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Toni Onley: Plein-Air
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 2-5pm
This exhibition celebrates a selection of works by Toni Onley from around the world. He often painted watercolors from the pontoon of his plane; always seeing the beauty in landscape and challenged by the watercolour medium. Born of the Isle of Man Toni Onley always painted watercolour, even as a child, and went to art school at the age of 14. He was influenced by English painters; J.M.W. Turner and Archibald Knox.
Onley has made a mark on Canadian history and has exhibited internationally and across Canada.
A multi-awarded Canadian art legend and recipient of the Order of Canada, Toni Onley is best known for his watercolour landscapes of Canada’s West Coast. Born on the Isle of Man, he was influenced by traditional English landscape painters, particularly J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and Archibald Knox (1864-1933). He emigrated to Canada in 1948, studying first at the Doon School of Fine Art in Ontario.
After moving to British Columbia in 1955, Onley was awarded a scholarship to the Institute Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There he studied under James Pinto (1907-1987) whose abstract impressionistic paintings inspired him to experiment with non-objective painting and collage, and later to produce his major period of abstract painting during 1961-1965.