The History of VIGEX.
VIGEX is a word derived from Victoria Geelong Exhibition and is currently the only international photographic exhibition conducted in Victoria under the patronage of Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique , Photographic Society of America and Australian Photographic Society Inc.
In 1978 a Past-President of the Geelong Camera Club, Leslie James (Jim) Abrahams (1922 - 1987), proposed the idea that Geelong should conduct an International Exhibition. Jim was a man of vision and determination so he gathered a group of current and past Geelong Camera Club members to work with him - so VIGEX was born.
A Chairman was sought from the business community to guide the first organising committee, it was Phillip A. Gude who took on this role.
VIGEX was planned as a print-only biennial exhibition from the outset and has remained that way until the inaugural Digital Exhibition, 2016.
The first VIGEX International Exhibition in 1980 was displayed in the foyer of the State Government Offices in Lt. Malop Street, and it is noteworthy that every subsequent print salon until 2015 were exhibited at the Geelong Art Gallery, typically over four weeks. The first digital exhibition, 2016, was projected at Osborne House in North Geelong.
The Victorian Government was the first sponsor, soon followed by the first major private sponsor, being Alcoa of Australia Limited. Many other local and national Australian sponsors have contributed over the years, including local municipal councils.
VIGEX has always been a not for profit organisation and run solely by unpaid volunteers.
‘Friends of Vigex’ provides significant financial support and labour for each exhibition.