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JG Freedman BIOGRAPHY


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Joseph Gregory Freedman was born in Los Angeles in 1950. In 1970 he interrupted his architectural studies at Cal Poly and moved to Vancouver rather than participate in the war in Viet Nam.  In between working as a marine gas station attendant, a boat painter and a beachcomber he began to paint, quit his architecture studies and had his first one-man show at Vancouver's Galerie Allen in 1972. 

Around that time Freedman also started working for Seaspan, a Vancouver based tugboat company and, with a schedule of two weeks on / two off, was able to devote much of his time to his art.  For thirty years the waterfront and the easel divided his attention then, in 2001, he retired from Vancouver’s SeaBus commuter ferries as a captain and finally took-up painting as his full-time career. 

Freedman's second one-man show, at Vancouver’s Ballard-Lederer Gallery in 2002, received so much attention that it was mentioned nationwide on CBC radio twice (once on Disc Drive with Jurgen Gothe and again when Susan Westmorland and Paul Grant devoted an entire broadcast of The Arts Report to his show).  Jurgen Gothe was so intrigued by Freedman's work that, in 2006, he wrote a feature article for NUVO magazine entitled: Celebrate the Salt -- Paintings by JG Freedman.

The only boats that Capt. Greg commands these days are the ones that take shape on his easel.  His studio overlooks the Fraser River where the passing tugboats remind him of the career that influences many of those paintings. "Working on the ferry boats and the tugs was often monotonous," says Freedman, "but I kept myself interested by searching for things to paint in the industrial environment I spent so much of my time in and the juxtapositions that add flavour to daily tasks. Finding those things was my challenge while working on the boats - recreating them on canvas is my challenge today."

Freedman has also shown his work in Calgary at the Master’s Gallery; in Vancouver at the Becker Galleries, Linda Lando Fine Art, Peter Ohler Fine Art and the Ballard Lederer Gallery; in Victoria at the Henry Street Gallery and in Toronto at Peterson Fine Art.  His most recent award was the Port Award at the American Society of Marine Artists sponsored Annual Marine Art Exhibition in Coos Bay, Oregon in 2010.