Camberwell Art Show exhibiting artworks for 52 years

Australia’s biggest art show opens on July 7 at Melbourne’s Swinburne University Advanced Technologies Centre in Burwood Road, Hawthorn for its 52nd year showcasing many of Australia’s most talented artists’ work.

The Camberwell Art Show sits alongside the Archibald show as the most acclaimed art show in Australia, exhibiting some 1400 works from July 7-16.

The show is the masterpiece major event of the Camberwell Rotary Club attracting more than 7000 visitors annually to this prestigious event. The club began the event in 1966 at the Camberwell Grammar School having been preceded by two Antique and Art shows. The 1966 show featured an unprecedented 1042 artworks for the first time show.

The show’s principal objective was the acquisition of artworks as a basis for a collection for the City of Camberwell (now City of Boroondara) and its citizens.

The show’s history is testimony to the quality and selection of art works and its constant evolving to meet the needs of the day. Many of its exhibiting artists have gone on to receive national and world acclaim.

In 1969, the show formed the launch of Camberwell Town Hall. That year the exhibition featured 1357 works.

In 2010 and 2011 the Camberwell Art Show moved to the Caulfield Racecourse due to the redevelopment of the Camberwell Town Hall.

In 2012 the opportunity arose to return the art show to its roots in Boroondara at the Hawthorn Town Hall. Major renovations at the town hall in 2013 brought the art show to its current location at Swinburne University Advanced Technologies Centre. The ATC building at Swinburne with its massive glass edifice and impressive facilities is popular with artists and attendees.

By 1972, the show grew to receiving 2000 entries. A Study Grant Prize was instituted that year and its first winner was David Taylor, whose works have become well known. The art show entries peaked in 1983 when more than 4000 entries were received.

By 1990, the City of Camberwell had received 50 artworks from the show, prompting Rotary International to award the Rotary Club of Camberwell its first district Significant Achievement Award.

In 1993, Melbourne businessman, arts benefactor and philanthropist Harold Mitchell AC became patron of the Camberwell Rotary Art Show.

More recently, other show developments have been an online entry system for artworks. A selection and judging panel reviews and assesses all works submitted and decides which works will be invited to exhibit at each art show. The process ensures a high quality selection of artworks is exhibited at the Camberwell Art Show.

The show’s judges have included Sir William Dargie, Paul Fitzgerald, Harold Freeman, Karlis Mednis, Herman Pekel, Robert Wade, David Taylor, Ern Trembath, Kath Ballard, Colin Johnson, Carole Milton, Gillian Peebles and two international judges, Ian Houston and Richard Stone.

The City of Boroondara has supported the art show since its inception and in 1999 The Herald Sun became the Art Show’s major sponsor. This year the show has attracted one of Melbourne’s leading law firms, Parke Lawyers as its gold sponsor.

Parke Lawyers Managing Director Jim Parke says: “The Camberwell Art Show is a centrepiece of art and culture not only for Melbourne but for all Australians, showcasing our great talent.

Parke Lawyers commends what the Rotary Club of Camberwell has achieved in the more than 50 years of this show. We are pleased to be the gold sponsor of an event run by a committed group of volunteers and where all funds raised are channelled back into communities making them stronger and better places to live,” Mr Parke said.

Other major sponsors are Bendigo Community Bank, Bayford Motors Group, Art Wines, Deans Art and Boroondara Arts Centre.