Tony Urquhart - Arts and Culture Wall of Fame

Tony Urquhart picture

Award winning artist Anthony (Tony) Morse Urquhart was born in Niagara Falls in 1934 and lived here for 26
years. He has had a varied and successful arts career spanning almost 60 years. Many of his paintings were
inspired by landscapes of the Niagara Region. In 1965 he painted 13 murals for the Skylon Tower and in 1969
he created a bas relief of Niagara Falls with six daredevils for Queen’s Park, Toronto.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, Urquhart was recognized as one of Canada’s pioneer abstract artists, having had his
first show at the progressive Isaacs Gallery in Toronto when he still a student. From 1960 to 1965 he was the
first artist in residence and curator of the McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario. As curator,
he launched the works of Greg Curnoe, Walter Redinger, Ed Zelenak, and John B. Boyle. He spent the next 27
years of his teaching career as a professor of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo.
Urquhart makes frequent trips to Europe looking for a different visual experience which inspired his opening
box sculpture series. Tony also works as a book illustrator with authors including, Michael Ondaatje, Matt
Cohen, Louis Dudek, Rohinton Mistry, and his wife Jane Urquhart as well. His work is in most Canadian Public
Galleries including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. He also has work in several
international galleries including New York’s Museum of Modern Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum in
London, England; The Hirshhorn Collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Along with Jack Chambers and Kim Ondaatje he was a founding member of Canadian Artists Representation
(CAR/FAC), which established a fee structure for museum and gallery exhibitions. Tony was named to the
Order of Canada in 1995 and later won a Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts in 2009.