Anthony J. Batten, SCA

Anthony [Tony] J. Batten

Born in Oxfordshire, England in 1940 the artist immigrated to Canada with his family as a young teen. Completing his secondary school education in Quebec he went on to  attend university while working full time in industry. He earned two degrees in “La Belle Province” before moving to Ontario in the late 1960s to further his studies at the University of Toronto. Prior to that move he had staged several solo exhibitions of his architectural sketches in Old Montreal.

In Toronto he worked for several decades as Head of Arts at a regional high school.

For periods of time he concurrently taught with the CBC’s Institute of Scenography, the Royal Ontario Museum and, as a demonstrating artist, with the University of Toronto. In the late 1980s he was also the resident artist with the Canadian School at Cambridge University. He left education in 1998 to focus on his painting career.

Elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour [CSPWC] in 1980 he had been quickly brought onto their executive team.  For a number of years he organized their annual “Open Water” competitions and then later teamed part of the Society’s exhibition program with a major performing arts company. This newly discovered field of arts-related volunteerism provided motivation for even further and wider commitments.  On being asked by the CSPWC Executive in 1985 to find a suitable permanent home for a collection of contemporary Canadian watercolours that they had compiled to mark a significant societal anniversary he was, after a thrilling exchange of correspondence, able to announce that they had been accepted by H.M. The Queen and would be installed in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. [Tony admits that being able to announce that was one of his most  memorable career “highs”.] That outcome has since developed even further so that by 2025 there will be one hundred Canadian watercolours in the permanent holdings of the Royal Collection.

In the 1990s he was elected President of the C.S.P.W.C.  Over the years A.J. Batten has been elected to a number of nationally significant visual arts organizations. These include the Society of Canadian Artists [ S.C.A.], The Ontario Society of Artists [O.S.A.] and the Federation of Canadian Artists.[ S.F.C.A.]. In 2015 he was made an Honourary Member of the S.C.A.
His work has been reproduced in magazine articles,  books,  movies, bank calendars, fund-raising greeting cards and even in an Avril Lavigne promotional concert tour video. His gift for architectural depiction also made him a “to go to” fine-art renderer even after the advent of computer generated images. He worked with some of Canada’s most distinguished architects and engineers while pursuing this demanding commercial aspect of his craft. 

Very much in a “fine art” application he is currently working on an architecture-related project where he is depicting some of the historic interiors of the Centre Block of Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings. In what he saw as a “thank you” to his adopted homeland he had approached the Houses of Parliament with the concept and they saw it as something that tied-in with the 2017 Sesquicentennial of Confederation. Taking several years to launch and get clearances to work in the historic structures this is already a career defining undertaking for the artist.  The details related to the unveiling of the resulting works are still to be considered.

In the meantime Tony continues to paint and plug away …………..

Contact Anthony J.

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