August at the RBSA: visit our Portrait Prize and read about summer workshops!

Summer in the city should always involve a trip to an art gallery. Great for escaping the heat, and even better for feeding the soul.

The RBSA has three FREE floors of art – no entry fee, child-friendly, and packed full of interesting art, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and textiles.

Read on to find out more about August’s highlights…

RBSA Portrait Prize until 31 August

Francesca Currie, ‘Lewis’


Our biennial Portrait Prize Exhibition attracts entries from the UK and beyond. It’s one of our most popular shows, attracting visitors keen to view the latest in portraiture.

World-renowned artists sit alongside emerging talent, making this an exciting show for new discoveries.

This year’s show is selected by professional portrait painters John Devane, Robert Neil VP PPRBSA, Sara Shamma, and Jonathan Waller.

Artists entering have the chance to win a selection of prizes, including a £1,000 top prize and a People’s Choice Prize, selected from votes cast by visitors.

Summer Workshops

Looking for new activities for this summer? The RBSA has workshops throughout the summer for people interested in expanding or just beginning their artistic skills – and they are booking fast!

Workshops cover a variety of subjects, techniques, and styles. All art enthusiasts are welcome!

Read on below to find out a little bit more about our August workshops. You can ask us questions or book by calling 0121 236 4353.

Mixed Media Landscapes Thu 1 – Fri 2 August Zarina Keyani, RBSA

Friend Explore colour, form, and expressive paint techniques to produce abstract landscapes in a range of paints and inks. Ideal for beginners but also suitable for painters looking to try something new. £106 / £96

Experimental Watercolours Sat 3 August Zarina Keyani, RBSA Friend

Experiment with colour, form and expressive paint techniques to create a range of abstract landscapes in watercolour paints and inks. Ideal for beginners but also suitable for intermediates. £55 / £50

Copy, Proof, Print Mon 5 – Tue 6 August Eric Gaskell ARBSA

Eric will guide you through the steps of drawing, cutting, and proofing to create a final print. Suitable for all abilities, including beginners. £110 / £100

Second Edition Wed 7 August Eric Gaskell ARBSA

This one-day introduction to drawing, cutting, and proofing a lino-cut print is suitable for beginners, but also those who attended Eric’s ‘Copy, Proof, Print’ workshop and would like an additional day of support and guidance. £60 / £55

Life Sculpture Fri 9 August David Walton RBSA

Create your own figure sculpture! Observe a life model, make a metal armature and sculpt onto it in plaster. Ideal for beginners but suitable for all abilities. £70 / £65

Screenprinting with Stencils Sat 10 August Karoline Rerrie, RBSA Friend

Make stencils using your own images, patterns or designs and print onto paper to create a small edition of unique prints. Suitable for all abilities, including beginners and experienced printmakers looking to refresh their skills. £55 / £50

Mixed Media Printmaking Mon 12 – Tue 13 August John Scott Martin PPRBSA

Find out how to produce exciting designs and results quickly by combining collage and lino block printing. Suitable for all abilities, including those new to printmaking. £105 / £100

Painting A Vibrant Still-life Wed 14 – Tue 15 August Dennis Minchin RBSA

Experiment with different approaches to gain in-depth experience of how to paint a high-quality still-life. Suitable for all abilities and a great opportunity for those aiming to enter work into exhibitions. £100 / £90

These are just the first two weeks in August! There are many more to choose from – for more information and how to book, please visit our workshops page.

Craft Show

Urban Jungle Until 14 September

The concrete architectural jungle of a city may seem very separate from a lush oasis. However, many urban environments hide gardens, parks and plants in their midst. This provides the inspiration for our latest craft exhibition ‘Urban Jungle’.

Find botanically inspired pieces of jewellery, ceramics and textiles, alongside graphic and architectural designer-maker craft. Every piece is hand-made by a designer-maker and prices start at just £15.

Solo Shows

Olivia Peake Until 10 August

An exploration of geometry, light and colour, blurring the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture. Olivia presents a paused moment in her practice that unveils transitions between colour, paint and support, fuelled with a curiosity of geometry and light.

Olivia was our recent New Art West Midlands winner.

Paul Brown RBSA Figurative Sculpture in Clay 12 August – 28 September


Mathé Shepheard Japan Revisited in the Mind until 17 August

Watercolour and Indian Ink paintings inspired by Mathé’s travels to Japan twenty years ago.

She originally qualified in Ceramics and Glass with a thesis on Victorian Stained Glass. For several years she produced ceramics for sale and designs for companies as well as individual glass pieces. Later Mathé became a part-time lecturer in History of Art at Birmingham City University. Since she retired she has concentrated on two dimensional work in watercolour and ink. Used freely they allow her to express her response to nature and its mystery of space and time.

She has had periods working intensively on flowers, individually and in groups, on trees which can be near-realistic or semi-abstract. Other aspects of her work derive from landscape, sky and water responding well to a free combination of watercolours and inks.

Terry Lord ARBSA Cities, Coasts and Countryside 19 August – Sat 28 September


Terry is a Leicestershire artist whose oil painted landscapes glow with warmth. Having studied briefly at Loughborough College, Terry got a job at a local design studio illustrating children’s books and greetings cards, a career he continued for forty years.

Alongside his commercial work, Terry has exhibited in numerous exhibitions across the country from the Mall Galleries in London to Birmingham and Bath.

Terry is an admirer of the Impressionists whose style has influenced his own work.

“My painting is about light and atmosphere, I want you to feel as if you are standing there, you’ve got to feel part of the picture.”

Heinke Jenkins Migrants until 7 Sept

A series of nine lino-cut prints charting the perilous journeys made by migrants.

Heinke was born in Heilbronn, West Germany, just before the outbreak of World War II, moving to Britain in 1961.

She studied painting at the University of Stuttgart under Mannfred Henninger, but switched to graphic design and illustration. She went on to specialise in printing and lino-cuts, staying true to the traditions of her native Germany despite their being not much of a printmaking scene in the UK at the start of her career.

She maintained links with her hometown through the Heilbronn Artists’ Association, and also showed at the Royal Academy in London.

Her work is haunted by the aftermath of war, with frequent allusions to control, brutality, displacement and escape.

Visit us

Entry to all RBSA exhibitions is free and many of the works on show are on sale. We recommend viewing in person before making a purchase, but you can view many current exhibitions online, with prices, at our Flickr page.

We take a deposit or full payment at the gallery, and you can arrange to collect your work once the exhibition is over. If you can’t make it to an exhibition, call us on 0121 236 4353 or email rbsagallery@rbsa.org.uk

Visit the RBSA soon and see what original art you could be taking home…

Remember that booking is not required for our Saturday demonstrations, so feel free to drop by the Gallery on the day. For more details on all the events listed, and to find out about everything else going on at the RBSA, please take a look at the website.

Banner image: Mathé Shepheard, Cascading Waters

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Images © the artist or the artist’s estate unless stated otherwise.