Home Contact | Advertising Subscribe
Search Listings
Alberta British Columbia Oregon Washington
Exhibition Previews
Gallery Websites
Conservation Corner

To find gallery listings use search at page top right.


Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers
September 2013
Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers

Audain Art Museum
June 2013
Siting an Art Museum in a Forest

Gordon Smith Gallery
November 2012
Boosting the Profile of Artists for Kids

September 2012
From glacial meltwater to contemporary art

Morris & Helen Belkin Gallery
June 2012
Professional curators of contemporary art were once as scarce as hen's teeth

Equinox Gallery
April 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Equinox Gallery
February 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Jacana Gallery
November 2011
Nothing is certain but death and taxes

Satellite Gallery
September 2011
Hope springs eternal

June 2011
The Hotel Waldorf

April 2011
Education for the eye,
soul and mind

February 2011
Fine art inkjet prints
are here to stay

November 2010
SAAG endows the old
with new possibilities

September 2010

June 2010

April 2010

February 2010

November 2009

September 2009

June 2009

April 2009

February 2009

September 2008

April 2008

February 2008

November 2007

September 2007

June 2007

April 2007

February 2007

November 2006

September 2006

June 2006

April 2006

February 2006

November 2005

September 2005

June 2005

April 2005

February 2005

November 2004

September 2004

June 2004

Gallery Views

The Robert Bateman Centre


The Robert Bateman Centre, on the Victoria waterfront

The Robert Bateman Centre, located in a 1924 neoclassical building on the waterfront in Victoria, displays the largest exhibit of original works by the popular wildlife artist

A recent daytrip to Victoria, where I lived many years ago, reminded me of the extreme picturesqueness of the city’s Inner Harbour. Clearly, other visitors to the place needed no such memory tweaking. Throngs of tourists made their way from the southern edge of downtown, passing the vine-covered Empress Hotel, the totem poles outside the Royal BC Museum, and the beautifully groomed lawns and gardens of the provincial legislature. They made their way past vendors selling jewellery, basketry and small carvings, too, and others hawking sightseeing bus tours, horse-drawn carriage rides and whale-watching expeditions. The size and determination of the crowds astonished me.

Smartly positioned on the waterfront – and along this well-trodden path – is the Robert Bateman Centre. Located at 470 Belleville Street in a handsomely renovated heritage building, the centre opened last May on its featured artist’s 83rd birthday. If there had been any doubts about the local popularity of this internationally known wildlife artist, they were dispelled by the 3,000 people who visited the place on its opening weekend. The Robert Bateman Centre offers the largest-ever showing of the Salt Spring Island artist’s works: some 160 paintings, drawings and reproductions are on view in eight distinctly themed galleries, complemented by multi-media and interactive digital components. Installed on the top floor of the 1924 neoclassical building, which was originally designed as a steamship terminal by Francis Rattenbury and P.L. James, the centre chronicles Bateman’s long career, highlights his achievements and emphasizes his devotion to educating adults and children about the importance of our relationship with the natural world.

Among the works on view: wildlife paintings Bateman produced as a youth in Toronto, when he was already a devotee of nature and its creatures; depictions of rural subjects, such as old barns in snowy fields, influenced by the American realist painter Andrew Wyeth; and surprisingly abstract works in the manner of the New York School. More familiar are the paintings devoted to African subjects, including the intensely observed and highly detailed images of elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs and other great beasts that launched Bateman’s career as a wildlife artist. A gallery devoted to paintings of birds expresses his enduring fondness for these feathered creatures. Visitors to this gallery will also hear birdsong recorded by Salt Spring Islanders John and Heather Neville. Mammals in the human-altered landscape and creatures endangered by over-fishing, oil spills, resource exploitation and global climate change are also represented here.

When the centre opened, Bateman told the CBC that he hoped it would both “guard his legacy and advance his environmental message.” The centre’s admission revenues are intended to fund the Bateman Foundation, a national, not-for-profit charity that supports educational programs promoting an understanding of the natural world and, again, highlighting the importance of our relationship with it.


Art Services & Materials