The Royal Drawing School presents an exhibition of works by recent graduates of its full scholarship postgraduate programme, The Drawing Year. This exhibition, the culmination of an intensively taught MA-level postgraduate course, takes place at the School’s Shoreditch headquarters.
Students exhibiting work include Olivia Kemp, who has been awarded The Jealous Prize and exhibited at various galleries including the Saatchi Gallery, The National Gallery and also Hyde Park Corner Tube Station; Pia Bramley, who has worked as an illustrator for The New York Times and London Fashion Week and Oliver McConnie who has had work exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, Somerset House and APT Gallery.
Prizes at the opening night were given by the School’s External Assessment Board, chaired by Andrea Rose, previously Head of Visual Arts at the British Council for over 20 years. The Board also includes Sydney Picasso, art writer and daughter of Pablo Picasso; Graham Southern, founder of Haunch of Venison and Blain Southern galleries; and Professor Andrew Stahl, Head of Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art.
The Royal Drawing School was founded in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales and Catherine Goodman, Artistic Director and painter, with the help of a distinguished group of artists including Christopher Le Brun PRA, Humphrey Ocean RA, Timothy Hyman RA and John Lessore. Since then the School has grown to incorporate a foundation course, international artists residencies, and a rich programme of drawing courses teaching over 1,000 adults and 250 children each week, with The Drawing Year remaining at the heart of its academic offer.
All thirty students of The Drawing Year receive free tuition, their own studio space and access to 108 different courses over the year, from life drawing to drawing London by night and graphic novels. The faculty, made up of over 55 distinguished practising artists, includes Julian Bell, William Feaver, James Lloyd and Sarah Pickstone. Visiting artists include Grayson Perry RA, Tracey Emin RA, Sir Peter Blake, Michael Landy RA and David Hockney RA.
Alumni of the Royal Drawing School’s Drawing Year include BP Portrait Award winning artists Stuart Pearson Wright and Carl Randall; Catherine Story, one of five artists selected to feature in Tate Britain’s recent ‘Painting Now’ show; Louise Yates, author-illustrator of the New York Times Bestselling picturebook ‘Dog Loves Books’; Poppy Chancellor, an illustrator and papercut artist who has been commissioned by Adidas, Hobbs and Cath Kidston; and Kristian Fletcher, two-time Jerwood Drawing Prize Student Award winner, who came to the arts after ten years working as a scaffolder.
On 18 November 2014 it was announced that The Prince’s Drawing School has been granted the use of the title ‘Royal’ and was renamed The Royal Drawing School. Permission to use the title 'Royal' is a mark of favour granted by The Sovereign which in this case recognises the School’s academic and artistic excellence and its international importance as a specialist resource for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities who wish to develop their observational drawing. It serves to reinforce the Royal Drawing School’s position as a respected and integral part of the art education landscape, addressing a permanent need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK.