By Kate Knowles
The latest in a series of posts featuring artists and works in the Art Rentals and Sales Gallery
“Go west, young man.” Perhaps Greeley’s famous phrase echoed somewhere in artist John Freeman’s head when he moved to Alberta from Ontario as a child. Within the wild, windy Albertan landscapes, John found something that inspired him to stay, for here he has remained, enriching the lives of all Albertans with his teaching and his art.
In 1966, John earned his first degree at the University of Calgary. He then studied sculpture for three years at Alberta College of Art and Design, and went on to receive a Master of Visual Arts with a specialization in painting and printmaking from the University of Alberta in 1972.
John has worked in many mediums, including drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography and video. John’s earlier work played with shape and texture and moved to more natural forms, a theme that continues in his work today.
John’s work plays with expectations: his pictures of flowers and composed still lifes blend seamlessly with his high-quality digital art prints of landscapes, where reality is perhaps represented in a more artful way. He is a partner in The Big Pixel Inc., a local company that focuses on archival fine art printing and printing for photographers.
But Alberta isn’t finished with the Freemans: Paul and Mark Freeman are John’s sons, and part owners of The Big Pixel Inc. as well.
Paul earned a bachelor of arts with distinction from Alberta College of Art and Design in 1998. Paul went on to earn an MFA in drawing and Intermedia from the University of Alberta in 2005.
His current work explores tensions and emotions created when genetic technology and ordinary biology start to overlap and break down traditional boundaries. It includes short, animated films, drawing, sculpture and digital image making and photography. In 2013, Paul won the Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize for his most recent solo show, It’s Only Natural.
He is also a founder and the artistic director for the Nina Haggarty Centre for the Arts, where he works to develop creative and art-making opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Mark Freeman is a brilliant photographer. In 2000, he completed his studies in photojournalism in Victoria, BC. He uses his finely honed skills in digital processing and printmaking to tackle adventurous and technically challenging projects. His photographic work has been in high demand, given the attention to detail, clarity and precision that Mark puts into his works.