Arctic Artists
Anthony Batten C.S.P.W.C.: S.F.C.A.: S.C.A - Biography

Anthony Battenview artwork


A visual artist who has exhibited his drawings and paintings on four continents. Tony is possibly best known for his work which focuses on the man-made elements of our environment. His mastery of shading and texture within the interplay of light and dark makes his work immediately identifiable.

These paintings with which the viewing public can easily connect are often of familiar streetscapes and beloved landmarks but have a unique sense of colour and life. His streetscapes of his adopted home-town, Toronto, have been widely exhibited and are to be found in many civic and corporate collections.

A past president of the CSPWC once introduced Tony as "one of the few modern interpreters of the 18th and 19th century tradition of the travelling artist” and his frequent exhibitions of work themed to his many travels would support this description. In recent years he has had the opportunity to take part in several major painting trips and the landscape as a subject has increasingly become the focus of his work.

Born: Eynsham Hall - Oxfordshire, England 1940

Christ's Hospital School - Sussex, U.K.
McMasterville School, Quebec
Museum School, Montreal (with Arthur Lismer)
Bcl. B.A. - L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Montreal
B.A. - Sir George Williams (Now Concordia University)
B.Ed - University of Toronto
Graduate studies (Art History) University of Toronto

While going to university, Tony made a number of career moves but it was while working for Canadian Industries Ltd (C-I-L) that he received corporate support for his interest in the history of the city of Montreal and his love of drawing its monuments. He was commissioned to produce a map of Old Montreal and its historic sites. This was in the days when only a handful of people actually lived in the decayed area and only a few homes had been restored. The map was widely reproduced in both official languages, and was tied in with C-I-L's restoration of the DelVecchio House and their participation in the World Fair - Expo '67. C-I-L also used his drawings in a number of convention presentations and corporate promotions. Due to his work in Old Montreal, in 1966 he was asked to sit on the board of the Montreal Historical Society.

In the mid 1960’s Tony became a member of J.A.M.M. (The Junior Assoc. of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Le Musée des Beaux – Arts de Montréal), a group that ran a number of exhibitions and social activities from the Museum’s Stable Gallery. This began his life-long involvement with arts centered volunteer activities.

He moved to Ontario in 1968 to study at the University of Toronto and after graduation decided to try teaching for a few years. Those few years turned into twenty-eight!

He initially taught at Stephen Leacock C.I., where he was a member of the art and history departments, For three years in the early 1980’s he was also involved with the C.B.C’s Institute of Scenography where he taught art history to aspiring set designers. In his spare time he worked on a number of professional theatrical events, primarily for Marlene Smith Productions, designing and painting sets and properties. Among the shows he worked on in those early days of locally developed theatre were “Tonight at 8:30”, “PIAF”, and “Dames at Sea”.

In 1985 he was appointed Head of Arts at Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate. A regular demonstrating artist in historical studies at the University of Toronto, he was asked to join the Canadian School at Cambridge University (U.K.) where for two years he was the resident art instructor and lecturer. With a small select staff, this program became one of the highlights of Tony’s academic life. He left teaching in 1998 to pursue a career as a full time painter.

While he has regularly exhibited his work and been involved with the administration of a series of cultural organizations, it was his 1980 election to the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (C.S.P.W.C.) that kick started a period of concentrated involvement in arts volunteerism. Coordinating a succession of highly profitable exhibitions that linked the C.S.P.W.C. with the National Ballet of Canada, he went on to run the Society’s annual juried exhibitions for a number of years. Asked to take charge of he 1985 Diamond Jubilee celebrations, he managed to have their juried Jubilee Collection accepted in the fabled Royal Collections. The subsequent exhibition of those sixty Canadian watercolours in the Queen’s Gallery at Windsor Castle was a major coup for the country and the C.S.P.W.C.

Elected President of the Society for the period 1993-1995, he want on to organize Phase II of the Royal Collection project when an additional fifteen works were placed at Windsor Castle to mark the C.S.P.W.C.’s seventy fifth anniversary. Tony was asked to be the guest speaker at Canada House London when HRH The Prince of Wales was on hand to accept the paintings on behalf of HM The Queen.

Still very involved with the C.S.P.W.C. and several other organizations, he encourages others to be involved in volunteerism. He sees it as a vital mentoring force and a considerable aid in getting to know other artists and other art communities. In 2002 he was the recipient of the Julius Griffith Award given by the C.S.P.W.C. to an individual who has made a sustained and unique contribution to the arts and to the society. In 2007 he was elevated to Life Member.

