I long for connection to the past, to the military communities and family that raised me. What most see as cultural detritus from the 1960’s and 70’s, I see as potential anchors to the images I’m building of my memories. Those anchors, combined with an extensive archive of family photographs, help me to heal the homesickness I feel but that I never seem to cure. All of the bits of memories, the images, the sounds, the smells, find their way to me from time to time, made all the more vibrant and real when I dig through and combine them in an attempt to reconcile my own fractured past.
Diane Harper has spent more than a decade putting together her own personal narratives through the use of collage, paint, and ink. Underlying stories often reach back to her childhood in a military family, with the challenges and triumphs that accompany that lifestyle. Her father was a military police officer and a forensic photographer with the US Army Crime Lab who taught himself photography by using his family as his subjects. He left an archive of photographs that continue to provide inspiration for Diane’s artwork. Trained as a medical social worker, Diane returned to UA Little Rock to earn her studio art degree. She finds meaning in helping others connect with their most creative selves by teaching through her studio and other venues, as a current faculty member of the Museum School of the Arkansas Art Center, and as an adjunct instructor at Henderson State University. Diane is the 2020 – 2022 Artist in Residence for the Museum of the American Military Family in New Mexico.