Dennis Paul Batt

   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. He then studied at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston.
   His paintings are visual allegories, a world of dreams and fantasies brought to reality. Human forms, fish, animals, plants, and rainbows populate ethereal landscapes in prismatic profusion. Dennis works primarily in gouache. He also paints with acrylics on canvas for larger works and draws human portraits in pencil.
   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 at a 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 Conrad Grundke and saw his beautiful work. Conrad invited him to attend the Saddleback Community College Emeritus Lapidary class where he taught Dennis how to make commessi.
   Dennis has participated in numerous art shows on both the East and West coasts. He also held two separate one-man shows at the prestigious Nasrudin Gallery in Boston, as well as a one-man show at San Diego's oldest art establishment, Orr's Gallery. 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 founder and web-person for the San Diego Visual Artists Guild. Dennis also was the founder and the executive director of a charitable organization called, the Museum Artists Foundation. He is currently the co-managing trustee of the Outdoor Art Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Synergy Art Foundation. Dennis works with the committee of the San Diego Visual Arts Network. He curated an exhibition in the Parker Gallery of the Oceanside Museum of Art called Commesso: Made in America "Gemstone Fine Art." The show ran from March 2 - May 1, 2009. This is the first art museum exhibition of commesso di pietre dure e tenere created by American artists.

   In 2005 Dennis was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame in the Lapidary Division. For more information or to contact Dennis, go to his website at:

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