Born in Albany, New York, Tony Paterson first studied at the Albany Institute of History and Art at about six years of age and at sixteen hitchhiked to Mexico, attracted by the Mexican muralists, where he explored mural painting, painting and sculpture at the University of Guadalajara. Inspired by three-dimensional expression and Pre Columbian art, he pursued the field of sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. On being awarded a Traveling Scholarship, Paterson traveled to Paris where he perfected his drawing skills. He then traveled to Italy, Germany and Spain, creating a number of sculptures and drawings that would later be nationally and internationally exhibited. On his return from Europe, Paterson studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, refining his skills in welding. As a MacDowell Colony Fellow, he explored the medium of stone and how it relates to his sculptural vision. After several years, he received a post-graduate fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and traveled to Italy and Greece to study the classic masterpieces from that part of the world. Having been granted a teaching sabbatical from SUNY at Buffalo, in 1998, he traveled on a thirty two thousand mile trip through Central and North America, outlined in his online Connections presentation. Using a four-wheel drive SUV, he explored native and Pre-Columbian art and culture of the region.
Paterson’s work has been widely displayed both nationally and internationally. As well as being exhibited in one-man shows, his work has been shown in numerous group exhibits, the most recent being “The American Way,” an invitational at the Mobile Museum of Art. He has won many national awards and honors, including those from the annual North American Sculpture Exhibition in Denver, Colorado and theNational Academy of Design. Among the commissions he has completed are portraits of Samuel Adler, Seymour H. Knox II, Charles Darwin and Gregory Jarvis, the astronaut. His work is represented at the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University at Buffalo, and in many other public and private collections.
Paterson taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYAB) for over thirty-five years and was awarded Professor Emeritus status. While there, he created and supervised one of the largest university sculpture foundries in America, headed the Casting and Welding Institute, and directed the move to restore and preserve three monumental friezes by Buffalo native Charles Cary Rumsey.
In his work, Paterson celebrates humanity by skillfully portraying all aspects of the human form. His work expresses universality, combining European Classicism with the mysteries of ancient Mexican-American cultures, presenting a unique vision of the modern human condition.