About us

Scarborough ArtShow

25 years young

A community-run event

We are a community-run event that is facilitated by the Scarborough Public School P&C and run entirely by volunteers. Parents, teachers, art-loving locals and our children all contribute their time and energy to support our school and our wonderful local artistic community. Thanks also to all of our exhibiting artists who generously donate a commission to our school from the sales of their work.

A little Art Show history…

The Scarborough Art Show began 25 years ago, with the first show in 1998. Paulineke (Pol) Balez and her husband Didier are both local artists and their daughter Rachelle was in her final year at Scarborough School at the time. Growing up in Oyster Bay as a young girl Pol remembered her primary school being transformed into a gallery for a weekend show and thought it would be a wonderful idea for Scarborough Public School. Didier was keen to move away from selling lamingtons, chocolates and socks for school fundraising…and so the seeds for a Scarborough Art Show were sown!

Thanks to the the efforts of the School Principal at the time, Dave Martin, and another dedicated parent, Catriona Caw, the idea came to fruition and with a host of wonderful school parents the inaugural Scarborough Art Show took place. They arranged for many wonderful local artists to exhibit and sell their art and craft. Flowers were bought early in the morning from the Flemington flower markets, a cellist played at the opening, students from Bulli High helped serve food, parents cooked and sold wine, art and raffle tickets, the children’s artwork was framed, sanded and limewashed, banners were fixed, artists donated their original works for raffle prizes - so many talented and willing hands made the exhibition happen. The glowing report from the school newsletter at the time describes the effort for each art show since … inspirational levels of thought, energy, planning and effort”.

Scarborough Public School is a heritage building on the edge of a cliff by the sea. The school maintains strong links to the local community of arts-based professions and a strong art based curriculum. This first exhibition included a wide array of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper including etchings, lithographs, linocut and woodblock prints, as well as photography, ceramics, jewellery and glass works, and this wealth of different styles has continued in shows since then.

The Art Show has grown over the years and has included many first-time artists as well as Archibald finalists. Its a wonderful event that brings together a whole community of parents, staff and artists who work to raise funds for the students and create an exhibition space for many artists. Pol Balez has also returned in several recent years to help curate the event. Didiers winged boat sculpture overlooking the sea near Coledale Hospital is a monument to a local teacher Mike Dwyer. Mike was an avid supporter of public education, and the sculpture is a fitting reminder of the importance of education, art and community, which is embodied so beautifully in the annual Scarborough Art Show. 

by Shane Adams, Polineke Polkamp-Balez and Melissa Barnard

Artworks (L-R):