Testament to the prestigious nature of the Camberwell Art Show, organisers have appointed three highly respected people from the art world as judges for the 53rd annual event, which will be held from July 6 to 15.

Chief judge this year will be respected artist and experienced art judge Julian Bruere who will be assisted by well-regarded contemporary artist, Denise Keele-Bedford along with Australian Artist magazine editor Helen Grant.

The 2018 Camberwell Art Show begins on the evening of Friday, 6 July, with a gala opening event and will be open to the public for viewing from Saturday, 7 July to Sunday, 15 July.

The event, which carries prizes valued at $37,500, including the best in show prize of $20,000, will be held at the Swinburne University of Technology ATC Building at 441-451 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Leading Australian boutique law firm, Parke Lawyers, is again a gold sponsor of the event.

Parke Lawyers Managing Director Jim Parke says the popularity of the awards continues to increase and the 2018 judges will have a tough job making the final selection of some 1,350 art works from the 2,500 entries expected from more than 500 artists around Australia.

The Camberwell Art Show is a centrepiece of art and culture not only for Melbourne but for all Australians, showcasing the depth of our artistic talent.

He says the high standing of the judging panel within the arts world is testament to the prestige of the awards.

“I am confident the judges will be impressed by the high calibre of entries. Selecting the winners in each category will be a difficult task in such a prestigious show,” Mr Parke says.

Chief judge Julian Bruere’s professional domain is as a painter, teacher and judge and he regularly conducts workshops and demonstrations. He also has active involvement with the Victorian Artists Society (VAS) and other art societies.

Julian is a regular exhibitor in exhibitions around Melbourne and for the past eight years has been involved with FIVE, an annual group exhibition of select VAS artists. He has been awarded The Traditional Maritime Prize at the ANL Maritime Exhibition in 2008 and 2016, was VAS Artist of the Year in 2010 and 2013, won the Kenneth Jack Memorial Award in 2010 and 2014 and was the AGRA Medallion Winner in 2013 and 2015.

He is the Victorian Vice President of the Australian Society of Marine Artists and a past Treasurer of the VAS. He is also a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute, Australian Guild of Realist Artists and Watercolour Society Victoria and is a past member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society.

Denise Keele-Bedford is an Australian artist who creates her artwork based at Stony Creek Studio in Warrandyte, Victoria, and at Huanghua Studio in Beijing, China. In 2013 she celebrated 10 years of making art in China with a solo exhibition titled Bloom of Youth, and a publication Ten Years in China.

Denise participates in many local, national and international exhibitions and undertakes many workshop programs. She is the recipient of several residency awards including Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon AIR and several commissions including Tianjin Port Authority 60th Anniversary, BHG and Cocoa Cola Art Project, Western Academy of Beijing, Willoughby Visual Art Biennial, 27 Degree East Lake Ecological Sculpture Biennial.

She is patron for Tasun Creative Art in China, secretary for the Artists 2000 Foundation, Art Consultant for Dongdong and Lulu AIR Program, Consultant for YARC Beijing/Gwangju, and an independent curator.

A qualified lawyer and veteran of the media industry, Helen Grant has been dedicated to editing and producing the 84-page monthly editions of Australian Artist, a responsibility she has held since 2006. This highly respected art education magazine features predominantly established industry professionals and has fostered a healthy number of now significant Australian artists, including many artists well known to Camberwell Art Show patrons. These include David Taylor, Joseph Zbukvic, Amanda Hyatt and many more. Helen couples her magazine work with competition judging throughout NSW and Queensland and has found her forte in close constructive criticism with an eye for unique and honed technique.

New sections, including a Best Oil/Acrylic Prize and a Best Work on Paper Prize, each carry a $3,000 prize and add to the prestige of the event. Other categories are Best in Show, Best Non-Traditional Work, Best Traditional Work, Best Non-Traditional Work under $1,500, Best Traditional Work under $1,500, Best Oil under $1,500, Best Work on Paper under $1,500 and three judges’ special awards.

A new initiative is the Boroondara Arts Encouragement Award @ Camberwell Art Show. The art show committee in partnership with the City of Boroondara has introduced this award to encourage artists who live or have studios in the Boroondara area. It will be awarded annually to an exhibitor at the show and recognises excellence in contemporary visual art.

The Camberwell Art Show is conducted by the Rotary Club of Camberwell and since 1964 the community has been the beneficiary with more than $3 million donated to the many Rotary programs at local, regional, national and international levels.

All works on show are for sale with net proceeds go to Rotary. Last year 350 paintings were sold over the 10 days and this year organisers aim to increase sales again to around 400 paintings.