The firm has formed a partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts’ RA Schools, to provide financial backing to a post-graduate student through their course. Stewarts will also act as the headline sponsor for, and award a prize at, the Royal Academy Schools end of year shows from 2021 to 2023.

Two graduating students received prizes in the RA Schools Show 2020×21 (so named after the event’s postponement in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

The winners were selected by Stewarts’ Managing Partner John Cahill and partner Helen Ward. Both students will receive prize money to help establish their careers after three years of study in the RA Schools postgraduate programme. The firm’s offices will also host an exhibition of their work.


John Cahill said:

“Helen and I had great fun selecting our prize winners Paul and Jenkin. The huge difference between the artists’ output was a fitting testament to the diversity of the contemporary artwork presented at the exhibition. To say more would spoil the surprise when we host their work in the office, hopefully in the late autumn. Get ready to be challenged!”


The RA Schools Show 2020×21 winners

Paul Barlow makes paintings and drawings that revolve around ideas of looking and seeing, the fragmentary, the muffled, the stand in and the in between.

He was included among 35 up and coming artists in the New Contemporaries class of 2020 and has exhibited his work in London, Porto, Sheffield and Newcastle.

Paul Barlow_Installation view_RA Schools Show 2020x1_2021_Photo Andy Keate

Paul Barlow installation view RA Schools Show 2020×2021. Photo © Andy Keate


Jenkin van Zyl has recently undertaken guerrilla filmmaking projects on the ruins of Hollywood movie sets, with fantastical communities enacting bewildering rituals that play with the limitations and expansiveness of the body.

Van Zyl’s art often involves elaborate use of cosmetics; he was interviewed by Vogue in 2020 as part of the ‘Extreme Beauty’ series.

Jenkin Van Zyl,Machines of Love, 2020/1, Installation view, RA Schools Show, Royal Academy of Arts, 16 June - 2nd July, 2021, Photo © Andy Keate

Jenkin Van Zyl,Machines of Love, 2020/1, Installation view, RA Schools Show, Royal Academy of Arts, 16 June – 2nd July, 2021, Photo © Andy Keate


RA Schools Show 2020×21 took place at the Weston Studio, McAulay Gallery and RA Schools Studios in London from 17 June-4 July 2021. Sixteen artists made their work public having recently completed their four years of study.


Student sponsorship

The Stewarts Foundation is supporting an RA Schools student through the postgraduate programme with a scholarship and bursary funding.

Though enrolment at RA Schools is free and offers some financial assistance, such as for course materials, London living and study expenses are not fully included by default.

Additional sponsorship from the firm will provide the chosen student with greater freedom to explore their creativity without material constraints.

This has been especially helpful throughout the lockdown periods of 2020 and 2021, where access to RA Schools facilities have been unavoidably restricted; the pandemic has been a challenging time for the arts and culture as a whole.


More on RA Schools

Founded in 1769, the Royal Academy Schools offers postgraduate courses for a select number of art students each year.

The programme includes direct teaching through lectures and tutorials as well as group discussions and presentations by leading figures in the art world. Students also get access to facilities for photography, ceramics, woodwork, sculpture and more.

Historical Royal Academy graduates include William Blake and JMW Turner, and more recently Rebecca Ackroyd, Eddie Peake and Sophie Ryder.



The Stewarts Foundation

Since our inception in 1990, Stewarts have been actively involved in supporting a variety of charities. The Stewarts Foundation was set up in 2010 to formalise and manage the firm’s charitable giving. To date, the Foundation has donated nearly £7m to over 210 charities. You can find out more about The Stewarts Foundation here.



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