Eltham Art Show, 2023

Words by Hank Tyler and Copperline

Ocean Might, Venus Bay by Greg Allen. Photo by Dale Atkins

The second annual Eltham Art Show was another huge success for Rotary. The event, led by Brenda Ibels and a team of volunteers presented a diverse range of styles among the 524 artworks, created by 170 artists.  

Another dimension to this year’s art show was a plein air painting challenge facilitated by the Victorian Artists Society (VAS). Participating artists painted at various recognisable locations in Nillumbik in a three hour painting session. VAS judges selected 20 works to be included in the show. Nina Volk was selected as the winner of the plein air painting challenge. Also new this year is the 3D works being exhibited offsite at Montsalvat. Lyndel Wischer, Arts Manager, Montsalvat said “Eltham Rotary and Montsalvat are very pleased to collaborate and present 3D art in the Residents Gallery and Courtyard”.

3D Judges Kevin White, Lynda Jorgensen, Lyndel Wischer, JD Muttman.
Photo by Ian Toohill

The Art Show’s gala opening at the Eltham Community and Reception Centre was attended by more than 250 art enthusiasts and supporters. Ibels said “Artists in the shire contributed a wide range of significant artwork to this year’s show. The help of more than 50 volunteers contributed to the show’s success”.  Mike Englefield of Eltham Rotary welcomed the guests and thanked the artists who contributed their artwork, and the 21 sponsors who financially support the show.

A total prize pool of $21,450 was won by artists across mediums. Artwork was judged by Paul McDonald Smith OAM; a past president of the VAS as well as the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. In announcing the Best in Show winning work, McDonald Smith said he could not go past Greg Allen’s Ocean Might, Venus Bay for its technique, execution and splendour. The Best Contemporary prize went to Sheryl Lewis for her work Hill at Kangaroo Ground and Fiona Bilbrough won Best Oil for Bumper Harvest

Denise Keele-Bedford, winner of First Prize for Sculpture for Hard Baked.
Photo by Hank Tyler

Judges of the sculptures, ceramics, glass and jewellery were: eminent ceramic artist, Kevin White, whose work is held in prestigious collections throughout the world; Montsalvat Board Member, Lynda Jorgensen and  JD Mittman, curator at Burrinja Cultural Centre. Winner of the Best Sculpture prize is Denise Keele-Bedford with her work Hard Baked

Visit elthamartshow.org.au to see the full list of prize winners.