The RWA is one of five Royal Academies of Great Britain and Ireland and has a maximum membership of 150 Academicians elected by their peers. Earlier this year 6 artists were elected as Royal West of England Academicians, but what does it mean to have RWA after your name and how do you get selected? Artist Stephen Jacobson Vice President for the RWA explains: “The prospective Academicians work is initially viewed by a selection panel of existing Academicians who decide if it meets a high enough standard for the the whole body of Academicians to vote on. The artists who are selected from this initial selection then get to have their work displayed. During this round of selection there were 11 applicants whose work was displayed downstairs in The Cube gallery during the course of the 161st Annual Open Exhibition which ran from November – January. The works were then voted for by the entire body of Academicians who chose the following five artists to become Academicians of the Royal West of England Academy. For me becoming an Academician obviously carried a certain kudos, and recognition by my peers. But, as painting is a solitary business, it is good to know one can meet regularly with like-minded people and not feel isolated. This is particularly significant for me, as I did not go onto have a career in Academia after leaving art school and so missed the stimulation of working and talking with other artists. The opportunity to show work regularly at the RWA Autumn Exhibition is another advantage, along with the potential to exhibit in a range of individual shows. I have also found it useful to get involved with the hanging of exhibitions and to try to understand what other artists are up to” Newly Elected Members
Artist Profile Andrew Munoz: Andrew Muñoz was born in London in 1967. He grew up around Essex and Cambridgeshire and moved to the West country in 1992 where he settled and had two children. He studied at Plymouth College of Art and Falmouth College of Art. His interest in making art began at an early age and was partly inspired by his Spanish heritage which led to an obsession with Catholic imagery and the Spanish Civil War. His work is now informed by social narratives and morality. He currently lives and works in Bristol. He shows with Andipa Contemporary, London, and the British Contemporary Painters group, and exhibits regularly nationally and internationally.