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Sir William Dobell Honoured With New Arts Festival

One of Lake Macquarie’s most famous names has inspired a new month-long celebration of art and performance. Starting on 1 June, the Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival will be a month-long celebration of art and creativity, shaped by the works and life of Lake Macquarie’s most famous artist, Sir William Dobell.


Lake Macquarie City Council Lifelong Learning and Engagement Coordinator Jess Dowdell said the festival would explore passion, innovation, fringe arts, experimentation and creative excellence – all central to Dobell’s work.

“Dobell was a pioneer in his day, breaking the rules and creating new styles,” she said.

“The Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival is all about allowing creatives to engage with communities and explore their passions.”

The festival includes art events, exhibitions, workshops and performances at venues across the City.

Highlights include: BILL: A musical tribute to William Dobell, an evening of music held at Rathmines Theatre on Friday 11 June; Dobell for Kids at Rathmines Theatre on Sunday 13 June; Real Worlds: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2020 exhibition of eight contemporary artists at the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC), Lake Macquarie, open throughout June and Your Collection, William Dobell at MAC, featuring nine of Dobell’s works from the 1950's–60's.

“The Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival brings together so many different creative events across the City, from community groups to professional performers,” Ms Dowdell said.

“This makes it a festival for the community, by the community.”

Sir William Dobell was one of Australia’s most celebrated portrait and landscape artists of the 20th century, winning the Archibald Prize in 1943, 1948 and 1959, and the Wynne Prize in 1948. He settled in Wangi Wangi in 1945 and lived there until his death in 1970.

For full festival details, visit


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