Lois Klassen is an artist, writer and researcher based in Vancouver, Canada. Known for long-range projects that invite and engage participants in collective actions, her projects address social and political concerns – deliberately facing ethical demand with social, aesthetic and material methods. Klassen's artworks have been hosted by Dunlop Gallery, Santa Fe Art Institute, Plug In ICA Summer Institute, MAWA, The Glenbow Museum, The Western Front, HubM3 (University of Salford), Banff New Media Institute, and more. Lois Klassen was a 2020 Fulbright Scholar (Center for Inter-American Border Studies and the Ruben Center for the Visual Arts, University of Texas El Paso). Her PhD dissertation (Cultural Studies, Queen's University, 2018) focused on ethics and participation in art. She earned a Master of Applied Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, Canada) in 2011, and a Diploma of Art History from University of British Columbia (Vancouver) in 2008. Klassen writes on ethics and participatory art practices—a topic she covers for the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Circle of Experts.
Lois Klassen in Jeremy Todd's Not Sent Letters & Guests, 2018. Photo by Alisha Weng.
As a settler artist working and living on traditional and unceded Coast Salish territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, I am humbled by the long and difficult journey for justice for Indigenous peoples. I am committed to respectfully joining in alliance on this journey by learning, witnessing and taking action.