St Kevin’s Art Show is an annual non-acquisitive art prize exhibition of contemporary art by emerging and established Australian artists.
Hosted by St Kevin’s College in Toorak, Melbourne, the Art Show has a long and proud history as one of the longest running exhibitions of its type in the country.
The St Kevin’s Art Show was established in 1971 by a College parent, art lover and ‘‘artist of amateur greatness’’ Mrs Audrey Culliver. The exhibition was originally conceived to expose the work of tonal-realist landscape and still-life painters to a new audience, with the added benefit of being a fundraiser for the College. Over the years, the exhibition grew in both scale and ambition, exhibiting more than 600 artworks at its peak, and it became a sought-after event for artists from around the country.
In 2017, the St Kevin’s Art Show was dramatically reshaped by a visual arts industry professional with more than 20 years of experience working with contemporary artists. The remodeled award places greater emphasis on professional contemporary practices by emerging and early-mid career artists.
In addition to being an art prize, St Kevin’s Art Show is a fundraising exhibition, with all exhibited artworks being for sale. Artists receive 75% of sales proceeds and the 25% sales commission contributes toward a range of college and philanthropic projects. In 2017 and 2018, half of the funds raised were directed to the St Kevin’s College Foundation, a foundation which provides bursaries and scholarships to boys who may not otherwise have the means to receive a St Kevin’s College education.
The exhibition is promoted through the St Kevin’s College community of more than 2,000 families as well as through alumni and community networks. Community boards are supported by numerous real estate agents and placed throughout 25 suburbs for one month prior to the exhibition, mostly in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne resulting in high visitation throughout the four day event.