Freeman Patterson
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Freeman Patterson

Freeman Patterson lives at Shamper's Bluff, New Brunswick, near his childhood home. He attended multi-grade (one-room) schools in Grey's Mills and Long Reach, and high school at Macdonald Consolidated School in Kingston. He graduated with a B.A. (Honours: Philosophy) from Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in 1959. The subject of his honour's thesis was "The Form Of The Good" in Plato's Republic. In 1962 he received a Master of Divinity degree (M. Div.) from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, New York. His master's thesis was "Still Photography As A Medium Of Religious Expression." While in New York, Freeman studied photography and visual design privately with Dr. Helen Manzer.

From 1962 to 1965 Freeman was dean of religious studies at Alberta College, Edmonton, and began actively to work in photography. He moved to Toronto in 1966 to work for one year at Berkeley Studio, the United Church of Canada still photography and film production house. During this time and until the late 1970's, Freeman completed numerous assignments across Canada for the Still Photography Division of the National Film Board of Canada. He also developed a large roster of professional clients in the editorial and advertising fields. Freeman has always been a strong supporter of the amateur photography community, and is a life member and former president of The Toronto Guild for Colour Photography.

Freeman returned to New Brunswick in 1973 in order to pursue his personal artistic interests and to establish a workshop of photography and visual design. Since then he has taught several week-long classes every year and, commencing in 1984, in southern Africa as well, where he co-founded the Namaqualand Photographic Workshops. He has given numerous workshops in the United States, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.

Although Freeman does much of his photographic work at home, he travels widely to photograph and to teach. Since 1973 he has frequently presented half-day and all-day seminars to large groups (50 to 4000 persons) in the visual arts, music, education, and ecology across Canada, the United States, and in several other countries. Since 1977 he has written and illustrated four instructional books on photography and visual design and has co-authored a fifth. Also, he has written and illustrated six large cloth-edition books, and co-authored and illustrated two more. His first as solo author was Namaqualand: Garden of the Gods in 1984, which was followed by Portraits of Earth in 1987. In 1996 he authored ShadowLight: A Photographer's Life, a major retrospective book of text and photographs, followed by Odysseys: Meditations and Thoughts For A Life's Journey in 1998 and The Garden in 2003. In 1996 he produced a CD-ROM entitled Creating Pictures: A Visual Design Workshop. Freeman has also written for various magazines, CBC radio, and been featured on CBC television's Man Alive, Sunday Arts And Entertainment, and Adrienne Clarkson Presents.

From September 2013 to mid January 2014 the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, mounted a large retrospective exhibition (115 prints) of Freeman’s work, curated by Tom Smart. This exhibition, Embracing Creation, was accompanied by major publication with the same title (125 prints, 12 essays by Freeman and a major essay on Freeman’s artistic career by the curator, Tom Smart).

From 1973 to 1989, Freeman was an elected trustee of New Brunswick School District #19. He served for eight years as vice-president and director of Masterfile (a major stock photography agency), two years on the board of Aids Saint John, and since 1998 as a director of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation. For six years Freeman was a national trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and in 1997 donated his property on Shamper's Bluff to the conservancy for an ecological reserve and education area.
Freeman Patterson



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