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Onley, Toni (1928-2004)
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Toni Onley was born in Douglas, Isle of Man, on November 20, 1928. He studied painting at the Douglas School of Fine Arts and was later a student of architecture for two years. He came to Canada in 1948 and studied at the Doon School of Fine Arts, Doon, Ontario. In 1958, he was awarded a scholarship to the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he studied with Mexican artist James Pinto (1907-1987). Pinto's abstract impressionistic paintings inspired him to experiment with non-objective painting and collage, and later to produce his major period of abstract painting in the sixties. He then lived in Vancouver, B.C. and in September 1966 went to live in Victoria where he taught in the Department of Fine Art at the University of Victoria.
His work is part of many public collections around the world, including the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Library of Congress, Washington; National Gallery of Canada; Canada Council Art Bank; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Bishop's University.
He died in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2004.
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Excerpted from Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Permanent Collection, 1968 ,and Gallery 78, Fredericton New Brunswick, "Artists of British Columbia" Exhibition, March, 1990, pamphlets.