As the Royal Academy of Arts opens its doors today for the Summer Exhibition 2022 (21st June to 21st August), there’s even more cause for celebration as this year’s prestigious event will include artwork from Special Olympics GB athlete, leader and artist Niall Guite.   

The Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year without interruption since 1769. Pieces of artwork from all over the world are submitted and judged democratically on merit with a final selection made during the eight-day hang within the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 15,000 entries, of which around 1,200 works, in a range of media, will go on display.

Within this incredible selection of art are not one but TWO pieces of Niall’s art. With this year’s theme for the Summer Exhibition being the climate, Niall has drawn two football stadiums:  Forest Green’s new stadium – Eco Park - and the Al Janoub Stadium, one of the venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.  Both of which are designed by Zaha Hadid Architects based in London.   

All of which highlights a truly remarkable journey for Niall over the last two years and his beautiful distinctive drawings of football and sports stadiums. From what started out as a fund-raising idea to help support Special Olympics GB during lockdown has blossomed and grown into a thriving social enterprise with a host of famous supporters from across the world including world famous artist Grayson Perry who spotted Niall’s artwork on social media. 

After Grayson tweeted that he loved Niall’s art, a wonderful friendship has developed which led Grayson to invite Niall to submit an artwork to this year’s Summer Exhibition 2022.  

Gold medal winning Special Olympics GB athlete, leader and artist Niall Guite said: “I am really proud to have two pieces of my art at the Royal academy summer show, in Grayson Perry's gallery, it feels good to be part of its history and to represent people with an intellectual disabilities in this way."

Michelle Guite, Niall’s proud Mum said: “Seeing Niall’s art at the Royal academy is beyond brilliant.  Niall continues to surprise us with his achievements, and he works so hard for inclusion.  To be featured in this way is fantastic.”

Tom Casson, Athlete Leadership and Enterprise Manager at Special Olympics GB, who supports Niall with his social enterprise said: “Huge congratulations to Niall for being invited to have his artwork featured in the Royal Academy this year. It’s a massive achievement and everyone at Special Olympics GB is incredibly proud of Niall and the barriers which he continues to break down. His success is incredibly well deserved, and we are so pleased his talent is being recognised on such a world stage. The past two years have been quite a journey, when you think about where Niall started, to this point. And we have absolutely no doubt there will be more to come knowing Niall!”

If you’d like to see Niall’s artwork in place tickets for the Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition 2022 can be bought HERE

If you’d like to read more about Niall’s brilliant story, click HERE and for more information on Niall’s social enterprise, Niall Guite, Art with a Special Goal click HERE