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.
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.
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.
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.
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
He is currently the co-managing trustee of
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: www.dennispaulbatt.com.