Briar Diggs was born in Missoula, Montana, February 2, 1951. There he maintains his photography studio and gallery. Briar practiced orthodontics, in Missoula, for over thirty years. 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.
Briar’s photographs cover a wide range of subject material. His primary interest is fine art photography with an emphasis on portraiture of native people, women and nudes. Briar cites Edward Weston and Walker Evans as the two photographers who have had the greatest influence on his career.
Briar maintains a studio and gallery at the old Ceretana Grain Elevator on Missoula’s North Side.