Toni Onley (1928-2004)

Dolman's Bay
Dolman's Bay, 1980
oil on board, 20" × 24"
Mount Tarawera, N.Z.
Mount Tarawera, N.Z.
oil on board, 20" × 24"
River to the Sea
River to the Sea, 1980
oil on board, 20" × 24"

Slideshow

Toni Onley (1928-2004) – Artist Biography

Toni Onley came to Canada in 1948 (he was born in Isle of Man, Ireland) and settled for a time at Brantford, Ontario. Onley took further study at the Doon School of Fine Art in 1951 under Carl Schaefer. In his early work Onley was influenced by British painters John Cotman and Peter DeWint and created traditional landscapes. He married Brantford art critic and amateur painter Mary Burrows in 1950 and they had two daughters Jennifer (b.1951) and Lynn (b.1954). He worked at a variety of jobs in order to support his family. In 1955, exhibiting in the Western Ontario Annual show of artists under 27, he won an award for his work. He exhibited as well with the Royal Canadian Academy, The Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colours and his work attracted the attention of art critics.

In his collage work he did a Polar series numbered from one to over forty. These works on large canvases in cool colours of blue, black, grey, green, etc., drew favourable comments from critics and his Polar #1 won the $2,000 Royal Canadian Academy Zacks Award given to an artist at the society's annual exhibition. With this award Onley studied in London, England, while the award-winning painting was presented to the Tate Gallery having been selected by Sir John Rothenstein (Director of the Tate) as the painting he would like to have for his gallery from the 1963 RCA showing. During this period he studied etching and began to produce work in this medium as an extension of his painting.

His awards include: Scholarship, Instituto Allende 1957; Canada Council Grant 1961,1963; Jessie Dow Award at Montreal Spring Show, 1960; one of seven artists to show at the Paris Biennial, 1961; Spring Purchase Award (MMFA), 1962; Canadian Biennials exhibitor 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1968; Sam & Ayola Zacks Award, RCA Annual, 1963; Canada Coucil Senior Fellowship, 1964.

— Biography by Colin S. MacDonald © 1997

Awards

  • Toni was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, 1999.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. This retrospective of his artwork is on display from 25 November 2016 to 17 April 2017.

(Photo credit: Kim Griffiths) Click here for more details.