A permanent resident in Southern California, Diane is a British native who has generated a new excitement about the obscure architect Lilian J. Rice. Her latest book, "Lilian J. Rice: Architect of Rancho Santa Fe, California" by Schiffer Publishing, is the world's first monograph published on this important, yet under-recognized, historic figure. Designing and building in the 1920s and 30s for some of the nation's top celebrated achievers, Rice's reputation has been clouded in controversy, her integrity threatened. Through scholarly research, Diane is able to debunk the myths surrounding Rice and celebrate her achievements. Scheduled for release in fall 2015 is Diane's second book on Rice, "How the Ghost of You Clings" that retells of Diane's personal journey of discovery as she gathered fragments of facts to flesh out an accurate story of Lilian Rice and of those who connected with the architect's life and work. It is an innovative genre that Diane has dubbed reportoir a coinage of the words reporting and memoir. The famed Audrey Geisel wrote the book's foreword.
Through her deep sense of community paired with a love of writing Diane has given thousands of people, places and events a platform in local print media. She began her journalism career in 1999 providing content for the Tierra Times in San Diego County covering local art events. In coincidence with a move to the coastal enclave of Solana Beach Diane was approached by the Del Mar Times to provide community content for its, then, new sister paper The Solana Beach Sun. The year was 2003 and from this serendipitous opportunity Diane was able to build a strong foundation of reporting and meeting deadlines that over the years has resulted in an award-winning role. Even though the paper has passed through three phases or ownership Diane remains a steady and dependable champion of providing accurate news for local community members, celebrities, artists, authors and philanthropists. And in sustaining her role as a local reporter she has made many life-long friends.
In concert with Diane's journalism she is also a fine artist and is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association. She has had her fine art work featured in several exhibitions over a ten year period. Most recently two of her pieces were selected from her time as a fine art student at Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds in UK for the permanent collection of the prestigious Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery in Leeds. Her work is held in several notable collections including that of the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and his wife Cherie; Kathie Lee Gifford; and former San Diego News anchor Susan Peters as well as in many US and UK private collections. Diane's art has been selected for several consecutive years for display as a Rail Trail public art feature that enhances the coastal corridor in Solana Beach. Exhibitions of her work have been showcased at the Encinitas Cancer Center, Solana Beach City Hall Gallery, and the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center.
Diane has been focused for the past decade on the research of the obscure depression-era lady architect Lilian J. Rice. This labor of love, an endeavor that has developed into a life-long passion, has brought Diane to the notice of many historic, architectural and women's organizations. Past presentations include lectures for the Colonial Dames of America, the American League of Women Voters, the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center, the Rancho Santa Fe Association Art Jury, Historic Site Board of San Diego, Save Our Heritage Organisation, San Diego History Center, the Palomar Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Women in Architecture, California State University San Marcos, and many, many more local Rotary Clubs and charitable organizations.
Spring 2015 will kick off the third year that Diane has been heading up her popular Diane Welch Celebrity Walking Tours of the village of Rancho Santa Fe. These fun, informative, heart-healthy guided tours of the historic civic center of Rancho Santa Fe, California speak of the ghosts of the superstar celebrities that once walked the two short blocks of the ranch village. Usually scheduled for the last Sunday of the month and in partnership with The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, these tours are now offered free to anyone who may sign up via email or through The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Any donations received benefit the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center a 501 c 3 charitable organization. Email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about these popular walking tours.