Diane Burko

NEA Fellowship

Diane Burko's practice focuses on monumental and geological phenomena throughout the world. Traveling from the temperate zones of America to those of Western Europe, from rain forests to regions of ice and active volcanoes she investigates actual locations on the ground and in the air from open-door helicopters and Cessnas. In reaction to these experiences, she creates paintings and photographs that reflect her deep interest in extreme landscapes.

Since 2006, she has been developing Politics of Snow, a project revealing historical comparisons of global climate change. She continues to invent strategies to that end which remain rooted in the tradition of painting while simultaneously integrating glacial geological data.

Diane's collaboration with glacial geologists, geographers and oceanographers who have generously shared their visual data has made Politics of Snow possible. Their positive response has also led to her inclusion on various panels and symposiums. Burko was recently named to be an Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) affiliate at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Diane Burko has had over thirty solo exhibitions in galleries and museums across the U.S., including recent ones at the Tang Museum, Tufts University Art Gallery, James A. Michener Art Museum and at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. Awards include NEA Visual Arts Fellowships (1985, 1991); Individual Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artists Grants (1981, 1989); a Lila Acheson Wallace Foundation Residence Fellowship (1989); a Rockefeller Foundation Residence Fellowship (1993); and the Bessie Berman Grant, awarded by the Leeway Foundation in Philadelphia (2000). Burko's works are in numerous private and public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Delaware Art Museum, the Woodmere Art Museum and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. Selections of recent work will be featured at the Zimmerli Museum of Art this September 2013 through June 2014.

Burko received her BS in painting and art history from Skidmore College. She continued her study of painting earning her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a professor of Fine Arts at the Community College of Philadelphia, Princeton University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Arizona State University for over 25 years. She lives and works in Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA.

Awards & Recognitions

  • INSTAAR Affiliate, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • WCA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Bessie Berman Grant in Painting, The Leeway Foundation
  • One Percent Public Art Commission, Marriott Hotel
  • Bellagio Study and Conference Center Residence Fellowship
  • NEA Fellowship (1985, 1991)
  • Giverny Residence Fellowship
  • PA Council on the Arts Artist Grant (1989, 1991)