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Tiessen, George W. (b. 1935)

Cultural Group :

George Tiessen is a painter and printmaker whose work in the 1970s and ‘80s often reflected an interest in landscape themes and imagery. He has described past work as being “of no ‘one particular place,’but could be
best described as landscapes of the imagination.”

Tiessen’s studies began at Toronto’s Ontario School of Art followed by New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University with a major in printmaking. While at Mount Allison, he studied under Lawren P. Harris (son of Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven), whom he has called an influence for his knowledge of hard-edge colour field painting. Tiessen subsequently studied with artists Stephen Poleskie and Arnold Singer at Cornell University, where he completed a Master of Fine Arts in screen-printing in 1971. After returning to teaching at Mount Allison, he then
moved to Victoria in 1972 to teach printmaking and painting at the University of Victoria. He also served as department chair from 1983 to 1987.

Tiessen saw his teaching role as both a technician and an educator: “Printmaking can be an arduous technical process. It can take weeks to see the result of what you are trying to get. There are no instant results.” He
maintained his own artistic practice throughout his tenure, with particular focus during the summer months.

Tiessen has been featured in solo exhibitions at the University of Victoria, Cornell University, and the University of Moncton, as well as in group exhibitions in galleries and universities across North America. His work can be found in collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Canada Council Art Bank, Mount Allison University, the National Gallery of Canada, and the New Brunswick Museum.