Dennis was born on April 20, 1952 in Woonsocket, South Dakota. His family moved to Massachusetts during his youth. A year of living in Istanbul, Turkey imbued him with a sense of universal harmony. There he started painting and developed an original style using complex geometric patterns to represent natural objects. Dennis worked primarily in gouache, but paints with acrylics on canvas for larger works. He also draws portraits in pencil.
He received his education at the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston and exhibited in several one-person, invitational, and juried exhibitions both locally and nationally.
In February of 1976 Dennis noticed a “Lapidary Journal” with a commesso (intarsia) on the cover. He immediately saw a style similar to his own and realized that stone was an ideal media for him. He then left Boston and moved to San Diego, California where coincidently both his family and the “Lapidary Journal” were located.
For 18 years while working as a commercial artist Dennis collected articles on commessi. He even got to meet William Grundke in 1984 at the Pacifica Gem Show in Long Beach, California, where he saw his first commesso; William’s magnificent “Silent Night”. In 1994 at the local Vista Gem Show Dennis met William’s son, Conrad Grundke and saw his beautiful artwork. Conrad invited him to attend the Saddleback Community College Emeritus Lapidary class where he taught Dennis how to make commessi.To see more of this type of work check out this site that Dennis and Conrad created: www.americanmastersofstone.com. In 2005 Dennis was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame in the Lapidary division.
His paintings have been sold to many national and international collectors; and now Dennis has added the Commesso di pietre dure e tenere to his repertoire.
Dennis is a Past-President of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild and a former trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art. He is the author of "The Living History of the Guild" and creator of and contributor to a cutting-edge online magazine called www.artistsezine.com.
Now a long-term resident of Carlsbad, California, he is currently a trust committee member of the newly created Outdoor Art Foundation. He also serves on the boards of COFAC (Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura - Border Council of Arts & Culture), and the Synergy Art Foundation. Dennis works with the committees of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, Center for the Arts Escondido Museum Strategic Planning Committee, and the Oceanside Museum of Art Artists Alliance. He is the founder and web-person for the San Diego Visual Artists Guild. Dennis also is the founder and the executive director of the Museum Artists Foundation (MAF).
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS
Senator Edward Brooke (R. Mass.) 2/5/74
“Dennis Paul Batt’s bold exciting ‘Vibrations’ bespeaks a powerful, original artist at work”.
Richard Dymond “New England Business Journal” 6/25/74
“These paintings are poly-chromatic: colors laid side by side in flawlessly engineered geometric configurations… The individual patches of color seem to vibrate like the strings of a harp trembling long after the last chord has become audible”.
Mary Lou Kelly “Christian Science Monitor” 5/18/76
“His most distinctive compositions are horizontal rows signifying land, water, and sky, each decorated with repeated details such as mountains, waves, and clouds, often garnished with one or more figures”.
Richard Reilly “The San Diego Union” 3/27/77
“Gouache is a difficult technique, but one that is particularly suited to the work of Dennis Batt, for his compositions draw one’s attentions to the freshness and lightness of ‘things’… all creating a unique harmony of colors, rendered with the artist’s own stylization”.
Jan Jennings “The San Diego Evening Tribune” 1/19/79
“Dennis Batt plays with a myriad of disciplines in visual expression… Particularly impressive are his renderings of interiors where he juggles the inspirations of Picasso, Pollock, and Vaserely, as well as primitive influence and comes up with strong compositions, which invite eye movement all over the canvas… he fuses a variety of artistic approaches, he is also cunning enough to blend them skillfully and gracefully… In each of Batt’s paintings there is precision and color modulation”.