The Hamilton Spectator, Feb. 26, 03 By Paul Legall
Bateman dashed off the pen and ink sketch in seconds as he autographed
his new book.
drawing shows a turkey vulture soaring over a sheer cliff that juts
out of the Niagara Escarpment at Rattlesnake Point.
the sketch in his new book, Birds, "the view from my studio." Then he
donated it to Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE).
enlisted Bateman's help in its campaign to block a superhighway they
say would cut a wide swath through the Niagara Escarpment and destroy
farms, small communities and plant and animal life in the Niagara peninsula.
the Mid-Peninsula Highway, the proposed road would form a 130-kilometre
link between Burlington and Fort Erie and cost about $1.2 billion.
four proposed routes, all of which would cross the escarpment.
little trouble getting Bateman to endorse its cause. He lived near Mount
Nemo in North Burlington for 26 years, a location which afforded his
studio view of Rattlesnake Point, and he was intent on stopping any
project that would threaten his former home.
As an honourary
chairman of the citizens group, he described the proposed highway as
a "horror story" and accused the Ontario government of "wiping out our
natural and human heritage."
was away in Africa last night when his book with the pen sketch and
his numbered print of a red fox were sold at a silent auction in Burlington
to raise money for COPE.
auction - which also included works from Niagara artist Jason Potyok
- was held during a public meeting co-sponsored by the City of Burlington
and the citizens' group to discuss concerns about the environmental
impact of the proposed highway.
Potyok is protective of the Niagara Escarpment and draws artistic inspiration
from the unique geographic feature, which is recognized by the United
auction, he donated paintings he did at Short Hills Provincial Park
near Fonthill and Cave Springs Conservation Area in Beamsville.
these conservation areas, I simply would not be an artist of any merit,"
places (on the Escarpment) have brought me to life."
who is co-chair of COPE, said having an artist and environmentalist
of Bateman's stature on board has given his group a big morale boost
and should generate some donations.
He was one of the first to walk the Bruce Trail to scout out the route,"
a charter member of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (which was set
up in the 1970's to protect the escarpment).
hundreds of thousands for the World Wildlife Fund.
a special place in his heart for the Niagara Escarpment because of the
time he lived there."
art teacher at Nelson high School in Burlington, Bateman gave his first
art show in 1967 and went on to become one of the most popular and wealthiest
nature artists in the world.
he has lived on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia since 1985.