Apollo Bay Art Show Turns 40!

As we head into the 40th year of the Apollo Bay Art Show, it is a wonderful time to get together, reflect and celebrate this achievement. There have been hundreds of volunteers over the years that work hard behind the scenes to bring this show to the Apollo Bay community every summer. This year we are expanding to include two venue’s. The Senior Citizens Centre & Arts Inc. Gallery will host our exhibition and we have opened up the genres to encourage more artists in our region, to enter. All profits made by the Art Show are re-distributed within the Apollo Bay community in support of the ‘arts’. The current committee is excited about the ‘Boxing Day Opening Night’ – @ Senior Citizens Centre 6-8pm, Monday 26th December, to share stories, be entertained by local musicians and be amazed by the artistic talents of local artists. Hope to see you there!

Words by Nattie Murray, Apollo Bay Art Show Administrator


In 2010 the Apollo Bay Historical Society announced to the community that their annual summer Art Show was folding as they could no longer meet the demand of running the Art Show and the Apollo Bay Cable Museum. Apollo Bay Arts Inc responded to the surprise announcement. As secretary at the time, I put out a call to our members seeking interest in running the show. Members of Arts Inc had a long association with the art show volunteering help with the hanging and sitting. As an arts group we didn’t want to see the town lose this avenue for creativity. A small dedicated team came forward to take on the task of running the 34th Art Show under the Arts Inc banner with a list of supporters that would help during the ten day show.

Taking the Apollo Bay Art Show in to its 34th year meant that all the ground work had been done for us. The Art Show was firmly established and highly regarded among artists and visitors so there was no need to change its format. We were handed an exceptional booklet detailing how to run the show. It included everything from entry forms, to catalogue printing, to hall set up and so much more. We fondly referred to it as the Art Show Bible. It was a fantastic handover from the Historical Society and we are especially grateful that the support didn’t end once we had taken over. Members of the Historical Society have given ongoing support volunteering their time during the event and most importantly finding space at their museum for storing our large display panels, lighting and more.

Coming in to the Art Show’s 40th year is a great milestone. It may only be the seventh year with Arts Inc as hosts but our part in keeping the tradition alive gives us cause for celebration. I’ve been a part of the art show team during this time and can confidently say that the foundations put in place by the Historical Society are still the heart of the show. Keeping the ten day format from Boxing Day into the New Year plus a low commission on sales (20%) are key features that bring artists and visitors back each summer. It has worked to keep things simple. We have only made minor changes in response to technology and the environment. Entry forms can now be filled out online, we can communicate with artists and volunteers online and visitors actively recycle the show catalogue. It’s progress without altering the charm.

Each year we look forward to seeing what our new and returning artists bring on receiving day. It’s one of my favourite days as you can be guaranteed that there will be something to suit everyone’s taste in art. We often comment that there is something for everyone at the Apollo Bay Art Show. So if you haven’t been before then make sure you come along this year to see the impressive range of original artworks on display.

Words by Jo Forrest, current Apollo Bay Art Show Committee Member


In 1976, Jean Berry and Bob Davis with his wife the late, Nan Davis organised the first Apollo Bay Painting and Pottery Exhibition as a fund raising event for the Apollo Bay Historical Society.  For the next few years Jean, Bob and Nan organised and ran the show, which raised many thousands of dollars for the Historical Society. Together they  contributed so much to the development of the society and the establishment of the Apollo Bay Museum.

Each year they were pleased to welcome back many of the best local and regional artists until the exhibits filled the available space.  Each year they successfully sold a significant proportion of the work displayed.

The exhibition they founded, now known as the Apollo Bay Art Show

continues to enjoy the strong support of local and regional artists and the buying public.

Words by Ted Stuckey, Apollo Bay Historical Society current member



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