139th Annual Exhibition

May 20, 2020


Founded in 1879, the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA) is the largest and longest established body of practising visual artists in Northern Ireland. One of its founding principles is to organise, promote or join in organising and promoting in any fashion an Annual Exhibition of work by both members and non–members.

Due to current Coronavirus / Covid–19 Restrictions restrictions the RUA cannot guarantee that an Exhibition will take place at the Ulster Museum in 2020. However, planning is still going ahead, keeping within Government guidelines, but on a reduced scale so that “Social Distancing” can be maintained in an open gallery space. If it is not possible to hold a physical exhibition this year, we are looking into the possibility of creating a virtual exhibition from members and non–members selected works.


Submission to the Academy’s 139th Annual Exhibition will again be facilitated by OESS.  Please check the website and social media for links to the online submission process from 1st June 2020. 

The deadline for submissions will be 4pm on Friday 31st July 2020.  


NEW RUA Archive Site Launched

May 01, 2020

The Royal Ulster Academy of Arts is using the latest 3D virtual techniques to share its entire 2019 Annual Exhibition online in support of artists and to share in the joy of art at this difficult time.

President Betty Brown writes: “The first of May usually signals our ‘Open Call for Entries’ as artists from all over the world begin to submit work for the RUA Exhibition. This year we are delaying the call until June when we hope to have more clarity about the impact of COVID–19 lockdown restrictions”.”We decided however to use today positively, to launch our amazing 3D tour and archive from the 2019 Annual Exhibition. Please share widely for the benefit of all”.

The virtual tour and website are created in partnership with our new sponsors smart3d.media

Please visit our new website at RUAArchive.org

Colin Davidson

Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Since graduating with a first class honours degree from the Art and Design Faculty at the University of Ulster in 1991, Colin Davidson has exhibited extensively in London, New York, Milan and across Ireland. He has been shown regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, where he has twice won awards, and has been an Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy since 2006, having won the R.U.A. Gold Medal three times and the Silver Medal twice.

Colin Davidson’s work is in public and corporate collections across Ireland, including the Arts Council for Northern Ireland, the BBC, the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, Limerick, the Office of Public Works Collection, Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland and Queen’s University, Belfast. A selection of portraits of writers and actors from Colin’s latest body of work is presently on display in the newly-reopened Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

Artist Works

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Graphite, crayon and pastel on paper

122 x 112

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Graphite, crayon and pastel on paper

122 x 112