Join North Bristol Artists

Please Note: We are currently working through our waiting list and not accepting new membership applications at this time. If you would like to be notified when places become available, please enter your email in the box. >>>

What Is North Bristol Artists?

North Bristol Artists is a group of 110 artists working in every imaginable form. There are painters, printmakers, ceramicists and sculptors. We are all based in a small area of North Bristol, stretching across Cotham, Redland, St Andrews, Bishopston, Horfield And Henleaze. The map below gives a rough guide.

How do I Join North Bristol Artists?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Submit your email address in the blue box on 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
What Happened to the Waiting List?

We reviewed the waiting list in January 2022 and were concerned about how long it had become. Our old system meant people waited a long time to join, and often circumstances had changed by the time they were eligible.

If you have already had an email confirming you are on the waiting list, your application is still in progress and you will receive priority when places become available. However, from now on, further places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can you notify me when the membership re-opens?

Please enter your email  in the blue box on this page to be notified on when we are accepting new members. We will email you with details of how to apply for membership when spaces become available.

What Support Will I Get From The Group?

You will  be given help to find a place in a venue on the trail. You will get excellent advertising of the trail and you will feature on our website and can have links to your own website. There are opportunities to exhibit at other times during the year.  You will be part of a well organised group of motivated artists. You will join a community of artists, make friends and get the chance to meet with each other to organise the trail, to socialise and network.

What Are The Expectations Of NBA Members?

All members are expected to attend meetings, to discuss management issues and changes.  Everyone takes responsibility for some aspect of the organisation towards the trail or the community work that we do.  Every member, in addition to their NBA job, delivers leaflets.

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.

How Much Does It Cost To Join?

In 2016 full membership is £50.

What Do I Get For My Membership Fees?

The fees fund the administration and organisation of the art trail including the production of 40,000 leaflets that are posted through doors and delivered to public places. Advertising and press coverage is wide ranging, targeting the whole of Bristol and stretching beyond the city as far as Bath.  All members have a presence on our website which is maintained throughout the year offering news and information about North Bristol artists and their exhibitions.  We have a very efficient email communication system that keeps artists informed, passes on relevant opportunities and information from outside agencies and protects artists from spam. We raise funds through advertising that contributes to community activities and we make the occasional charity donation.

What Are Temporary and Full Members?

Full members can remain a member and take sabbaticals for as long as they like.  Temporary members are offered the places of the full members on sabbatical. They are removed from the membership after the trail and returned to the same position that they left on the waiting list.

Do Sabbatical Members Still Pay A Membership Fee?

Yes. You will pay half the membership fee. We do this to discourage artists from holding onto a membership place year after year when other artists would like the chance to join.  We understand that every artist might like a year off but will not want to leave the group.

Why Is There a Limit On Membership Size?

We welcome new members and enjoy the diversity they bring to our group. It is important, however, that we do not get so big that we cannot manage.

As a group of artists we were delighted when our trail reached 100 artists and we celebrated its success. We meet monthly, everyone takes a share of the responsibility for organising the trail and other events during the year. We all have a say in how things are managed and everyone takes part in the decision making process. We decided to hold the membership at 110 in 2010 because the group could, potentially, get bigger every year. In order to manage a significantly larger group we would have to change the nature of what we do and how we do it.

We have a well organized administration and a number of lead artists who work very hard to make sure everything happens efficiently.  In 2008 we introduced paid sabbaticals so that new members could take up temporary membership to fill those places.

We are also aware of feedback from trails clearly indicating that the public do not want the trail to get any bigger.

When Are New Members Announced?

In January full members can renew their membership. Once they have confirmed their place by paying their fee, new  members are offered a place. At this point we know how many places are available for temporary members. We try to complete membership by May.