He continues to be called upon to lecture on the development of western art particularly the art of watercolour painting. His talks are well illustrated, relevant and frequently amusing.

Has been in numerous juried group and solo exhibitions since his initial show in 1967. Significant group shows include:
1981 - Provincetown Art Assoc. (USA)
1982, 1983 - Ontario Society of Artists
1986 - Ontario House (London, U.K.)
1988 - Queen's Gallery (Windsor Castle, U.K.)
1999 - Museo Nacional de la Acuarela (Coyoacan, Mexico)
2000 - A Brush with History (Mississauga)
2004 - Documents of Greece (Aird Gallery)
2006 - Art Gallery of Ontario (contemporary architecture show)
2005 - 2006 - Unlimited Potential (Touring Exhibition)
2006 - 2007 Arctic Quest Exhibitions
2007 - McMichael Gallery (Kleinburg). Polar Artists

Solo Exhibitions
1967 - Galerie Place Royale, Montreal
1967 - The Del Vecchio House, Montreal
1969 - Sir George Williams University Gallery, Montreal
1987, 1988 - The Whitten Gallery, King City
1988 - The Arts & Letters Club, Toronto
1993, 1994 - The Whitten Gallery, King City
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 - The O'Connor Gallery, Toronto
2007 - The O'Connor Gallery, Toronto

Among the individuals and institutions holding his work are:
H.M. The Queen, The Royal Library, Windsor Castle
H.M. Queen Elizabeth - The Queen Mother, Clarence House
HRH The Prince of Wales, Highgrove
HRH The Duke of York, Buckingham Palace
Arthur Anderson Ltd. St. Charles, Illinois, U.S.A.
City of Toronto Archives, Market Gallery Collection
Crown Life Assurance, Calgary, Alberta
De Gobeo Holdings, Brandon, Manitoba
The Gardiner Museum, Toronto
The Government of Ontario Art Collection
McMillan and Company, New York
Masterworks Foundation, Hamilton, Bermuda
The Lombard Financial Group, Toronto
The J. Pattison Group, Vancouver
The Provincial Archives of Newfoundland & Labrador
Royal Canadian Yacht Club (R.C.Y.C.), Toronto
St. John's College, Cambridge University, U.K.
The Imax Corporation, Toronto
The Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto
University Of Toronto Collections
Vancouver Maritime Museum
Hon. John Black Aird. Frm. Lt. Gov. of Ontario
Hon. Hilary Weston. Frm. Lt. Gov. of Ontario

1979 Dominion Foundries & Steel (Dofasco) Purchase Award
1981 Corporation of the City of Toronto, Purchase Award
1983 Corporation of the City of Toronto, Purchase Award
  C.K.O.C. Arts Hamilton, Purchase Award
1984 C.S.P.W.C. Award of Merit – The Curry Award
  Crown Life Assurance, Purchase Award
1985 Weber Costello Ltd., Purchase Award
  Corporation of the City of Toronto, Purchase Award
1986 Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Calendar Commission
1987 City of Toronto, “Royal Visit” Commission
  Wardair – Commission for Pearson International Airport
1988 National Ballet of Canada – Graphic Artist for the Ballet Ball
1990 Canadian General Assurance Commission
1992 Norwich Union Life Insurance Commission
1995 Lombard Canada Ltd. Commission
1996 Recipient of the A. J. Casson Medal for outstanding achievement in watercolour painting
2000 American West Airlines Commission
2002 Recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
  Recipient of the C.S.P.W.C.’s Julius Griffith Award for outstanding contributions to the Arts
2006 Corporation of the City of Toronto Purchase Award
2007 Commission for the Avril Lavigne Promotional Video - MTV
2007 Elected Life Member of the C.S.P.W.C.

Arts Organizations
• The Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, elected 1980 (President 1993-1995)
• The English Harbour group, 1991
• The Society of Canadian Artists, elected 1998
• The Federation of Canadian Artists (Signature Member 2002)
• Polar Artists Group, 2007
• The Arts & Letters Club, Toronto

Represented by
Works on paper:
• The O'Connor Gallery, Toronto 416-921-7149
Works on canvas:
Rick Moore Gallery, Naples, Florida
Kristen Scanes, Toronto 416-231-4001
Stockton Gallery, Unionville 905-948-0000

His work is also on display at Fishers Loft Inn, Port Rexton, Newfoundland

Listed in the Canadian Who's Who (2004) the "Dictionary of International Biography" (Cambridge) 2004 and "Dictionary of American Biography" (2004).

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Contact (please add "Arctic Artists" in the subject line of an email)
Anthony J. Batten
Toronto, ON Canada
Tel: 416-922-5222
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