There are many things students would expect to gain during their time at the Art Academy of Cincinnati: knowledge, perspective, inspiration, life-long friends, a degree. But a surprising number of alumni also leave with something else — the love of their lives.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that over the 147-year history of the AAC, hundreds of couples have found their other half while attending the Art Academy. Even one of the AAC’s most distinguished alumni, Charley Harper, met his wife, Edie Harper, at the Art Academy, “in the same class, in the same row.”
Charley Harper used his Wilder Traveling Scholarship to take his new wife on a cross-country road trip honeymoon. The trip, in which the pair did a lot of camping to stretch their funds, took the couple across the Rockies, down the coast to Los Angeles, to Florida, before returning back to Cincinnati.
The honeymoon tour of unspoiled wildlife is largely credited with being the impetus behind shaping Charley Harper’s distinct minimal realist style of nature art that he’s celebrated for today.
Charley Harper’s traveling companion and wife, Edie, was a noted artist herself. When asked if the pair ever collaborated, Charley Harper said that everything they did was a collaboration and that Edie helped him — with encouragement, critical comments and her ability to look at things a different way.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we reached out to a handful of AAC graduates to tell their own stories of finding love while attending the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Read them below.