In addition to working as an artist, Dennis Harper is Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University. Formerly Curator of Exhibitions at the Georgia Museum of Art, Harper served as curatorial advisor for Georgia for the National Museum of Women in the Arts From the States exhibition in 2003 and was a founding board member and past vice president of ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art.

Recent curatorial projects include the exhibitions Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy; Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel; Bacon Level, Hickory Flat, and the Illustrious Potteries of Randolph and Chambers Counties, Alabama; As Above, So Below: Recent Works by Scherer & Ouporov; Weaving His Art on Golden Looms: Paintings and Drawings by Art Rosenbaum; and A Sinner’s Progress: The Artists Books of David Sandlin, and essays for Coming Home: American Paintings 1930–1950 from the Schoen Collection. A native of Alabama, Harper has held previous positions at Wildenstein and Co., New York, and the Visual Arts Gallery of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Harper’s art has been exhibited across the United States and in Europe, and discussed or reproduced in American Artist, Art New England, Art Papers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New American Paintings, New York Times, Oxford American, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. He has taught studio classes at Auburn University, University of Georgia (Athens campus and Cortona, Italy), and led workshops on egg tempera painting, fresco, and gilding.