Diane Burko’s practice focuses on monumental geological phenomena. To that end, she has investigated locations on the ground and in the air from open-door helicopters and planes with cameras and sketchpads. Traveling from the temperate zones of America to Western Europe, from rain forests to glaciers and active volcanoes, her art merges a vision that is at once panoramic, intimate and sometimes provocative.

Born in Brooklyn, in 1945, Burko graduated from Skidmore College in 1966 with a B.S. in art history and painting. In ‘69 she earned an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. Burko was a professor at Community College of Philadelphia from 1969-2000, and also teaching at Princeton University, ASU, and PAFA. In 1974, she founded FOCUS: Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts. In 1976, Ivan Karp offered Burko a “Dealer’s Showcase” which attracted the attention of critic David Bourdon, who wrote about her in The Village Voice leading to gallery exhibits in New York in the 80’s. From 1976 to 2012 she was represented by the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia. She is now represented by LewAllen in Santa Fe NM and Cindy Lisica in Houston. A 1977, flight with James Turrell over the Grand Canyon, inspired Burko’s first aerial photographs of the landscape - establishing her lifelong process of securing visual material. In 1989, the Lila Wallace Foundation awarded Burko a six-month residency in Giverny, France. In 1993, she had a residency at the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center in Bellagio. Robert Rosenblum, who first took an interest in Burko’s work in 1976, wrote the accompanying catalog essay for her 1994 exhibition, Luci ed Ombra di Bellagio. In 1996, Burko won a $200,000 Public Art Commission for three monumental canvases installed in the Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia. In 2000, a $50,000 Leeway prize funded a project on Volcanoes, enabling her to travel to Hawaii, Italy and Iceland. Carter Ratcliff contributed an essay for the 2001 Volcano Catalog. In 2011 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the WCA. In 2013, she participated in the Arctic Circle residency to Svalbard and received an Independence Foundation $10,000 grant for this expedition.

Burko’s practice (since 2006) is at the intersection of art and science focusing on issues of climate change. Originally basing her imagery on research and visual data from scientists, she soon moved to bear witness directly in the Polar regions. In her painting projects such as Politics of Snow and Polar Investigations she continually creates new visual strategies to communicate facts translated through aesthetics. In her recent photo projects, Deep Time and Elegy, that effort continues more metaphorically and abstractly. She sees melting ice as a key indicator of climate change. Before sailing around Svalbard in 2013 she joined a team of geologists in Ny-Alesund (Northern most research station in the world), as they flew and landed on top of Glaciers for two days. This summer she is invited to fly with researchers over melt ponds in Greenland, and also to Gilbert Point in Alaska to document the recession of Hubbard Glacier. Outreach activity is integral to her practice – she appears on panels and colloquium on art and science, speaks to school children, think tanks, Conservancy groups and professional conferences such as the AGU and GSA and at the Academy of Natural Sciences, as well as at INSTAAR where she is an affiliate.

In May, 2017 the Walton Arts Center will feature a solo exhibition of photographs, prints and paintings: Diane Burko: Glacial Shifts and Changing Perspectives. A major catalog is being produced to accompany this show, which is also the visual component of the annual Artosphere Festival. Exhibition continues through September 30, 2017.



1966 - Skidmore College, BA - Painting & Art History

1969 - University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts, MFA

Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Commissions


Nominated for Anonymous Was A Woman


Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts

INSTAAR Affiliate, University of Colorado Boulder


WCA Lifetime Achievement Award, Women's Caucus for Art


Bessie Berman Grant in Painting, The Leeway Foundation


“One Percent” Public Art Commission awarded by the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia


Residence Fellowship at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, The Rockefeller Foundation, September

1991-92, 1985-86

National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship


Distinguished Achievement Award, Skidmore College

1990, 1989, 1984, 1981

Nominee for the AVA (Awards in the Visual Arts) National Artist Award


Residence Fellowship at Giverny, Readers Digest Foundation, April – September

Institute of Contemporary Art – “Patron Print” Artist

1989, 1981

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artists Grant


Visiting Artist Grant – Artists for the Environment Foundation, Walpak, NJ

1982, 1980

Visiting Fellowship to Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM


Visiting Fellowship to the Print Research Facility at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

