A HANDFUL of local artists have found national acclaim with their work being featured at The Royal Academy's annual summer exhibition.

The Dorset residents whose artwork is on display include Vanessa Gardiner from Bridport, Frances Hatch from Weymouth, Bryan Lavelle from Dorchester, Debbie Lee from Swanage, Robert Marshall from Wareham and Clive Melbourne from Sherborne.

The exhibition, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their recent work to an international audience.

This year, the 251st summer exhibition has been co-ordinated by British painter Jock McFadyen. The Royal Academy received more than 16,000 entries, eventually choosing just 1,500 to exhibit. The majority of works on display - which are presented in a range of media - are for sale, giving visitors the exclusive opportunity to purchase original art.

The summer exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year without interruption since 1769. Works from all over the world are judged on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries.

A proportion of the funds raised during the event contribute towards financing the postgraduate students at the Royal Academy schools, inspiring the next generation of artists.

Tickets to the exhibition are £18, while under-16s go free. They can be purchased on the door or online via www.royalacademy.org.uk. Sections of the exhibition can be viewed free of charge, including the Annenburg Courtyard and the new McAulay Gallery.

The display is open daily from 10am to 6pm until August 12.