Bethlehem native Hillary Harper swore she’d never return to the Lehigh Valley when she left to study Photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, but she was very wrong. Now, she happily resides in West Bethlehem, and enjoys the many artistic, musical, culinary and cultural amenities the Lehigh Valley has to offer.
Although she ended up working in Arts Administration instead of the photography field, having a creative outlet remains a vital part of Hillary’s life. As the Sr. Manager of Visual Arts for ArtsQuest, she has the opportunity to work with artists on a daily basis, plan workshops and classes, and mount art exhibitions of all mediums and styles.
Hillary’s favorite mediums are watercolor and ink, for now.
It’s hard to have an Artist Statement when you’re still finding your style. Art making is freeing, exhaustive, anxiety-ridden and meditative, all at the same time. So far I am attracted to creating work that I can relate to very personally, such as pets and family, but I see that as a way to gain confidence and develop my skills as an artist.
The work of the Abstract Expressionists inspires me, especially Helen Frankenthaler and Richard Diebenkorn. The mark making and forms of their work seem so arbitrary sometimes, but I know they were quite deliberate. Other artists who amaze me are Frida Kahlo, the poet Robert Montgomery, and the photographer Abelardo Morell.