Dian Der Ohanian Phillips is River City Art Association’s October Artist of the Month to be featured by the Vigo County Public Library in a virtual gallery on its Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library is unable to display artwork in its Artist of the Month gallery space in the lobby of the main branch in Terre Haute.
Dian works primarily in watercolor, acrylic and oils. Her paintings and her black and white photography is strongly influenced by nature and rural scenes.
“It’s the season of colorful autumn leaves, drives through the country – over the river and through the woods – pumpkins, hayrides, bonfires and country festivals,” says Dian in her artist statement for the virtual slideshow presentation. “These paintings reflect the season with images of colorful fall leaves and rural farm scenes, and I hope you enjoy them.”
Dian has always been an artist and was influenced and encouraged by her father, who was a gifted painter. Growing up in New Albany, Indiana, she took every elective art class in middle and high school, and took Saturday morning art classes at the University of Louisville. Also during that time (and long before online courses), she began correspondence course work with Art Instruction Schools. That foundation course in drawing, painting and commercial art gave her the skills to be hired in an art department immediately after high school graduation.
A scholarship student at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Dian received a B.F.A. in visual communications. Her foundation courses included fine art and photography (where she learned darkroom skills). She completed a Masters program at Indiana University, and did additional post-graduate work at Boston University. While at Herron, she studied painting with professors Harry A. Davis, Edmund Brucker, Robert Berkshire and Sarah Burns.
Dian was a graphic designer/art director for the majority of her professional life. Her career began when layouts were created on a drawing board using the tools of the trade: x-acto knives, rubber cement, ruling pens and acetate overlays. Twenty years later, she transitioned from drawing board to Macintosh computers. Her photography also transitioned from film/darkrooms to digital cameras. She continued her fine art pursuits during those years by taking drawing and painting classes. After retiring, Dian began painting again full time. She has participated in several group and solo exhibitions in the Midwest and has received awards for her painting and photography. Her art is in private collections throughout the United States.