I have always loved the simple beauty of our world. While earning my degree in anthropology, I also became deeply interested in the richness and diversity of native cultures. My art is a celebration of these passions.
The best art most often comes from the heart. I believe that the heart’s wisdom behind the lens is the one essential ingredient for a good photograph. I enjoy wandering with my camera in search of elemental beauty that reveals something of life’s deeper soul. The images I create become a reflection of how I feel about what I see.
For forty years, I have been passionate about fine art photography. Thirty seven of these were spent working exclusively in black and white. Recently, with the advent of digital imaging, I added color to my portfolio.
It is special for me to share my art with you.
Briar Diggs was born in Missoula, Montana, February 2, 1951. There he maintains his fine art photography studio and gallery as well as a private orthodontic practice. He and his wife Heidi have three grown sons.
Growing up in Montana, Briar developed a love and appreciation for the elemental beauty of his world. In 1969, he left Montana to enroll in Wisconsin’s Lawrence University where he earned a degree in cultural anthropology emphasizing American Plains Indians. It was during these creative and formative years at Lawrence that Briar’s lifelong passion for black and white fine art photography was born. He went on to earn a Doctorate in dentistry from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and a Masters in orthodontics from the University of Washington in 1982.
Briar has always held a special place in his heart for art, beauty and the artist spirit. In 1990, in the interest of giving back to the arts and offering support for emerging artists, he established the Briar Diggs Visual Arts Scholarship Program. Each year he provides financial support for area high school and college visual arts students who show exceptional talent, enthusiasm and dedication in pursuit of their creative dreams. Funds are also donated annually to Missoula museums, schools and youth homes for support of their visual arts programs.
For the majority of Briar’s photography career, he worked exclusively in black and white, processing film and printing in his own darkroom. During 2007, he made a complete switch from film to digital photography. Since then he has added color to his portfolio. He processes and prints his own images.
Briar’s photographs cover a wide range of subject material. His primary photographic interests at this time are abstracts and fine art portraiture of native people, women and nudes. Briar cites Edward Weston and Walker Evans as the two photographers who have had the greatest influences on his career.
Briar maintains a collection of over 1000 framed prints in his gallery at 521 Southwest Higgins Avenue, Missoula, Montana. Visitors are always welcome.