The Print Club of Philadelphia, 57th International Competition – Professional Prize


Purchase Prize, Rutgers University National Drawing Show, New Brunswick, NJ


Public Collections

Air Co. Corporation, Montvale, NJ

American Telephone and Telegraph Center

ARCO, Philadelphia

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 

AVC Corporation, Philadelphia

BankAmerica, CA

Blue Cross of Southern California

CIGNA Corporation, Philadelphia

Colgate University, Picker Art Gallery, Hamilton, NY

Commodities Corporation of America, NY

Continental Bank, Philadelphia 

De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA

Denver Art Museum, CO

First Pennsylvania Bank, Philadelphia

FMC Corporation, Philadelphia

General Public Utilities Corporation of Reading, Reading, PA

Goldman and Sachs, New York

Hahnemann Hospital, Philadelphia

Hay Associates, Philadelphia

Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH

IBM, Tucson, AZ

James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

Ken Parker and Associates, Philadelphia

Mobil Oil Corporation, Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Petro-Lewis Corporation, Denver, CO

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ

Reader’s Digest, Pleasantville, NY

Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA

Rutgers University Collection, Stedman Art Gallery, Camden, NJ

Security Pacific National Bank, CA

Smith, Kline and French, Philadelphia

Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

University of New Mexico, Tamarind Collection, Albuquerque, NM

Wells Fargo Bank, CA

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia

Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ


Teaching Positions

Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA                       

Full Professor, 1985 – 2000

Associate Professor, 1978 – 1985

Assistant Professor, 1973 – 1978

Instructor, 1969 – 1973

Princeton University, Princeton NJ

Visiting Professor – Visual Arts Program, Spring, 1985

Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass CO

Visiting Instructor, Summer, 1996

2-Week Workshop – “Painting the Landscape En Plein Air in Oils”


Lectures, Panels, Symposia, Visiting Artist/Critic Visits

2017 (Upcoming)

Lecture and Studio Visit, "Making Art from Primary Sources", sponsored by STEM to STEAM: Examining Primary Sources from the Library of Congress & Local Collections, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Book Sigining and Talk, University of Arkansas Bookstore, Fayetteville, AK

Lecture, "Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives: Bearing Witness to Climate Change", Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AK


Lecture, "From Landscape Artist to Landscape Activisit", Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, Austrailia

Talk, "Communicating Your Research through the Language of Art", International Cryosphere Conference, Wellington, NZ

Lecturer, "How Art can Communicate Science", Science and Society Forum, University of Victoria, Wellington, NZ

Lecturer, "My photography practice - in Polaris: Northern Explorations in Contemporary Art", Michener Museum of Art, Doylestown, PA


Presenter, "Engagement In Climate Change Awareness Through Art Exhibitions" and "From Bearing Witness to Art Exhibitions to Inspiring the Understanding of Climate Change", AGU (American Geophysical Union), San Francisco, CA

Speaker, "The Intersection of Art & the Environment", Connections Beyond Our Garden - Talks on People, Plants & Place, Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA

Presenter, Renaissance Weekend, Banff, Canada

Participant, "US Department of State's Art in Embassies", Artist Exchange Program, Helsinki, Finland

Lecturer, Helsinki Visual Arts High School, Helsinki, Finland

Presenter, CLEAN - Climate LIteracy + Energy Awareness Network, online

Lecturer and Panelist, "ArtSCAPES," Kean University, Union, NJ

Lecturer, "Shifting to the Intersection of Art and Science," NY LASER - a Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) Rendezvous Event


Panelist, "Frozen Earth: Images from the Arctic Circle," Noyes Museum, Stockton University, Oceanville, NJ

Lecturer, “Climate Contemporary: Artists Respond to Climate Change,” Lake George Land Conservancy, Bolton Landing, NY

Lecturer, “Seeing Believing-Artists Confronting Climate Change,” Blue Mountain Gallery, NY


Panelist, "Shifting Ecologies" Painting Center, New York, NY

Visiting Artist for University of Colorado: Boulder Visiting Artist Program, CO

Lecturer, “Climate Literacy: Artists Communicate Science,” GSA (Geological Society of America) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC

Guest Speaker, "Stories from the Mountain, Songs From the Soul" Glacier Climate Action, Whitefish, MT

Lecturer, "Polar Investigations: Seeing Glacial Time" Tufts University, Medford, MA

Lecturer, "DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous" National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C.


