Welcome to North Bristol Artists
For over 20 years, North Bristol Artists has welcomed professional and amateur artists alike across Bishopston, St Andrews, Redland, Montpelier, Ashley Down, Horfield and Henleaze. As well as our annual trail, we run a number of smaller exhibitions as well as social events. Keep reading to find out more about how to join us and what being part of North Bristol Artists is like.
Who Are We?
North Bristol Artists is a group of 110 artists working in every imaginable form. There are painters, printmakers, ceramicists and sculptors, as well as artists creating mixed media installations, textile art, photography and jewellery.
We are all based in a small area of North Bristol, centred around the Gloucester Road. Click the link below to see a map of the area we cover.
Image by Robin Page
We have recently changed the way new members join North Bristol Artists. Prospective members should sign up for our notification list using the form below. When spaces become available, we will email the whole list with details of how to apply. Places will be allocated based on the order the application forms are received, with the window automatically closing once places are filled.
If you wish to join North Bristol Artists, please submit your email below to be notified next time memberships are available.
How do I join NBA?
We no longer operate a waiting list, as many people waited years to join and often circumstances changed before they got to the top of the list. From 2022, we have changed to a membership window system.
The joining process is as follows:
- Check you are eligible – we only accept artists who live or have a studio within our catchment area. This map gives a rough guide to our area. Read the other FAQs on this page too to get an idea of what you can expect from joining North Bristol Artists.
- Submit your email address in the blue box at the top of this page. This will put you on our membership alert list. You could also check back here regularly as we’ll also be posting details on our website when we have places available.
- We renew existing memberships in January/February each year. We then have spare places based on the number of members who resign their membership or choose to take a sabbatical year.
- Check your email (or the website) regularly in March/April. We will send an email stating when memberships open (eg – next Wednesday at 5pm, open for 10 days) with a link to the online application form. Once the membership window opens, we will accept new applications on a first come first served basis, until we run out of places or close the window.
Do I need to submit work to join?
No. We have open access and accept both first-time exhibitors and experienced artists. It is one of the things that makes the trail varied and interesting. We welcome both professional and amateur artists equally.
What are the membership fees?
Full members pay £70 per year. This fee covers the cost of running the trail, such as buying banners, designing and printing leaflets and maps, and maintaining the website and virtual galleries. We also raise additional funds for marketing costs through sponsorship and advertising.
What are temporary members?
Full members can remain a member but take sabbaticals from the trail for up to 2 years. Temporary members are offered the places of the full members on sabbatical. Temporary members get priority when full places open up.
What are the benefits of joining NBA?
For many artists the main benefit of joining NBA is the community. Networking with the wider group brings friendship, new creative ideas and chances to collaborate. As well as your fellow artists, the annual trail is a great opportunity to interact with the wider Bristol community and share your art.
All NBA members get the marketing power of our well-established trail, with several artists and their work being featured in regional press each year. For the annual trail we organise several group venues and can help you to find a place to exhibit if you cannot show at home. Since 2020, we have also created annual online galleries showcasing members’ work, which have been viewed around the world.
We also run several other exhibitions throughout the year and can help you publicise your own shows on our website and mailing list. NBA is also frequently contacted by other organisations looking for artists, such as open exhibition calls, design briefs and community commissions. We pass these on to all our members, so joining NBA is a great way to find out about local creative opportunities.
Every NBA member has the opportunity to create a profile on our website, which can link to your own website and social media accounts. Sabbatical members who are not exhibiting this year keep their NBA website profiles, so this is a great way of starting an online presence for your art. We have active social media feeds, and aim to feature every artist in the group on them. If you are on social media, please tag NBA in your posts so we can tag you back!
What are the expectations of NBA members?
To organise the trail successfully, we need artists to stay up-to-date with what is happening. We ask that members attend the two All-Artists meetings each year, and reply promptly to emails; for example, we cannot include you in the printed leaflet if we cannot confirm your details. We mainly use email and What’sApp to communicate, so you will need to add NBA to your contacts so you don’t miss our messages.
All members get a profile on our website and get featured on our social media feeds. We ask that you keep your website profile up to date and support fellow NBA artists on social media by liking and commenting on posts.
Almost all of the work for the trail is done by volunteers, and planning for next year’s trail starts almost as soon as we finish this year’s trail. As a result, we expect every member to help out and contribute at least 5 hours per year carrying out tasks necessary to run a successful Art Trail. We also expect every member to help distribute leaflets in late October and November.
Why is there a limit on membership size?
While we are keen to welcome as many artists as possible to the group, we also need to keep things manageable. With over 100 artists across more than 50 venues, the trail is already large and only the most dedicated visitor could hope to see it all within one weekend. We want to preserve the community feel of the trail, and hope by keeping the group at around 120 artists there is enough diversity for everyone to find some like-minded artists, but small enough that we can all be involved and contribute.