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Member Profile: Diana Carnes

Diana Carnes is a Renaissance woman whose passions and travels have taken her in many

directions. She modestly refers to herself as a “dabbler,” having studied and created in so many diverse art forms from painting to sculpture to metalwork, leather, woodwork, music, writing and dance.

A native of Pittsburgh, Carnes spent her teen years overseas due to her dad’s work as an engineer. On the Pampas of Argentina and in the north of Spain on the Bay of Vizcaya, she rode horses, played polo on a men’s team, and studied art. A life of riding and teaching riding came to an abrupt end seven years ago when a horse bucked as she mounted, resulting in severe injuries. Her love of horses, however, continues to find expression through her art. Her latest passion is working with papier-mâché. A small papier-mâché horse under glass sold at the most recent Anderson Artists Guild show, and a life-size papier-mâché horse she is creating with a group in Clemson will be on display in a show that opens Feb. 1 at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center in Patrick Square.

Her fascination with this medium was ignited by artist Doug Berky after she took his mask making class. “It was more than interesting,” she said. “It opened an entirely new medium to me. I had never before thought of papier-mâché as an art form.”

Though devoted to art, Carnes majored in English at Carnegie-Mellon University at her dad’s insistence and has not stopped learning, since. She has a master’s degree in adult education, an MBA, and a Pennsylvania real estate license She is also a CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist), a certified professional in online education from UW-Madison, and a published author, and she recently completed a 50,000-word science fiction novel in a month as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Her careers have involved social work, literacy, managing a successful corporate sales force, and teaching college English, writing, art, student success classes, computers, and keyboarding. At Florida Metropolitan University in Tampa, she served as the associate academic dean before resigning 12 years ago to take a job as the director of evening and distance education at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton. She wanted to be near her grandchildren.

Tri-County colleagues Steve and Diana Walter introduced her to the Anderson Artists Guild, which she has served as vice president under three presidents and one term as the representative to the board of the Anderson Arts Center.

The exhibition in Clemson is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). An open reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Charles K. Cheezem Education Center in Patrick Square. For information, contact OLLI at 864-633-5242 or

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