Benefits of RBSA Friends Membership, with Thoughts from a Long-Time Member

Whether you are an artist wishing to develop your practice or a visitor who wants to get more involved, RBSA Friends Membership will have something for you. Become a Friend today to receive great benefits, from being part of a community of enthusiastic artists, to receiving discounts and invitations to free events.

Friends Membership has been an integral component of the RBSA since the early 1900s, when it became one of the first societies to allow subscribers to have their own exhibitions. Today, many Friends progress to become Associates and Members, as well as Council Members who inform the Society’s future. The welcoming atmosphere of the RBSA Gallery provides a valuable platform for artists at various stages of their career.

Here are just some of the benefits available to Friends:

  • Free entry to the annual Open all Media and Friends exhibitions (Friends only pay a display fee if their work is selected)
  • A programme of discounted events, designed by the Friends
  • Networking events to help you meet fellow Friends and artists
  • Discounted prices on workshops
  • Opportunities to deliver adult and family-friendly workshops (receiving a tutor’s fee)
  • Receive monthly email updates and the RBSA e-newsletter three times a year

Upcoming Friends events include a talk by Chris Baker, whose fantastical career includes story-boarding and design work for iconic film directors, such as Stephen Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Tim Burton, on Wednesday 19 June. Chris has also illustrated books for the likes of Stephen King. Also coming up soon is the 2019 Friends exhibition, which will run 26 June — 20 July with a Private View on 26 June.

Some Thoughts from Long-time Friend Andrew Tromans

Andrew Tromans, Cherry Blossom

Long-time RBSA Friend Andrew Tromans, a painter and print maker, shares his personal perspective on the benefits of membership:

I joined the RBSA Friends five years ago and have renewed my membership annually since. Membership has brought me numerous benefits over the years. These have included regular information regarding exhibitions and courses at discounted rates, plus contact with a network of like-minded individuals which has been invaluable.

My first showing at the RBSA was through the Friends Exhibition, which enabled me to get a feel for what exhibiting entailed.

I have also attended courses in printmaking for linocut, dry-point and mezzotint at discounted rates. Through these sessions I was able to receive guidance and encouragement on technical issues and subject matter.

When entering the RBSA Open Exhibition as a Friend, I was able to do so at a discounted rate (although I still got some rejection slips – all part of the learning process!). This year my work reached a sufficient standard to achieve my election as an Associate Member of the RBSA, an honour which was enabled in no small part by being an RBSA Friend.

I recommend Friends membership, as it is enjoyable, developmental and jolly good fun!

How to Join the RBSA Friends

The Friends subscription is £35 a year, and runs from the date you join for 12 months.

There are number of paying options – click here for the details.

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