There are thousands of art events that take place in London each year, and you can't see all of them every year, right? Right. But the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition should be an exception – you should really make an effort to go to this one every year because it's the world's largest open-submission exhibition. This means that if you make art in any way shape or form then you're welcome to submit your work to the exhibition – and around 12,000 people a year take this opportunity. So the collection that eventually goes on show is very varied indeed. Very varied in a very excellent way.
Since 1769, without interruption, the RA's Summer Exhibition has been an opportunity to see new and recent works by established names, and the best works by emerging and as yet unknown artists, and works by members of the Royal Academy itself. The reason for the first exhibitions was to raise money to help finance the training of the young artists coming up though the schools, and this is exactly where the money raised by the show still goes today. Paintings, prints, photos, sculpture and architecture are all welcome here, and quite a lot of it's for sale, so if your space needs decorating and you're not sure what you like then this exhibition is an opportunity to look at a lot of art and see what you're drawn to.
Some years the exhibition has a theme but this year they're presenting everything salon style, so that means even more art for your entry fee: with works in the main gallery hung all in together in a visually dense but rich way, from the picture rail to the dado rail.
Artists from 27 different countries submitted work this year, and Danish painter, Per Kirkeby's work will be some that you'll notice: it's got pride of place alongside Keith Tyson's apocalyptic painting Deep Impact.
Christopher Le Brun is co-ordinating this year's exhibition, with help from Michael Craig-Martin RA in the main hanging galleries, Piers Gough in the Architecture Room and Chris Orr in the Print Room.