Camberwell Art Show sits alongside the Archibald Prize in terms of prestige but organisers are not resting on their laurels. The introduction of new sections and initiatives this year are aimed at ensuring the 53rd annual event continues to appeal to artists throughout Australia.

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. Leading Australian boutique law firm, Parke Lawyers, is again delighted to be a gold sponsor.

The event will be held at the Swinburne University of Technology ATC Building at 441-451 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, with more than 500 of Australia’s leading artists vying for prizes valued at $37,500, including a best in show prize of $20,000.

Parke Lawyers Managing Director Mr Jim Parke says the event has established a fine reputation among Australia’s arts scene and this will be enhanced this year with new sections, including a

Best Oil/Acrylic Prize and a Best Work On Paper Prize. Both new categories carry a $3,000 prize.

He says they add to the prestige of the event, which will again include 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 for 2018 will be the Boroondara Arts Encouragement Award @ Camberwell Art Show. The Camberwell 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 new award celebrates and promotes local artists by providing a unique opportunity to exhibit works in the foyer of the Hawthorn Arts Centre. This non-acquisitive award will be judged by the Camberwell Art Show judging panel.

To be eligible for the award the exhibitor must be a current exhibitor in the Camberwell Art Show and must live or have a studio in the City of Boroondara.

The winner of the award will be offered an exhibition of two-dimensional works in the foyer of Hawthorn Arts Centre, in the following calendar year. Timing for the exhibition will coincide with the Camberwell Rotary Art Show.

As well as the new entry categories, Mr Parke says he is excited to see the program is also being revamped in order to attract more patrons throughout the show and have them spend more time in the gallery.

“The Gala Opening on the first Friday is always a major drawcard and the organisers have added to this with more events throughout the following week.”

The evenings have been set aside as special nights. On Monday there is scheduled a community event in conjunction with Australian Food Allergy Association. Local Rotary Clubs have been invited to conduct a fellowship evening at the art show during the course of the week.

Parke Lawyers and Bendigo Community Bank will also host a special evening for their invited guests.

The popular artist demonstration events will see 10 artists in action during the show, while artist day on Monday will again be a popular event and is free for all artists who entered the show.

All works on show are for sale with net proceeds 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.

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.

There will be up to 2500 works submitted and a panel of judges led by respected artist and judge Julian Bruere, will select 1350 paintings to be displayed in the show.