It is with regret that the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA), The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW), and Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) after discussion with the National Galleries of Scotland, announce the cancellation of the annual exhibitions at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), due to run from October 2020 until January 2021. Our decision is taken in response to the ongoing risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to prioritise the safety of our audiences, artists, participants, staff and volunteers.

We are all incredibly proud of our annual exhibitions, and the exceptional quality of the work that is submitted each year. However, the current situation, and the uncertainty about when museums and galleries will be able to reopen, have unfortunately made it impossible to plan an open exhibition of this scale that we feel would do any justice to our societies or our membership.

We are still, however, intending to continue to select our New Graduate Awards and will look forward to viewing the upcoming degree shows.

As societies it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our membership and the many people who are involved in making the exhibitions such a success every year. We are not satisfied that we would be able to do that in the current situation – the risks are simply too high.

We understand many of you will be disappointed, but we hope you will understand the reasons behind our decision. We are currently planning alternative ways we can continue to work with and champion our membership before we are able to safely return to the RSA, and we will be launching our digital programme next week. So keep your eyes peeled! 

Warm wishes, stay safe

Jamie McAteer & Olivia Turner | SSA Presidents

Image: SSA|VAS OPEN 2019-2020. Photo ⓒ Harry Jones-Martin

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