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Student Showcase Archive

Stewarts RCA Secret 2018: Support the Next Generation of Artists and Designers

The RCA’s annual anonymous postcard exhibition and fundraising sale, Stewarts RCA Secret, has finally arrived. From 1–3 of December over 1,800 postcard-sized artworks will be displayed in the College’s Senior Common Room in Kensington. Each postcard will be available for a £60 donation to the RCA Fund, offering members of the public the opportunity to treat themselves, or find a very unique Christmas present for someone special, with a gift that also supports the next generation of art and design talent.

Established in 1994, Stewarts RCA Secret is London’s original postcard exhibition. Each year it offers an opportunity for budding collectors, art and design fans and connoisseurs to add to their collections. Unique artworks by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, illustrators and designers, as well as up-and-coming graduates and students from the College are available. The only catch is that the identity of the creators is a closely guarded secret, revealed only once a £60 donation is made.

Confirmed contributors this year include Turner Prize-winning artists Grayson Perry and Jeremy Deller, conceptual artist Ryan Gander, contemporary artist Bob and Roberta Smith, painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, and Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park. Esteemed alumni of the College that have contributed postcards include film director Sir Ridley Scott, photomontage artist Peter Kennard – who is also RCA Senior Tutor in Photography – ceramicist Magdalene Odundo, sculptor Alison Wilding and artist Celia Hempton.

Every contribution to Stewarts RCA Secret is an original artwork, produced with the same rigour as any other work by the maker. Although restricted to being postcard sized, the subject matter and approaches vary widely, from photography and collage, to drawing, painting, and even sculpture and embroidery.

Contributors in previous years include renowned alumni and friends of the College such as David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Stella McCartney, David Bailey, Sir James Dyson, Tracey Emin, Norman Foster, Anish Kapoor, Jarvis Cocker, Steve McQueen, Gerhard Richter, Zandra Rhodes, Sir Paul Smith and Yinka Shonibare.

All proceeds go to the RCA Fund, which supports the next generation of RCA students at a formative time in their careers. The RCA Fund ensures that the best students can access an RCA education regardless of their background or financial circumstances. It focuses on the greatest area of need at the College, providing a long term, sustainable source of income that is used to support a range of projects benefiting students. By alleviating financial hardship, the fund allows students to fully engage with their course, improving the academic quality of the work produced and the reputation of the RCA.

Stewarts RCA Secret will be open for viewing from Friday 30 November at the RCA’s Kensington campus. Supporters will have the opportunity to purchase their artworks from Saturday 1 December to Monday 3 December.

Images of all artworks in the exhibition will be released online from 9am on Thursday 29 November, 24 hours before the exhibition opens to the public. In order to purchase an artwork, supporters must register on the RCA Secret website to obtain a buyer’s ID. Buyers will be able to purchase their chosen artworks, initially capped at four per buyer, throughout the exhibition from 1 to 3 December. On the last day of the exhibition, everyone will be welcome to come back and choose unlimited artworks.

Artworks can be collected in person on the collection day, Thursday 6 December, or posted once the exhibition has closed.