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RA Young Artists’ Summer Show

By July 14th, 2020Exhibitions

The online exhibition for this year’s Royal Academy Young Artists’ Summer Show for ages 5-19 is open to view and it’s fantastic…

The Young Artists’ Summer Show is an open submission exhibition for young people aged 5 – 19 years. It takes place both online and will open on-site at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Autumn of 2020.

Over 17,700 submissions were received this year from which the judges selected 392 works from drawing, painting and photography, to video and sculpture.

I’ve seen my fair share of online exhibitions this year but this is one of my favourites, the creativity, depth, humour and technical ability on display is incredibly heartening.

I’ve featured below some of my highlights from the online exhibition alongside entrants descriptions in their own words.

Brother - Jennifer

Brother – Jennifer, Age 16

Acrylic painting, 59 x 84cm.

This is a portrait of my brother, he is in year 9 and lives in South East London. I’m interested in how he is navigating his identity at this cross roads of his life. Through symbols normally associated with the traditional dress of women in West Africa I want to ask the viewer to question typical assumptions about masculinity.

— Jennifer, Age 16


Secret Garden – Isla Bea, Age 12

Acrylic painting & pen, 50 x 50cm.

The Secret Garden was painted as a birthday present for my Mum and is inspired by the song thrush and the nature in our Cornish garden. The palette was created by mixing acrylics, inspired by the colours of St Ives, and those that I know she loves.

— Isla Bea, Age 12


Fragments – Sarah, Age 16

Print and painting inspired by the theme ‘Fragments’.

— Sarah, Age 16

Emma - Collecting Stardust

Collecting Stardust – Emma, Age 7

Watercolour, 30 x 42cm.

My biggest dream is to fly. If I could find a big ladder, I could touch the sky and pick some stars and maybe they can give me the magical power to fly. Fairies can do it! Why not me?

— Emma, Age 7


Nipsey Hussle – Priya, Age 15

Coloured pencil, 21 x 30cm.

This is a drawing of late rapper Nipsey Hussle. I wanted to pay tribute to Nipsey as I have a lot of admiration for him – he was a visionary, yet still remained humble and gave back to his community. I’ve also grown up listening to rap music, so his music is very important to me. In this drawing, I focused a lot on texture (for example the beard and the coat) so that it feels more realistic.

— Priya, Age 15


Let Me In – Jason, Age 8

Watercolour, 25 x 30cm.

I love rabbits and I was looking out of my window at the rain and I thought of one of my rabbits looking in. Sometimes they look through the conservatory door and want to come in.

— Jason, Age 8


Mr Hegarty – Freddie, Age 16

Acrylic paint on board, 59 x 84cm.

This is a portrait of my Housemaster. I was inspired by Greek Mythology and the images of their gods, often depicted wearing laurel wreathes. My painting style has been influenced by Andrew Salgado and his use of bright colours along with unique mark-making.

— Freddie, Age 16


Wonderland – Zixi, Age 11

Painting, 30 x 42cm.

This painting is about a small town on a snowy night where everything is calm and peaceful.

— Zixi, Age 11


Mercy – Phoebe, Age 18

Gouache paint on paper, 36 x 40cm.

I created this portrait to honour identity and heritage. Inspired by Alan Coulson’s painting ‘Latoya’, the portrait of my friend Mercy contrasts cultural influences with contemporary youth.

— Phoebe, Age 18


Abstraction of a Figure through Movement – Madina, Age 17

Oil on board, 59 x 84cm.

This painting showcases the middle-ground between abstract and figurative through depicting a figure in movement.

— Madina, Age 17

You can vote for your favourite work on the online exhibition website. Good luck to all the young artists involved and congratulations on making the show!