Diane Green Bio


Diane Green in Memphis Tennessee, 1963

 

Diane Louise Green (born May 28, 1957) is an American-born artist, musician, singer/songwriter, poet, and dancer. Throughout the 2000s Diane Green's paintings and other artworks have been in over 36 shows primarily across the midwestern U.S. Diane co-founded The Hellcats, a Memphis psychobilly blues group that began in the 1980s, with Lorette Velvette (Lori Godwin Greene). The Hellcats recorded several LPs and 45's in Memphis and toured the US primarily with Tav Falco's Panther Burns. In the late 1970s, Diane was in the University of Memphis Modern Dance program, as well as the Harry Bryce Afro-Caribbean dance company. She currently lives in Chicago IL, USA.

 

 


Diane Green was born in Memphis Tennessee to a family of mixed European settlers with Native American ancestors from Arkansas. She was raised in an East Memphis neighborhood attending Richland Elementary and Junior High, graduating a year early from White Station High School in 1974. Diane went on to study Old English literature, Psychology, Astronomy, Modern Dance, and Fine Art at the University of Memphis, the University of Tennesse at Chattanooga, Memphis College of Art, and Rhodes College

 


Diane Green with Harry Bryce Dance Company in 1979

 

Diane traveled across the USA through the late 70s writing poetry and painting in sketchbooks as she adventured throughout the Deep South, Northeast, and Southwest America. Arriving back in Memphis in 1978, Diane studied and focused on modern dance. She was inspired by Kaysee Cloud, was influenced by Isadora Duncan, and performed with the Harry Bryce Afro-Caribbean Dance Company.

 

In 1982, Diane continued her devotion to the arts at Memphis College of Art and graduated in 1984 with a BFA in painting. Soon after Diane's graduation, she was invited to join classmates in an offbeat improvisational music group called the Odd Jobs, where she focused on singing, songwriting, and poetry. The Odd Jobs played in various Memphis nightclubs such as the Antenna Club, Fred's Hideout, and events at the Overton Park Shell. The Odd Jobs band was included in Tav Falco's Frenzi Record's 1986 compilation of Memphis area artists entitled Swamp Surfing in Memphis. The album featured one of Diane Green's popular songs "Girl From Frayser".

 

In 1985, Diane was approached by Lorette Velvette from Tav Falco's Panther Burns to join her in creating the all-woman, rockabilly blues band The Hellcats. The Hellcats were featured on Swamp Surfing in Memphis from the Australian label Au Go-Go. The Hellcats later recorded and published Cherry Mansions an EP in 1988, and Hoodoo Train LP in 1990 on the French label New Rose Records. All the Hellcats' music was recorded at Easley McCain Recording in Memphis Tennessee. Diane performed with The Hellcats throughout the USA and Canada alongside Tav Falco's Panther Burns between 1985 and 1990.


Diane Green in the Hellcats 1990 photo by Marty Perez

In 1990, Diane Green relocated to Chicago IL. She married Jim McArdle in 1990; they have two children. During the early years of raising her children, Diane created a fiber art clothing company named Original Face. Her creations were popularly featured in Chicago art fairs, as well as in New York City's fashion world.


While Diane was in full swing with her clothing company in 1997, she fell and had a traumatic brain injury. She was hospitalized in ICU for a week and remained unconscious for over 3 months. A year later, Diane was diagnosed with epilepsy and has continued recovery ever since. But her creativity remained and in 1998 Diane started painting full time mostly on found objects.


Painting on door lock sampler 2001 by Diane Green

In 2001, Diane went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated with a Master of Arts in Art Therapy.

 

While in graduate school Diane established a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization called the Museum of Universal Self Expression or M.U.S.E. for short. The mission of this non-profit was to help maintain art programs for underserved communities, especially underprivileged people in recovery. Works, such as sculptures, and murals, from a variety of art programs in Chicago, have been featured throughout the city. In 2003 a publication, Call Me Crazy was started by Diane along with clients at a local Chicago mental health center. During the pandemic Call Me Crazy was revived online by MUSE as a social media art therapy group and is featured on MUSE's This Is It Gallery website.