Otto N. Grebze, born August 9th, 1910 in Krustpils, Latgale, Latvija. Died 1999 in Parry Sound, Ontario.
He graduated from the Academy of Art in Riga, Latvija. He left Latvija in 1944 and lived in Germany from 1944 to 1947. Many of his works from this period were acquired by officials of the British military government, and presently are located in private collections in England, USA, Australia, Germany and Switzerland.
He emigrated to Canada in 1947 and started to work for Ontario Hydro at Des-Joachim Generating Station at Rolphton, Ontario. Ontario Hydro soon recognized his excellent talent and secured his services to record on canvas the development of the hydroelectric system in Ontario. Over 100 of these works are at Ontario Hydro facilities including the Head Office in Toronto.
In 1956 one of his paintings was presented to Premier of Ontario Leslie Frost on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Ontario Hydro and it was placed in the Parliament Buildings in Toronto. In 1967 Premier of Ontario John Robarts received from the people of Richmond Hill, as a Centennial gift, his painting entitled Hazy Day, Kleinberg. Also Hon John Robarts presented his painting “ Autumn” to stand in Canada House, London England.
In 1963 two paintings (March, Ottawa Valley) were placed in New College, University of Toronto; as well as, Richmond Hill City Hall possess three of his painting.
In 1962 and 1963 two paintings, SapTime, Langstaff and Stooks, were presented to Prime Minister Right Hon. John G. Diefenbaker. He has been commissioned by several corporations (Abitibi 23 paintings, Pitts construction 12 paintings etc.) to record on canvas their plants in their natural setting.
From 1947 to mid 70’s he has held over 70 one-man exhibitions in Canada and the USA.
Some notable persons such as (actor Vincent Price) have several works in their collections. During this time frame he has produced over 3000 sketches, paintings, murals. Most Latvian household in Canada have at least one of his painting from the 1950-80’s.