Pat Martin-Bates was born in St. John, New Brunswick in 1927. When she was twelve she took Saturday morning art classes from University of Mount Allison professors. In 1948 she married Al Bates. By 1957 she had graduated from the Royal Academie des Beaux Arts in Antwerp Belgium majoring in sculpture with honours in painting. She continued her studies in Paris and New York.
Martin-Bates and her husband moved to Ottawa in 1959, later moving to Wainwright, Alberta in 1962. The National Gallery of Canada acquired two of her works in 1962.
Martin-Bates introduced perforated paper works and metal collage prints to the contemporary art world beginning in 1959. Sometimes she presented her work in light boxes, often referring to her art as ‘inscapes’. Her images are bold, bright, and provacative presenting viewers with something different.
She is one of few Canadians to be honoured with The Gold Medal Award from the Norwegian International Biennale of Printmaking in 1986, and the much respected Global Graphics Award from Holland in 1993. Other honours she has received include The Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, Gold Jubilee Medal in 2004, appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada in 2008, and membership in The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.