John Barr Clarke Hoyte was considered one of the leading water colour artists of his time. His early art training was in England. He was said to have spent five years in the West Indies in the late 1850's. He arrived in Auckland in 1860.
Hoyte was the Assistant Master at the Church of England Grammar School from 1863, the Drawing Master from 1868 - 69. In 1869 he exhibited his watercolours at Upton & Co, booksellers in Auckland. During the 1860's he also took private pupils in his Parnell studio.
In 1869 he was one of the three who first agreed to a proposed Society of Artists. Hoyte was a leading member, exhibiting from 1871 - 77 but by 1876 was in Dunedin exhibiting with OAS. He exhibited in New South Wales in 1872, 1874, 1875 and in the Melbourne Society of Arts Exhibition of 1875, winning the silver medal. In 1879 he went to live in Sydney. In 1880 he was elected the First President of the Art Society in NSW. Hoyte exhibited in the Sydney Art Exhibition in 1872. As a NSW artist he exhibited New Zealand scenes in the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition 1888 - 89. He died in Sydney in 1913. His work was also included in the Centennial Exhibition in Wellington in 1940. Hoyte is represented in all major New Zealand Galleries and also the Turnbull and Hocken.