The Royston Arts Society Autumn Exhibition started in 1979. It was originally held outdoors in July but bad weather forced us to move to a more practical venue. The exhibitions have been held in Royston Town Hall, Melbourn Street, Royston, SG8 7BS (map) ever since.
In the early 80’s, we moved the date to the last weekend in September to coincide with the Royston Arts Festival. Over the years the Autumn Exhibition has continued to be a major feature of the Arts Festival.
In recent years we have typically exhibited 400 – 450 framed and unframed paintings by around 80 artists; including RAS members and non members. In addition we have exhibited 650 – 700 greeting cards. Admission has always been free but we offered a raffle, refreshments and comprehensive catalogue to our visitors.
The number of visitors depends on the weather and what else is happening in Royston over the exhibition weekend, but in a good year we have approached 1000 visitors.
The proceeds we make from the Autumn Exhibition make a very important contribution to the costs of running RAS.
The Covid pandemic meant that we were unable to run the Autumn Exhibition in 2020. Instead, we ran an online exhibition from 18th September through to 30th November 2020. This built on the experience we had gained with the online members exhibition we had run in Spring 2020.
At this exhibition we had 45 artists exhibiting 170 paintings.
In 2021 we had planned to run the face-to-face exhibition in Royston Town Hall on the weekend of 24th to 26th September and to follow this with an online exhibition containing some of the unsold paintings starting on 1st October and running through to 1st December. In the event we were unable to run the Exhibition in the Town Hall so we just ran the online exhibition. This proved to be a success with 42 artists exhibiting 237 paintings.
In 2022 we were finally able to return to Royston Town Hall where we ran a very successful Autumn Exhibition on the weekend of 23rd to 25th September. Sixty-three artists exhibited over 330 paintings. This was followed by an online exhibition featuring about half of the unsold paintings plus replacements for some of those that had sold. The visitors were universally pleased that the town Hall exhibition was back and we sold a high percentage of the paintings on display.
We removed most of the peripheral activities for the 2022 Town Hall exhibition to focus exclusively on displaying and selling paintings. We also limited the number of paintings on display. This resulted in a more attractive display of framed and unframed paintings, improved the flow of visitors around the exhibition and there were fewer distractions. We plan to continue with this approach in future years although we might decide not to run the subsequent online exhibition.
As in the past, future exhibitions will be open to members and non members of RAS; but non members will need to pay a hanging fee to submit their paintings.
Further details will be sent out to RAS members and non member artists, who have exhibited with us recently, nearer the time.
Over the years we have developed some guidelines that we ask artists to follow if they wish to enter paintings into the Town Hall exhibition and/or an online exhibition. All paintings should meet our criteria for exhibiting at the Town Hall exhibition. For the online exhibition we also need jpeg files of the submitted paintings and we have developed criteria for these files which are available via the links below.