Exhibition Submission Guide

If you would like to submit work to our Annual Exhibition, you may find the following guidelines helpful.


These are guidelines and not rules; exceptions to the guidelines will be at the discretion of the selection committee.

  • Framed works for consideration by the selection committee must be of a high standard of composition and draughtsmanship in any medium and on any material. The work must be executed in the miniature technique showing fine detail and brushwork, and mastery of the chosen medium. It must be of good composition and tonal balance when viewed from a distance and by virtue of its detail and fine execution must stand up to close inspection. The definition of a miniature relates as much to the fine quality of brushwork and attention to detail as it does to size. Within the space available in the cases, we try and accommodate larger frames whenever possible but paintings should always be of fine miniature quality and must not fall into the category of ‘small painting’. First-time exhibitors with the society are always welcome to contact the office prior to submitting work, sending photos or e-mailing images for advice.
  • Guidelines for Image Sizes
Rectangles 4.5 inches x 6 inches
Squares 4.5 inches
Circles 4.5 inches in diameter
Maximum area including frame, not to exceed 50 square inches.

  • Mounts and frames: Traditional miniature mounts, if any, should not be pure white, must be accurately cut and within 1.5” all round. There is no restriction on the size of the moulding of a frame, but excessively heavy frames may be rejected if the selection committee feels they are unnecessary or detrimental to the painting. Frames should be of high quality, clean and in keeping with the picture, and they should hold their contents securely. Frames for traditional miniatures must not have any protrusions on the backs or sides of miniature frames. The artist’s name, the medium used and the title of the painting, should be clearly shown on a label on the reverse of the painting. All works should have a securely fitted hanging ring or D-ring positioned close to the top of the frame.

  • Glass: Glass if any, must be clean on both sides. Non-reflective glass is not accepted.
  • No subject may be larger than life. Head portraits must be no larger than 2” and this includes ears etc. but does not include built up hairstyles, hats or head-dresses. Animal and bird portrait heads for inclusion as traditional miniatures must also be no larger than 2”and this includes ears, crests and beaks.
  • Portraits (commissioned works) may be submitted Not For Sale (N.F.S.) for Exhibition only, but artists offering NFS portraits are encouraged also to submit a non-commissioned work of similar value for sale.

  • Sculpture (original or part of a limited edition) Works should not exceed 10 inches in any dimension. Consideration should be given to the subject matter and appropriate scale. The artist must indicate whether the piece is an original or part of a limited edition run. If the sculpture is part of a limited edition run, please detail how many pieces are available for sale and the total number of edition copies.

  • Cards and Limited Edition Reproductions may be submitted by members for sale. All limited edition reproductions must be mounted, appropriately wrapped and priced. They should be signed and numbered. Only miniatures of original size will be accepted. Overall presentation must be to a high standard. When completing your cards and reproductions form please include a list of designs with numbers and relevant prices (to closest fifty pence). The form and items for sale must be submitted together with your parcel. Cards must also be individually labelled and priced; unlabelled items will not be accepted.


  • Selection of work for the Exhibition is at the discretion of the Selection Committee and its decision is final. If you would like a critique of your work, please tick the box on the Exhibition Entry form. If you wish to discuss your work at any time during the Exhibition, please contact a member of the Council or speak to the Sales Desk. Work submitted for the Exhibition is always subject to selection. 

  • HS status: Any Artist Member who wishes to attain HS status and has had three or more miniatures accepted for two consecutive years, or eight paintings over a three year period, can be considered for full HS status. This is subject to the Selection Committee’s approval and is by no means automatic. Members who are awarded full HS status receive a certificate and are entitled to use the initials HS after their name. They are also entitled to have their own page on the Hilliard Society website. If you have met the criteria and wish to qualify for HS, please tick the box at the bottom of the Exhibition Entry form. Continued entitlement to use ‘HS’ requires work to be submitted at least every third year to maintain confidence in the standard of work produced. When considering applications for HS status, the Selection Committee will take into the consideration the fact that it was not possible to hold an Exhibition in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.


