Melanie Bellis

The US Embassy makes it to the Royal Academy Summer ExhibitionUS Embassy 2016

Artist and student at Putney School of Art and Design, Melanie Bellis, has been selected for the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Bellis’ celebrates London’s architecture through drawing urban spaces and transforming them into atmospheric etchings. Recent work includes contrasts of new construction alongside old established buildings, this inspiration drew her to the Nine Elms site where the new US Embassy is being constructed. The drawing was turned into an expressive etching which was selected by the Royal Academy for the 2016 Summer exhibition.


Melanie Bellis explains:

‘My work is urban, I’m drawn to buildings that are changing either under construction, or derelict and decaying. I drew this image of the new US Embassy towards the end of 2015 over a number of weekends. I had to adapt and rework the drawing as the building changed from one sitting to the next.  I then produced this print at evening class at Putney School of Art and Design using a mixture of different etching techniques including hard and soft ground etching.’

You can view Melanie’s piece at the Royal Academy from Monday 13 June until Sunday 21 August.


Melanie Bellis

Course studied: Etching Class at Putney School of Art and Design

Title: US Embassy Construction Site, Nine Elms

Medium used: Etching

The etching is of the US Embassy, Nine Elms, near Vauxhall

Dates of the Royal Academy: Saturday 13 June – Sunday 21 August 2016

The Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD


Nine Elms

As the major regeneration of Nine Elms on the South Bank progresses at a pace, the area is rapidly shaping up to become one of London’s most innovative and vibrant quarters.

The new Nine Elms Park will add to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and a new stretch of the River Thames Walk, lined with cafes, bars shops and galleries which will give the area a rich mix of culture and green space just a few minutes from Westminster and the City.

The area will also benefit from two new Tube stations, new schools, two town centres, around 4,000 affordable homes, health centres, a high-speed data network for businesses, a second River Bus pier and a new cycling and pedestrian network.

Other key attractions in the pipeline will included a revived Battersea Power Station, the new  Dutch embassy  and a new centre for London’s foodies at New Covent Garden.

The district is being shaped by world leading architects, developers and planners to create a truly mixed-use district with real city centre vitality.

Find out more at


Putney School of Art and Design

Putney School of Art and Design is managed and delivered by Enable Leisure and Culture on behalf of Wandsworth Council.

Putney School of Art and Design was originally founded in 1883, and has been in Oxford Road, Putney since 1895. The main benefactor of the original Victorian school was Sir William Lancaster, an eminent local politician and philanthropist.

With over 100 courses each term there is plenty to choose from, whether you are a beginner wanting to learn the basics of drawing, or and experienced student needing studio time and the advice of an expert tutor. PSAD offers taster courses at the beginning of each term if you are at all uncertain about committing yourself to a full term. Also look out for our half term and summer school intensive courses over 3 – 5 days.

Enable Leisure and Culture is a company limited by guarantee, applying for charitable status and is partner to Wandsworth Council’s commitment to deliver first class leisure and culture services. As a Public Service Mutual, it is a form of social enterprise that manages and delivers the arts, bereavement services, parks, sports facilities, events, the film office, public halls and Putney School of Art and Design across Wandsworth on behalf of Wandsworth Council.

For further information visit for the latest updates and news follow us on twitter @enablelc


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