Dr. Grady Harper earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Louisiana College in 1955, a master’s in art education at NSU in 1957, a master’s of fine arts at Stephen F. Austin University in 1969 and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1969. He taught art at the junior high level beginning in 1955 and at the college level from 1959 until his retirement in 1990.  Harper was a professor of art at Northwestern State from 1969-1990 where he served as chairman of the art department for three years, before serving as director of Northwestern Abroad, the university’s student international travel program.

Harper enjoyed a long, successful and influential career as an educator and visual artist.  He took art to the community with adjunct workshops, exhibits, demonstrations and international art study abroad programs open to students and the community. During his career, Harper exhibited art in numerous galleries in the southern United States and in private collections nationwide and was recognized with many awards and accolades.  He was admitted to numerous juried exhibits and art shows, often receiving awards or acknowledgements for work submitted. He served on the editorial board for Louisiana Life magazine from 1981-85 and authored many published works on painting techniques and art education.