Frequently Asked Questions

Why was my painting not selected?

Selecting an exhibition is one of the most challenging tasks undertaken by the Academy. The selection panel is charged with selecting an exhibition that best represents the Academy’s vision of promoting art of the highest standard, while also encouraging originality and diversity.
The most common reasons why paintings are not selected for exhibition are:
  • The painting fails to gain majority support from the selection panel for inclusion in the exhibition. Many factors are taken into consideration including the perceived quality and originality of the work in its own right and in comparison to the other works submitted. Each painting is given respectful consideration by the selection panel.
  • Presentation of the work is not of exhibition quality, the work needs to be presented to an exhibition and saleable standard. A surprising number of works cannot be selected, where the work itself is deemed acceptable, because the presentation is substandard. Artists should give careful consideration to:
o       the Framing; both its quality and style; contemporary is preferable so as to fit with the exhibition, any glass and/or mats must be clean
o       the back of the work; there should be no protruding nails or hooks, and the artwork secure within the frame
o       if unframed stretched canvas is used, the sides should be painted and/or clear of marks and paint dribbles and the back should covered to protect the canvas from behind.
o    No work will be accepted if the paint is wet!
  • Gallery space constraints. For the bigger shows especially there are often up to 700 works submitted, twice as many as there is capacity to show in the gallery.
  • Size of the work. On a case by case basis, the selection panel must make a judgment; allowing for the size of the work, especially in the case of an artist submitting several large pieces, where accepting one large piece would mean two or three other pieces would have to be omitted.
  •  The painting does not conform to the theme of the exhibition criteria.
  • The artist has submitted more paintings than they are entitled to according to the entry form.
  • Sometimes a work can be accepted by the Panel, but not feature in the exhibition due to layout difficulties e.g. lack of room or a conflict with other works.
  • Originality, sometimes a work may not be selected if it is judged to be a copy or overly derivative of another work, or the work has been submitted previously.
  • While the Academy endeavours to support and encourage it’s own members, each work is selected purely on its own merit and without bias.
See the official Academy Selection Policy here.
Who can exhibit in Academy Exhibitions?
Anybody can submit their work into Academy open exhibitions. Non-members pay an entry fee and Academy members are entitled to exhibit more works per show but entry is open to all. All works are subject to selection.
See details of the next Receiving Day and download an entry form in Upcoming Events on the right-hand sidebar.
Twice yearly the Academy runs Solo shows where 10-12 artists hold their own solo exhibitions within one show. To be included in one of these shows the artist must be a member of the Academy, apply for a space in a show and then be selected by the Exhibitions Committee. The works themselves are not subject to selection but the Academy reserves the right of refusal to exhibit any works deemed unsuitable.
The Academy Galleries are also available for hire to any single artist or group, see Gallery Hire here.
How many open exhibitions does the Academy hold each year?
Generally the Academy holds four open exhibitions and two solo shows every year. There is also a members only cash and carry exhibition over the Christmas/summer holiday period.
How do I become an artist member?
Any artist may exhibit at the Academy but Elected Artist Members are elected by the Academy Council from the membership. To be nominated you must be an Academy Member and have been regularly selected into Academy exhibitions, achieving a consistently high standard of work. For more information and a list of Elected Academy Artist Members with examples of their work, see here.
As an ‘Academy’ of Fine Arts, do you have an Art School?
No, but the Academy has a long history of Art Education and currently some of our artists tutor classes, see Art Classes here.
if you any further queries or questions, contact us
Contact Details

address: 1 Queens Wharf,

                Wellington, NZ  

phone: 04 499 8807


facebook : NZAFA

hours: daily 10am - 5pm

Current Events

Solo 44

5 May - 10 June 2018

Upcoming Events

Winter Exhibition

16 June - 9 July 2018

Parkin Drawing Prize

17 July - 19 August 2018

Spring Exhibition

1 September - 30 September 2018




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