Election process

The RBSA elects Members and Associates once a year. There are two ways to be nominated as an Associate, the first stage of membership of the RBSA.

Associate Membership

Firstly a candidate can be nominated by two full Members (known as Associate Nomination) and secondly, there is Self-Nomination. Self-Nomination is for an artist who does not know any Members but has shown at the gallery in the past and wishes to become an Associate. There are two separate procedures for the different nomination paths. However, all potential candidates should read and download the Associates Application pack to understand the nature of the RBSA as an artists cooperative and the benefits and responsibilities of Associateship.

Associate Nomination

For those candidates who have two Members nominating them, download the Associates Nomination form and return it with the signatures of the two Members on the form by the date show at the end of November.

Associate Self-Nomination

To qualify for Self-Nomination you must have had one work accepted in a minimum of three RBSA Open and/or Prize exhibitions over the last five years. Exhibition acceptances for the Friends exhibition or by organisations other than the RBSA do not count for this purpose. This is to demonstrate that candidates are familiar with, and have shown some commitment to the RBSA by submitting consistently high quality work.

If you are able to meet this requirement download the Self-Nomination Form, complete the details including the dates of the exhibition acceptances and send it by the date shown in mid-October with your CV on one page of A4 only. Do not send any digital images until you are invited to do so.

The President and a small group of experienced members will evaluate your application with the images in November and a decision on whether to accept your nomination will be made in December by the RBSA Council who will at the same time review the Associate nominations. There is no limit of the number of nominations approved by the Council. To accord with the rules of the RBSA a proposer and seconder will be found for successful self-nominators. For those who are unsuccessful at self-nomination the Council has decided that candidates should not expect to receive any feedback. A further application for self-nomination cannot be submitted within three years.

Member Nomination

An artist must first be elected as an Associate before being considered for election as a full Member and a nomination form may be downloaded and returned by the date at the end of November signed by two Members.

Candidates Exhibition

Once nominations have been approved by Council, an annual Candidates’ exhibition is then organised, normally in late March or April, where all candidates show 6 pieces of work on which the membership votes. To be elected a candidate must attract 50% plus 1 of the votes cast. The result of the vote is formally ratified by the Annual General Meeting of the Society which is held towards the end of April.


Election to the Society allows artists to show their work as of right in the StArt, Open and Members and Associates exhibitions as well as offering other exhibition and curatorial opportunities. Members and Associates are elected in categories of painter, sculptor, potter, printmaker, textile artist, and jeweller. At present there are over 200 Members and Associates.

How to apply

The application for 2017 is now closed. If you'd like to enquire about applying in 2018, please email rbsagallery@rbsa.org.uk