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The Sipsmith Blog

Sipsmith at the Royal Academy: Why You Should Visit This Year’s Summer Exhibition

in Articles June 16, 2017
Summer Exhibition

If you ask us, exploring London’s cultural offerings is always best with a gin in hand. Read on to learn more about this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy—and about the on-site Sipsmith bar that will be keeping patrons refreshed.

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is a must for London’s culture vultures. The world’s largest open submission exhibition, it’s been a seasonal highlight for almost 250 years.

And it’s about to get even more exciting. This year, Sipsmith will be on hand to serve up a delicious array of refreshing gin serves to visitors as they amble through the galleries.

But we’re getting a few steps ahead of ourselves. To learn more about what makes the 2017 edition of the Summer Exhibition a must-visit, we chatted with Edith Devaney, the RA’s Contemporary Curator and Head of the Summer Exhibition.

Sipsmith at the Summer Exhibition

“There is sense of freshness and energy to this year’s exhibition,” says Edith Devaney, the RA’s Contemporary Curator and Head of the Summer Exhibition.

“There is sense of freshness and energy to this year’s exhibition,” she says. “This has been achieved by working hard to encourage younger artists and artists from differing backgrounds and continents to engage with the exhibition and submit work, which they have in large numbers. The effect is immediately apparent on entering the exhibition.”

Co-ordinated by Royal Academician Eileen Cooper, the 2017 edition of the exhibition—and its 1,200-odd selected works—reflects a boldness, a freshness, and a real vibrancy. Highlights include pieces by a number of international artists, as well as artworks by famous Academicians ranging from Gilbert & George and Wolfgang Tillmans to Phyllida Barlow and Bob and Roberta Smith. The large-scale Wind Sculpture VI, the work of Academician Yinka Shonibare, also extends the exhibition to the Annenberg Courtyard.

Gin and art: both made for savouring, and even better together.

With a bar located amidst the artworks, we’ll be serving up four of our signature serves, all of which are long and quenching. A British summertime staple, a classic G&T (garnished with a fresh lime wedges) is never a bad shout. For a bittersweet alternative, Sipsmith Sloe Gin and lemon tonic, served with a fresh orange wheel, is also wonderfully refreshing.

Punters can also sample a Sipsmith London Mule, made with Sipsmith’s own Sipping Vodka and ginger beer with muddled lime, or enjoy one of our favourite seasonal staples: Sipsmith London Cup, which goes down a summery treat with lemonade and a lemon wheel garnish.

And it turns out that gin and the Summer Exhibition aren’t just good pairing partners because of their shared London heritage. As Devaney says, having a gin in hand just might make the process of viewing art even more enjoyable.

“There is so much to see – it is hard to resist rushing to make it round all the galleries. A gin cocktail should help to slow the pace down, so that the works can be seen in a more relaxed way, and nothing is missed,” says Devaney.

Gin and art: both made for savouring, and even better together.

Sipsmith’s bar will be on hand for the duration of the Summer Exhibition (13th June – 20th August 2017).

Feature images © David Parry

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