Ray Klimek grew up in the mining region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelors Degree from Wilkes University in 1978 and earned a Masters degree in English and American Literature from Rutgers University in 1987. He taught English composition and literature at Rutgers for twenty years prior to enrolling in the General Studies program at ICP in 2001. In 2002 he received a Puffin Foundation grant to pursue a project on the coalfields of Pennsylvania. In 2004 he received an ICP/Tierney Foundation grant, which enabled him to visit South Wales to work on the series, Welsh Tips. During his stay in 2005 he was a visiting artist at the University of Wales Newport. His work has been exhibited at the Daniel Cooney Gallery, the School of ICP, the Hogar Collection, the Sordoni Gallery at Wilkes University, the GPF Gallery in Newport, South Wales, the Zobole Gallery at Glamorgan University, Stevenson Gallery at Ohio University, Chillicothe, ARC Gallery in Chicago, Roy G Biv Gallery in Columbus and recently at the first New York Photo Festival. He received his MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts in 2006. In 2013 he recieved the Ohio University Research Council Grant.