In Memoriam

A Community Speaks Out

originally published by the Contemporary Arts Center on 14 June 2007

  • Charley Harper's impact on the world of art and design echoed through several generations and across the globe. His minute precision and lovingly rendered creations will continue to inspire generations to follow. We have much to say - and much to learn - of his unique gift, his extraordinary talent, his artistic contribution and his kind and generous spirit. Charley Harper befriended every member of the staff of the CAC. He inspired us with his humble, cheerful manner and his brilliant, beautiful artwork. The Harper family is beloved to us, and our hearts are broken today.

    - Official statement from the Contemporary Arts Center
  • I'm so sad. He was such a gentle soul. What a legacy he's left us. God bless him. He was truly a Cincinnati treasure.

    - Lee Hay, WVXU and host of Around Cincinnati
  • To be honest, I think I need to cry a bit.

    - Sara Pearce, Cincinnati Enquirer and Art Blog
  • Charley Harper was such an important tap root for our creative community. Generous with his time, his encouragement, his talent - his artwork will continue to remind us that the beautiful, the whimsical and the orderly are all essential parts of artistic expression.

    I love how the freshness of his paintings engage, make us smile, and leave us nodding that we, too, "have noticed that." What a gift - he took time to consider life's details with us. His artwork connected us with nature, and by consequence, we connected to each other through appreciation of Charley's viewpoint.

    Thank you, Charley. You maintained and inspired respect for our natural environment through times when it was too commonly treated like property.

    - Jan Brown Checco, Cincinnati Artist
  • At the opening reception for his brilliant exhibition, Charley, in his characteristic humility, asked whether or not I had seen our piece, a little brochure I had conceived and he had cleverly designed. To have given me ANY ownership was overly generous. But that's exactly who Charley Harper was - generous with his time, his talent, his teaching, his infectious smile and his sweet kind demeanor. We've lost one of the best.

    - Richard Rosenthal, Contemporary Arts Center Trustee