Press Room Details

Mentors: Inspirational Women
Featuring Viola Dominello

10 October 2013

Viola Dominello will be featured in a line-up of influential female artists brought together for the debut exhibition of the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery, Abbotsleigh, Wahroonga. 'Mentors: Inspirational Women' will be open from 13 October to 5 December 2013.

About the exhibition:

The Grace Cossington Smith Gallery at Abbotsleigh in Wahroonga will officially open to the public on Saturday 12 October. It is named in honour of artist and past student Grace Cossington Smith and is an innovation that will create a connection between art, artists and cross curricular education within the School and the local area.
Marian Clarke was Abbotsleigh’s founding Headmistress and she was also a capable watercolour painter. She established the School to educate students in all aspects of life. Her belief in education for women set a firm tradition for Abbotsleigh in valuing, mentoring and engaging students.

It is fitting that the opening exhibition in the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery presents ten female artists; Cressida Campbell, Elisabeth Cummings, Viola Dominello, Marian Drew, Cherry Hood, Lisa Jones, Janet Laurence, Julie Rrap, Sally Smart and Shona Wilson, each with a strong established practice. Through consistent exhibition programs, these artists provide positive role models and inspire others to engage in a critical reflection with artworks. Generally the idea of a mentor suggests a formal one-on-one relationship between two people, but successful mentoring also exists in informal situations. Much can be learnt from artists by viewing their exhibitions, through considering their theories, choices and decisions and their varied practical approaches.

By its very nature, the visual arts are about sharing experiences, and this inspirational group of artists has been generous in providing the opportunity for us to share their vision.


In 2005 Viola Dominello received her Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. Prior to this she studied at the University of Foreigners Siena (Italy), Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia (Italy), New York University (USA), Julian Ashton School of Art, Hornsby Technical College and the City Art Institute. Dominello received the Wynne Trustees Watercolour Prize in 2010 and in 2013 she was a finalist in the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. Since 1989 Viola Dominello has exhibited in over seventy group exhibitions and since 1993 she has had thirteen solo exhibitions including three in Venice, Italy. Dominello was awarded a Borsa di Studio Scholarship from the Italian government on two occasions (1999 & 2003) and she also received an Assistant Fellowship from Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, Italy (2000). Dominello's work is represented in many collections, including Artbank, Peabody Energy (USA) and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica (Italy) as well as numerous private collections. Dominello will have a solo exhibition at Stella Downer Fine Art in 2014.

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