The Royal West Of England Academy
Opulent but not stuffy, this is the grand dame of the Bristol art world with a traditional, British focus
Located in an impressive, grade II listed building at the top of Clifton Triangle, the RWA has been in situ for more than 150 years. It’s the place to come if marble stairs, opulent ceilings and award-winning deli cafés are your bag. With the Queen as head patron, this gallery is comfortably classical, exhibiting work from across the UK.
Although it’s a tad old school, it’s actually not too stuffy. In some exhibitions, fine art mediums sit comfortably alongside work composed in earth and charcoal, or eerie sculptures constructed from steel and bone-white sycamore. It’s all fairly safe art from established artists, and crowd-pleasing exhibitions such as the recent British Wildlife Photography Awards show.
True to the word ‘academy’, it’s increasingly big on education. Interested in embroidery, ink or collage? There are hands-on workshops for that, or longer evening courses with local artists and poets to improve your drawing or creative writing.