History of the Art Show

The Whitehorse Art Show has grown from a local community event in 1970 to now being one of the longest running Art Shows in Victoria, with some 500 to 700 original works on display each year.

The Whitehorse Art Show will this year attract well between 900-1000 visitors during its four days, in addition to the many guests at our opening night dinner.

The Rotary Club of Box Hill Burwood has been running the Art Show since 1964.

Funds raised by the Whitehorse Art Show are totally used for a variety of community projects within the City of Whitehorse.

The show will display work from more than 150 local and regional artists from all over Victoria, with painting sales well in excess of $35,000 each year. Since 2018 the Art Show now also has a photographic section.

The Art Show concept was the brainchild of one of the Rotarians of the day - Mr Ted Shaw, a physiotherapist. The initiation of the Art Show was framed in the form of a challenge to Ted by members of the Board to provide a list of 30 names of the local artists, who would exhibit their works.

Ted accepted the challenge and in no short order made a presentation to the Rotary Club Board, listing the name and address of the requisite number of artists.

Thus, the first Box Hill Rotary Art Show was held – not in the Box Hill Town Hall as today's show is, but on the median strip in the Box Hill Shopping Centre- the area currently occupied by the tram terminus.

From humble beginnings the first Art Show was conducted in 1965 and remained at its original site for 24 years, before being brought inside to the Box Hill Town Hall in 1990.

Ted passed away in 2006, and is well remembered for his contributions to the Club and the Rotary District, but always as the father of the Box Hill Burwood Rotary Art Show

In 1994, Rotarian Colin Johnson and Past President John Binns, both members of The Rotary Club of Box Hill, held discussions with Kath Mangan - daughter of Frederick McCubbin - and, as a result of these discussions, the Rotary Club was granted permission to strike the Frederick McCubbin medallion, which to this day remains the prestigious award presented to the artist whose work is judged “Best In Show”.

The 26th conferring of the award was made at the Rotary Club of Box Hill's 55th Anniversary Art Show conducted in November 2019

The Whitehorse Art Show continues to this day to offer the opportunity for artists to sell their paintings - upholding the tradition of the very first Art Show in 1965.

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