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The photography of Ron Harper will be on display at the Liberal Arts Gallery, located at 3361 Gratiot just north of downtown Detroit. Harper’s interest in photography began while in the Air Force, when a friend handed him a point and shoot camera and asked him to snap a few shots.
“I do believe it was then that I was hooked,” he said. “Once I arrived in Detroit in 1965, I started taking pictures with anything I could get my hands on.”
In 1970, Harper joined the Detroit Police Department. While on the force, he took correspondence classes with the New York School of Photography.
“During those years, I took pictures of any and everything I could,” said Harper. “With minimal equipment, you did what you could.”
Eventually, Harper started shooting weddings and portraits and started Harper’s Photography, all while still with the police department. In 1997, Harper was given the position of sergeant in charge of the police department photo lab – a transfer he had put in for in 1970.
“After transferring to the photo lab I began to shoot sports with one of the people I was working with,” Harper said. “I liked it, so I began doing as much as I could.”
To date, Harper has shot all of the major Detroit franchises, including the Pistons, the Tigers and the Lions. He retired from the police department in 2004 and continues to freelance. He also works with the online magazine www.TellUsDetroit.com as the director of photography and sports.
An opening and artist’s reception will take place from 6-11 p.m. May 11. Harper’s exhibit runs through June 2. For more information, visit http://www.liberalartsgallery.com.