All payments must be made in pounds sterling. 

  • Artist Members whose current annual subscriptions are up to date may submit work and there is no limit to the number of works that can be submitted. The Entry Fee is £7 per work for the first four items and then £3 per work. This covers handling and administrative costs and is non-refundable.
  • Non-Members may submit up to three miniature works for the Exhibition at an Entry Fee of £15 per work. £10 of this covers handling and administrative costs and is non-refundable. The remaining £5 is a hanging fee which is refundable for any work which is not accepted. 
  • Return Delivery Costs At the end of the live Exhibition at Wells Town Hall, the Society will return to the artist all work which was either not selected or remains unsold. Any artists who want their work returned by post must add the cost of return postage/packaging to their Entry Fee. Work will be returned by Royal Mail Special delivery with £1000 compensation.

  • UK Artists 
For UK Parcels sent in weighing up to 2kg Add £12 to the Entry Fee
For UK Parcels sent in weighing over 2kg Add £20 to the Entry Fee
If all of an artists’ paintings are sold, the Society will reimburse the cost of postage to the artist along with the money from the sales. The Society will also reimburse a proportion of the cost of return postage if it is significantly less than the artist has paid (£10 or more).

  • Overseas Artists
There is a considerable range of costs for sending international parcels. So artists sending work from outside the UK will be billed for the cost of return postage when their accounts are settled at the end of the Exhibition. Please allow six weeks from end of Exhibition for the return of work.


The Exhibition will also take place on dedicated pages of the Hilliard Society’s website. Artwork will be on display on the website and will be available for sale online after the live Exhibition has ended. If you do not want your work to be displayed on the website, please inform us when you submit your work.


A commission will be taken by the Hilliard Society to cover the Exhibition costs and for the sole benefit of the Society. The   percentages taken are as follows: 

  • Original artwork in the live or online Exhibition: 30% of the selling price + 3% handling charge for credit cards and Paypal.
  • Cards and limited edition reproductions: 20% + 3% handling charge as above
  • Commissions of new work from introductions made at the live or online Exhibition: 30% + 3% handling charge as above. This applies only to the first commission an artist receives from a buyer.


All work must be for sale except those portraits entered under the “Not for sale” rule, and no work should be submitted for a sale price of less than £100. All listed prices should include the potential cost of delivery to the buyer. The pricing at the live and online exhibitions must be the same. Where the Hilliard Society is responsible for posting a painting to a buyer (eg. after the Exhibition),
we will use Royal Mail Special delivery with £1000 compensation. We will deduct the cost of this and any packaging before transferring payment to the artist. Where the artist is responsible for posting a painting to a buyer, we recommend that they use a
guaranteed and trackable service. 

  • When you are pricing your work you should therefore allow for:

Hilliard Society commission and handling charge

Cost of delivery bearing in mind that it might be overseas and the artist may be responsible for this after the live Exhibition.

How to Enter

All entry forms are available for download on the Exhibition Info page prior to the Exhibition. NB: If you are an overseas exhibitor, please send see separate Instructions for Overseas Exhibitors.
The Entry form must be completed and returned to the Executive Secretary. Your work must then be sent to the Executive Secretary in a separate parcel with a copy of your Entry Form. It should be posted to arrive between the hand -in dates shown on the Entry form. Parcels can arrive ahead of the arrival date, but work cannot be considered for the Exhibition if it arrives late.

  • Methods of payment: You must pay your Entry Fee and Return Postage costs when you submit your work. You can pay either by cheque or by transferring the money directly into the Hilliard Society Bank account. (Full details on the Entry form).

Other Information

  • Insurance: Whilst the majority of paintings are displayed in locked cases throughout the Exhibition in secured/alarmed premises, exhibitors are responsible for insuring their work both during the transit and Exhibition.
  • Payment and Work Sold: Payment from the Exhibition will be made by the Society within one calendar month of the Exhibition closing date.