the delivery and collection dates.

How will the new HMRC reporting requirements impact me?

From 1st January 2024, UK legislation came into effect requiring organisations operating digital platforms’ to report sales over defined thresholds to HMRCThe RA operates such a platform - Summer Exhibition Explorer - to facilitate sales of artworks in the Summer Exhibition. 

This is not a new tax or a change to existing tax rules for Summer Exhibition sellers, it is instead a change to the RA’s reporting obligations and the information we need to collect from sellers. This guidance from HMRC provides more information about when you may or may not need to pay tax for selling your work 

The RA will be required to collect and provide information about sellers who sell more than 14 works of art, or those who sell work(s) with a value of £750 or more (for those selling multiple works, this will be the combined value). Sellers should note that the thresholds have been set to account for currency fluctuations throughout the year, and in recognition that the Summer Exhibition Explorer platform is only available for part of the year. 

If a seller reaches one of the specified thresholds, the information we will collect includes: 

  • First and last name  

  • Address (primary residence)  

  • Date of birth  

  • National insurance number (or, for non-UK residents, other applicable taxpayer identification number and the jurisdiction of issue) 

Or: 

  • If the seller is a company, the legal name of that entity, its registered office address and company registration number (or other applicable taxpayer identification number) 

We already collect some of this information from sellers, but collection of national insurance numbers and the mandatory collection of dates of birth are new requirements. 

In addition to the information above, we will need to report to HMRC the total amount paid for your work(s) and the commission taken by the RA. 

Once the final list of artworks is confirmed, sellers will be able to proactively submit the additional details required. Additionally, sellers will be contacted during the Summer Exhibition sales period if they reach the relevant thresholds and asked to check the details they have already supplied and provide any additional information required. Following the end of the reportable period in January 2025, the RA will provide sellers that met either of the thresholds with a copy of the information that was reported to HMRC.  

All information collected from sellers will be stored securely, with more sensitive information such as national insurance numbers being encrypted both in transit and at rest. Any sensitive information collected is strictly managed with controlled access. The RA is required to retain the information collected under the legislation for five years from the end of the reportable period, after which it will be permanently deleted unless we are required or permitted to retain it on another basis. We will not retain your data for longer than is necessary.  

For full details on how the RA manages your data, please read our Privacy Policy.  

As always, the RA appreciates the support of artists exhibiting in the Summer Exhibition, with commission from these sales supporting the RA's charitable work, including training the next generation of artists in the Royal Academy Schools. 

Please note, the RA cannot provide legal or tax advice and we recommend you consult HMRC or a tax advisor if you have any questions about your tax obligations. 

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2024 Timeline

The results for the first round of judging have now been sent. 

If you have not received yours, you can check the status of your submission by logging into your artist account. 

If your work has been shortlisted, please deliver it to the Academy for the final round of judging. Please refer to your notification email for information regarding the dates and times of delivery. 

 

A message from Ann Christopher RA

Summer Exhibition Co-ordinator 2024

'As co-ordinator for the 2024 Summer Exhibition, I plan to explore the idea of making space, whether giving space or taking space. This can be interpreted in various ways: to make space can mean openness – making space for something or someone, also making space between things.

It is my belief that the spaces in between are as important as whatever those spaces separate. Spaces can not only dramatically enhance the actual works on the wall but also the pleasure of viewing them. In terms of sculpture – well that gives off its own demand for space around it.

On behalf of the Summer Exhibition Committee I would like to say send in your best work whatever its medium or category and we will endeavour to give it space.'

 

Summer Exhibition Committee 2024

Hurvin Anderson RA, Ann Christopher RA, Anne Desmet RA, Assemble RA, Hughie O’Donoghue RA, Cornelia Parker RA, Veronica Ryan RA

 

Architecture 

Please click here to see a message from Assemble RA

 

Helpful Links

Terms and Conditions of Entry 2024

Instructions for Entering Work

Exhibition Schedule

Video Tutorial: How To Photograph Your Work

How to Photograph Your Work

VAT Information - International Artists

Guide to Selling

Suggested Transport Agents