29 March to 6 April 2024 

Apollo Bay Art Show Background

The Apollo Bay Art Show first opened its doors in 1976 when Jean Berry along with Bob and Nan Davis, as members of the local Historical Society, took up the suggestion of Freda Amor to hold an art show fundraiser for the society.

The very first show – Apollo Bay Painting and Pottery Exhibition – was held in the old Butter Factory in Hardy Street and was a resounding success. It then moved to the Catholic School in Noel Street before settling into its home at the Catholic Church Hall in Trafalgar Street where it was an annual fixture for over 30 years. The Show successfully raised many thousands of dollars for the Historical Society, and each year many of the best local and regional artists were welcomed back with exhibits filling the available space.

Apollo Bay Arts took over the running of the show in 2010 and moved the Show to its current location in the Senior Citizens Hall in Whelan St in December 2015. Panels were modified to this new space and the arts community has adopted this space as home of the Art Show each year ever since.

As the local Arts Council, Apollo Bay Arts Inc, views the show as a good opportunity to both fundraise in support of local arts projects and to encourage a new generation of artists in their practice. In the 10 years of managing the show, many changes have been introduced as it has evolved. New co-ordinators in 2018-19 introduced the concept of selling unframed artworks and introducing 3D and sculptural pieces along with the more traditional paintings, drawings and photographs.


The current committee encourages local and regional artists to produce a diverse range of works to exhibit each year and aims to gradually improve the facilities available to display these works. The venue of the Senior Citizens Hall was recently re-vamped with funds from a Fire Ready grant along with a contribution from Colac Otway Shire. The new kitchen and the replacement of the large windows in the Hall area provide added value to the space for future Art Shows.

The Show is well-known in the region as one that displays quality works of first-time exhibitors, emerging artists, through to well-known established artists. Traditionally, sales are good, selling 20 – 30% of hung works. Funds raised from the Art Show over the years have enabled Apollo Bay Arts to provide grants for local arts projects, to the local school and kindergarten, and to Studio Forrest. Projects funded include sculpture, jewellery making, excursions, annual Art Prize, mentorship, video footage, life drawing classes, local mural projects and prizes for the Art Section of the Apollo Bay & District Agricultural Show

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About Apollo Bay Arts Inc

Apollo Bay Arts Inc. is a not-for-profit group of volunteers with a passion for all kinds of art. As an Arts Council, it aims to enhance the quality of life for Apollo Bay & District residents through promotion of activities in all art forms; assist local artists; and bring artistic performances to Apollo Bay.

Formed in 1985 and incorporated in 1994, the Arts Council took over the running of the show in 2010 from the local Historical Society. The Show moved to its current location in the Senior Citizens Hall in December 2015. You can contact us by email apollobayartshow@gmail.com

Current Committee

Caroline Williams
Helen Bender
Kelly Murphy
Sarah Doyle