An important institution in the history of Irish art in the North, the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA) originated as the Belfast Art Society, which in 1930 was renamed the Ulster Academy of Arts - the Royal being added when the British monarch became its patron. The equivalent academic institution in Britain is the Royal Academy of Arts London; and in Dublin, the Royal Hibernian Academy.
RUA Founder Members
Among its founding Academicians were the painters Mildred Anne Butler, William Conor, Hans Iten, Frank McKelvey and Charles Lamb. Other prominent artists who became members of the RUA include: Tom Carr, Colin Davidson, TP Flanagan, Gladys MacCabe, Cecil Maguire, Leo Whelan (HRUA), Maurice C. Wilks. The academy's first President was Sir John Lavery. The current President (2007-10) is Ireland's foremost wildlife artist Julian Friers.
The Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA) continues to be the pre-eminent artists' organization in Northern Ireland. A large number of Ireland's most outstanding artists are exhibiting members of the Academy. (See also Visual Arts in Ulster).
Current Members of The Royal Ulster Academy of Arts
Honorary Members of The Royal Ulster Academy of Arts
RUA President and Vice President
Artist Julian Friers RUA was elected President of the RUA in 2009 and Brian Ferran HRUA was made Vice President.
The RUA Council currently also includes:
RUA Annual Art Show
The Royal Ulster Academy's Annual Exhibition is held at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It constitutes the largest, open art exhibition of Irish painting and Irish sculpture in Northern Ireland and attracts submissions from hundreds of painters, sculptors from home and overseas.
128th Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition (2009)
The 128th RUA Annual Exhibition took place from the 2 31 October 2009 and was held in the old Northern Bank on the corner of Waring St and North St, Belfast. Again there were hundreds of submissions from Ireland as well as France, Germany, Netherlands and the U.S.A. From these submissions, a portion were exhibited including work by RUA Academicians, Associate Academicians, invited artists and artists selected from open-submission. A total of sixteen awards were handed out on the opening night with prize funds ranging from £300 to £1500. Previous winners have included Sir William Orpen, Walter Osborne, Mainie Jellett, Melanie Le Brocquy, Dorothy Cross, Eamonn O Kane and James Hanley.
RUA Perpetual Gold Medal and
Conor Café Prize (£800)
For facts about the art industry
in Ireland, see: Art Encyclopedia.
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