Donald R. Pentz

Artist Info

Born:  Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Studied:  Mount Allison University B.F.A. 1996
University of Regina M.F.A. 1979
Banff School of Fine Arts Summer, 1979

Artist's Biography

A resident of Halifax, NS, Don Pentz is a graduate of Mt. Allison University (BFA '66) and the University of Regina (MFA '79). An elected member of the Royal Candian Academy (RCA) and the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC), Pentz has also received awards from the Canada Council, Nova Scotia Talent Trust, Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Nova Scotia Arts Council.

His work has been exhibited across Canada, in parts of the United States and as far afield as England, Japan, Cuba, China and France. He is a founding member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) and in 2007 was inducted into the VANS Honour Roll.

Artist Statement

The "ENIGMA LANDSCAPE" paintings have been an on-going series for the past several years. They depict a land in upheaval___eroded by the elements, ripped open by earthquake, scarred by glacial movement; a land that has been stressed, at least in the artist's imagination. In fact, they are landscapes of the imagination, not site-specific to any particular geographic location.

Simple in composition (a sky area, horizon line and a land mass) there is no attempt made to portray the land realistically. One reads the painted and stained texture as something rock-like or tundra-looking or cliff-face, but these areas appear more by accident than design. It could be said that these textured paintings are landscapes disguised as abstracts. Viewers are free to see whatever type of landscape the painted surface suggests to them.

What informs my art and image-making - the land: it's colour, texture, rhythms and geological strata. I make no attempt to copy but rather to interpret or adopt from its shapes and stains.

My "landscapes" derive from a uniting of geological place and the landscapes of my imagination. They come into being through a non-objective process of working and over-painting the texture of the canvas surface. Paint is pushed, scrubbed, scraped and thinned to washes, somewhat irritating the natural elements that have shaped and stained the land. Through the manipulation of material I am drawn toward an unseen image until something begins to appear out of the scars, scrapes and pigments that have been left behind.

Black seemed like the ideal bare-bones choice to give expression to the simplified forms and rhythms found in Nature. Black has power and versatility and by limiting the palette to just it plus earth stain, I'm attempting to give a visual voice to its dark strength.

The painted image is made up of a sky area and a land mass, separated by a horizontal line. This gives the over-all composition its connection to landscape. I embark upon a painting as though on a journey. Creative satisfaction derives not so much from arriving at the finished image but from what is discovered and invented along the way. Acting as my own force of nature, I work the textured surface much like a glacier plowing and gouging its way over raw land. Like glacial striations, the image of marks and stains I leave behind is the record of my journey.

D. Pentz

Awards & Recognition

1967 Maritime Art Assoc.__Centennial Award for Best Painting
1972 maritime Art Assoc.__Purchase Award for Best Painting
1975 Professional Artists Award (NS Cov.): Study in Europe
1976 Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy (R.C.A.)
1978 Arts Award: Saskatchewan Arts Board
Nova Scotia Talent Trust
1979 Twining Scholarship: Banff School of Fine Arts
1980 Canada Council Grant
1982 Parks Canada Commission
1985 "Wings Upon the Wind" Commission: Bradford Exchange
2000 Canada Council Travel Grant
2002 Nova Scotia Arts Council "Creation" Grant
Elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (C.S.P.W.C.)
Woolfit Award: "Open Water" Exhib. (C.S.P.W.C.)
2007 Inducted into the Visual Arts NS Honour Roll


Canada Council Art Bank Nova Scotia Art Bank
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Imperial (ESSO) Oil
Shell Canada Husky Oil
St. Mary's University Confederation Center Art Gallery
Mount St. Vincent University St. Francis Xavier University
Mount Allison University University of Regina
Sun Life of Canada Trans-Maritime Quebec Pipeline
Teleglobe Canada Royal Bank of Canada
Bowater Mersey Pulp & Paper Parks Canada
Fraser Co. Pulp & Paper NS Dept. of Natural Resources
Coopers & Lybrand The Great Eastern Corporation, Ltd.
Maritime Tel & Tel Acadia University
Maritime Broadcasting Corp. Irving Ltd.
American Museum of Fly Fishing Cdn. Soc. of Painters in Water Colour
Osaka Foundation of Culture Lt. Gov. of NS: Government House
Beaverbrook Art Gallery Calgary Marriott Hotel
Glenbow Museum Louhu Cultural Center, China
New Brunswick Art Bank


