2018 Annual Exhibition

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Jun 12th 2017

We are delighted at last to be able to announce details of our next annual exhibition, which will open to the public in the first week of February 2018, and will run for a full five weeks in the upper galleries of the RSA.

As you know, we’ve been fortunate in the last three years to have secured exclusive use of the galleries, and, as a result, we, and our partner societies, the SSA and RSW, have been able to successfully maximise the individual identities of each society. However, the National Galleries are presently engaged in an extensive programme of refurbishment and redevelopment, and one unavoidable consequence of this will be a temporary return to the previous format that many of you may remember, where all three societies occupied the building simultaneously.

After much discussion of various options open to us, the three societies have agreed that the RSW will stage their annual exhibition in the lower galleries, and simultaneously, VAS and the SSA will embark on an exciting collaboration across the majestic and spacious upper galleries.

In a departure from the previous shared format the VAS and SSA exhibitions will be presented as a single exhibition, jointly selected and curated by representatives of each society. Both VAS and SSA Councils firmly believe that a joint exhibition will allow us to take best advantage of the space available, and make possible a show of the highest possible standard that will both celebrate our differences and explore the spaces where our activities converge and overlap. From initial conversations with the SSA it’s clear that there is very real enthusiasm from both teams for the positive practical and creative benefits of a joint show.   

At the heart of the 2018 exhibition, as always, will be the Open Submission, where we will join forces to show the furthest extremes of contemporary art practice, from craft to digital and everything in between. For those wishing to submit there will be one joint SSA/VAS Open Call and a combined selection process, where representatives from each organisation will come together to select works for inclusion in the show. We anticipate submissions will open mid-September 2017 with further details to follow. The Open Submission will be complemented by a number of curated projects staged individually by the societies.  We will bring you further details of our own programme, and that of the SSA, as they become available . . .