Greg Klassen 2013

Greg Klassen was born just outside of Cologne, Germany as the third of three sons into a Diplomat family in Canada’s Foreign Services. Moving around Europe every couple of years, Greg was exposed at an early age to diverse cultures, languages etc. This rich experience – and the accompanying sense of cultural dislocation – stayed with him and informed his artistic explorations (in particular his interest in the notion of “Duality”). Early on Greg showed great interest in the arts, drawing nature at every opportunity. He got his first camera at 14 and by the age of 16 was teaching himself Ansel Adams’s ‘Zone System’ in his basement darkroom.

Greg was encouraged to follow a career in the sciences and he eventually graduated with a PhD in Marine Biogeography from the University of Toronto. But his love for the arts (photography in particular) never left him. During his time as a student Greg paid his way through school as a scientific illustrator and he spent hundreds of hours photographing microscopic specimens. It was during this time that Greg recognized an increasing sense of internal duality emerging from the building tension between his artistic and scientific directions.

In the early 1990’s Greg and his wife moved to New Brunswick as part of a life-style choice. They wanted to find a balance between their professional and private lives, a balance Greg continues to work on to this day. Greg and his wife had two wonderful children who are active in all aspects of their lives. In 2006 Greg participated in a workshop with Freeman Patterson which changed forever his creative direction. Since then Greg has been honing his photography, including the use of visual metaphors in his explorations.

Recently Greg participated in a new program at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton (Diploma in Advanced Studies – Photography. 2009). In 2010 Greg was chosen by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery as their Emerging Artist of the Year. Greg just finished a low residency MAA program in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University (Graduated Fall 2012). And in August of 2012, Greg and his family moved to Salt Spring Island where he is in the process of setting up his new studio.