Solo Exhibitions

1967 Atlantic Provinces Art Circuit
1968 Wells Gallery, Ottawa
Atlantic Provinces Art Circuit
1970 DesBrisay Museum, Bridgewater, NS
1971 Shaw-Rimmington Art Gallery, Toronto
1972 Wells Gallery, Ottawa
1974 Memorial University Art Gallery, NFLD
New Brunswick Museum, St. John, NB
1975 St. Mary's University, Halifax, NS
DesBrisay Museum, Bridgewater, NS
1976 Manuge Galleries, Halifax, NS
1978 Subway Gallery, Calgary, AB
1979 Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS
1980 Dresden Galleries, Halifax, NS
Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
1981 Dresden Galleries, Halifax, NS
1984 Gallery 67, Halifax, NS
1985 Gallery 67, Halifax, NS
1986 Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
DesBrisay Meseum, Bridgewater, NS
Atlantic Salmon Federation, Montreal, QC
1987 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
1988 Fraser Company, Edmunston, NB
1989 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
La Galerie Continentale, Montreal, QC
1991 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
1995 Moorings Gallery, Mahone Bay, NS
1998 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
1999 Kejimkujik National Park, NS
2000 Southern Vermont Arts Center, Vermont
Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
Studio 21, Halifax, NS
2001 Trinity Gallery, St. John, NB
2004 Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
2006 Agnes Bugera Gallery, Edmonton, AB
Fog Forest Gallery, Sackville, NB
CBC Georges Goguen Gallery, Moncton, NB
Kejimkujik National Park, NS
Trinity Galleries, St. John, NB
Artz Gallery, Halifax, NS
2007 Wallace Galleries, Calgary, AB
Studio 21, Halifax, NS
2008 Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
2009 Gallery of Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, NS
Gallery 78, Fredericton, NB
2010 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
Kejimkujik National Park , NS
2012 St. FX University Gallery, NS
2013 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
Retrospective 2013, Grange Gallery, NS Archives, Halifax, NS

Group Exhibitions

1967 Maritime Art Association
Survey '67, Montreal, QC
EXPO '67, Monreal, QC
1968 New Brunswick Prints & Drawings
Atlantic Awards Show
Canadian Society of Graphic Art
1972 Maritime Art Association
1974 Mount St. Vincent University Art Gallery (Artist's Media)
Nova Scotia x 15
1975 Nova Scotia Art Bank
1976 Scollard Gallery, Toronto, ON
OLYMPICS (Canada), Montreal 
Graphics Atlantic
1978 University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (Young Artists of the Prairies)
1980 Nova Scotia Art Bank
"Moncton Collects", University of Moncton, NB
"Emerging Canadian Artists", Muttart Gallery, Calgary, AB
Shell Canada, "Atlantic Artists", Calgary, AB
Gallery Pascal, Toronto, ON
1982 Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
Dresden Galleries, "Reunion 3", Halifax, NS
1984 Fraser Cultural Centre, NS
R.C.A. '84, Holland College, PEI
"Ars Scara", Halifax, NS
University of Regina, "Anniversary Show", Regina, SK
1985 "The Art of Interpretation", Parks Canada, Halifax, NS
1986 Conclave '86, New Brunswick
Visual Arts NS "10 Years", Halifax, NS
1987 Windsor Wildlife Exhibition
1988 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
Bowater's "Wildlife Exhib." Zwickers Gallery, Halifax, NS
Lunenburg Art Gallery "Fish Exhib."
1989 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
"Atque Ars", Sackville, NB
1990 Miramichi Salmon Museum, Doaktown, NB
Atlantic Waterfowl Festival, Sackville, NB
Osaka Triennale '90, Osaka, Japan
1991 American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, Vermont
Gallery 78, Fredericton, NB
1996 "Far & Wide", Visual Arts Nova Scotia
Studio 21, Halifax, NS
1998 Visual Arts NS, DesBrisay Museum, Bridgewater, NS
1999 Studio 21, Halifax, NS
Trinity Galleries, St. John, NB
2000 Trinity Galleries, St. John, NB
2001 Fog Forest Gallery, Sackville, NB
2002 Sattler Studio & Gallery "Colour & Light", Nova Scotia
C.S.P.W.C. "Open Water", Halifax, NS
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS
2003 Galerie Conseil General du Pay-de-Dome, France
2004 "Atlantic Water Colour Showcase" Gov. House, NS
"Coastal Scenes" Art Sales & Rental (AGNS)
2005 Homer Watson Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON
Galeria de Art Auturo Regeiro, Cuba
"Endless Possibilities" Roberts Gallery, Toronto, ON
2006 Stewart Hall Art Gallery, Pointe Claire, QC
The Prairie Art Gallery, Grand Prairie, AB
McMullen Gallery, Edmonton, AB
Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery, Markham, ON
2007 Cdn. Society of Painters in Water Colour, Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS
2008 "BIG CANVAS" Wallace Galleries, Calgary, AB
2009 C.S.P.W.C. Regional Exhib. St. FX Art Gallery, NS
Fog Forest Gallery, Sackville, NB
50th Anniversary Exhib. Beaverbrook Art Gallery, NB
2010 C.S.P.W.C. Regional Exhib. Inverness Art Centre
Sattler Studio and Gallery, Nova Scotia
2012 Black and Blue (2-person exhib.) Acadia University, NS
Black and Blue, Cape Breton University, NS
Black and Blue, St. FX Art Gallery, NS
2013 Black and Blue, Truro Community College, NS
Black and Blue, Artsplace, Annapolis Royal, NS
2014 Boucher & Pentz, Yarmouth Co. Museum, NS
Louhu Cultural Center, Shenzhen, China