Tuesday, September 11, 2018

First contributor news

An rca press release has revealed contributor news for this year’s sale.  First named contributors are Nick Park, Maggi Hambling and Bob and Roberta smith.  The press releases also confirms that cards will be £60 this year.

Royal College of Art, Darwin Building, entrance off Jay Mews SW7 2EU 
Exhibition & postcard selection: Sat 1 December 12 – 6pm; Sun 2 and Mon 3 December 10am – 6pm
Collection day: Thurs 6 December from 4 – 8pm
Viewing day: Fri 30 November from 12 – 7pm 

The Royal College of Art (RCA) is proud to announce details of its fun and exciting annual fundraising exhibition, RCA Secret, sponsored by Stewarts.

Established in 1994, Stewarts RCA Secret is London’s original postcard exhibition where supporters have the opportunity to own artwork by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, illustrators and designers, as well as up-and-coming graduates and students from the College.

Each year supporters have their art credentials tested as the identity of their chosen artwork’s maker is kept secret and revealed only once the £60 donation is made. All proceeds go to the RCA Fund, which supports the next generation of RCA students at a formative time in their careers.

More than 2,000 postcards will be exhibited this year and confirmed contributors include Wallace and Gromit creator, Nick Park, contemporary artist Bob and Roberta Smith, and painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling.

Every contribution is an original artwork, produced with the same rigour as any other work by the maker. Although restricted to being postcard sized, the subject matter and approaches vary widely, from photography and collage, to drawing, painting, and even sculpture and embroidery.

Previous contributors include renowned alumni and friends of the College including Christopher Bailey, David Bailey, Sir James Dyson, Tracey Emin, Norman Foster, Thomas Heatherwick, Anish Kapoor, Mike Leigh, Steve McQueen, Grayson Perry, Zandra Rhodes, Sir Paul Smith and Yinka Shonibare.

Stewarts RCA Secret will be open for viewing from Friday 30 November at the RCA’s Kensington campus. Supporters will have the opportunity to purchase their postcards from Saturday 1 December to Monday 3 December, just in time for Christmas.

Images of all postcards in the exhibition will be released online from 9am on Thursday 29 November, 24 hours before the exhibition opens to the public. In order to purchase a postcard, supporters must register on the RCA Secret website to obtain a buyer’s ID. Buyers will be able to purchase their chosen postcards, initially capped at four per buyer, throughout the exhibition from 1 to 3 December. On the last day of the exhibition, everyone will be welcome to come back and choose unlimited postcards. 

Postcards can be collected in person on the collection day, Thursday 6 December, or posted once the exhibition has closed.

Stewarts is proud to sponsor the RCA Secret exhibition. Stewarts is the UK's leading litigation-only law firm. They have a strong international reputation for excellence in ground breaking and innovative litigation. http://www.stewartslaw.com

Thursday, September 06, 2018


The price of cards is going up to £60 for this year according to this blog

Text reproduced below


RCA Secret

Opening: 30 Nov 2018, 12:00 - 19:00

30 Nov 2018 – 3 Dec 2018


  • Kensington site: Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU
RCA Secret is a fundraising exhibition of original postcard-sized artworks by internationally acclaimed artists, illustrators and designers plus up-and-coming graduates and students from the Royal College of Art.


Established in 1994, RCA Secret is London’s original postcard exhibition. RCA Secret not only directly helps the next generation of artists and designers pursue their studies and supports students at a formative time in their careers, but also gives you a chance to get your hands on original works of art for a small donation. The Secret? Each postcard is signed only on the back, so supporters don’t know the identity of the artists until they have made their donation.
Each postcard in the exhibition is unique and available to keep for a donation of £60.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

An RCA secret card isn't just for Christmas

Just under 3 months to go until RCA Secret and for those who haven't noticed the college has published details of the arrangements for this year on the RCA Secret site.

Lets start with the positives.  Cards have gone out very early to contributing artists and with the deadline for return not being until the beginning of November it is to be hoped that this will be a really great year for contributions.  Already on twitter artists such as Peter Jones, Anita Klein and Susie Hamilton have tweeted that they have returned their cards to the college so this seems very promising.   Also last year contributing artists were only sent 2 cards to return.  I understand that artists have been able to do 3 or even 4 cards each this year which means hopefully a bumper number of cards and more opportunities for fans to get what they want.

Next the college has reintroduced the viewing day.  It is clearly important to get an opportunity to see the cards in the flesh not just online and the college have responded to the criticisms of last years show by having a full viewing day on 30 November 2018.  I am sure I will see many of you there, I have already booked a day off from work.

Also the college have relaxed the rules on numbers of cards that can be bought so that on the final day of the sale, Monday 3 December, so you can return to the sale and buy as many more cards as you like.  I've been saying for some time this would be a good idea, so I'm pleased the college have implemented it.  The limit on purchases to 4 cards each is essential at the start of the sale but there seems no reason to continue to enforce that once the initial rush has subsided.  I'm sure I'm bound to return on the last day for a final trawl and the opportunity to scoop up a couple more cards.  I suspect I am not alone.  More cards sold, more money for bursaries so everyone is a winner.  I expect the cards to sell well give how close the sale is to Christmas.  

On the more controversial side the raffle has been scrapped this year.  I appreciate the raffle wasn't universally popular but it's worth remembering that the raffle was introduced for 3 reasons – to bring extra revenue to the college; to try and stop people queueing for so long as local residents complained; and because it levelled the field and meant that everyone had a chance of getting the best cards, not just the predominantly male and 100% able bodied people who were prepared to queue for 2 weeks plus outside the sale.  If the raffle is scrapped then an efficient system has to be introduced to deal with the sale day.  The college have simply said at the moment that camping is banned and that queueing will not be allowed until 8am on the morning of the sale and that security will be around to enforce this.  I'm struggling to understand how that works in practice.  

The reality is that there will be a number of people – at least 100, probably more, who would have been prepared to queue for longer than 4 hours for the sale.  It can be assumed that most of those people will be there at 8am on the day, and many will have turned up much earlier than that.  How will this be dealt with?  Who will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the queue when the college allows queuing at 8am.  If it is a free for all then I worry that it could get unpleasant.  People may be put off coming at all, which would be sad.  The college need to, in my opinion, give information as to how they envisage this working.

Anyway I will be sure to publish updates and thoughts on this blog, together with any news I get.  Looking forward to that first contributor news.

Do let me know what your thoughts are on the changes.