Lecturer, "Polar Perspectives," York College, York, PA

Lecturer, "Freezeframe: Art and the Cryosphere," Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers Univeristy, New Brunswick, NJ

Lecturer, "CHF: Mapping the Climatic Imaginary through Art, Science and History," Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Panelist, "Art At Lunch: FOCUS," Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA

Panelist, "Art and Nature," Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Panelist, "Elemental: Nature as Language on the Occasion of the Force of Nature: Elaine Kurtz Retrospective," Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia,  PA


Presenter, "Communication of Science Through Art: A Raison D'etre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration", AGU (American Geophysical Union), San Francisco, CA

Panelist, "Nature Through the Lens of Art and Science," Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA


Presenter, “Conversations Contemporary”, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Guest Speaker, “Linking Artists to Opportunities: Galleries, Grants, Residencies and Public Spaces”, College Art Association, Trenton, NJ

Panelist, “Climate Change and Politics of Snow II”, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Panelist, “Global Warming: Women in Science and Art Discuss Climate Issues and Activism”, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Panelist, “Culture of Climate Change”, Nature, Ecology and Society Colloquium, CUNY, New York, NY

Presenter, "Tang Tenth Anniversary Salon", Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga, NY


Lecturer, "On visiting Edna Andrade's Works on Paper Show", Woodmere Art Museum, PA

Panelist, "Women in Feminists Who Changed America", Women's Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Visiting Critic, for Graduate Painting Students, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA 

Lecturer, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

Panelist with Andrew Revkin, Reflections on Exhibit, Out of the Blue, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA


Panelist, “Secular& Sacred-Art and Heritage” for Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, Independence Seaport Museum

Lecturer, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

Juror, Von Ness Scholasrship/Fellowship, Moore College of Art and Design  


Key note speaker, "Terrestrial Forces" Lecture, Museum of Fine Arts, FSU, Tallahassee, FL


Panelist, “Focus 30 years Later” Moore College of Art And Design, Philadelphia, PA

Lecturer, “Art and the Wissahickon”, Germantown Science & Art Club, Germantown, PA


Lecturer, "My work as a landscape artist”, for MYX, Reykjavik, Iceland


Panelist, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Lecturer, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

Lecturer, Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA


Visiting Artist and Critic, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Guest Speaker, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Guest Speaker, Middle Tennessee State University, Mutreesboro, TN


Guest Speaker, The Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia, PA


Chair, The College Art Association Conference, Boston, MA, “Painting: Dead Again/Born Again?”

Guest Speaker, Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA, “Cecilia Beaux and the Business of Art”

Guest Critic, Maryland Institute, College of Art, Post-Baccalaureate Students

Guest Speaker, Community College, Houston, TX

Visiting Artist and Critic, Summer Six Program, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Guest Lecturer, Cortland State University, Cortland, NY

Guest Lecturer, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY


Juror, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, Ninth Annual National Print Show

Guest Speaker, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Chair, The College Art Association Conference, Seattle, WA, “The Role of the Landscape Artist in the 90’s: One of Respect or Dismissal?”


Visiting Artist, Summer Six Program, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, “20th Anniversary Celebration”

Visiting Artist and Lecturer, University of Delaware, Graduate Painting Department, Newark, Delaware

Guest Speaker, Alliance Francaise, International House, Philadelphia, PA


Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Guest Lecturer, “Painting in Giverny,” Bucks County Community College, PA

Artist and Juror, Fleisher Art Memorial, Fleisher Challenge Competition


Panelist and Juror, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Fellowship Grants

Guest Lecturer, “The Giverny Experience,” The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Guest Lecturer, “The Giverny Experience,” The Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia, PA


Panelist, “Elemental Concerns,” College Art Association Conference, San Francisco, CA

Panelist, “The Subjective Response in Contemporary Landscape Painting,” Women’s Caucus for Art, San Francisco, CA

Guest Lecturer and Critic, “Work/Travel,” Portland State University, Portland, OR

Selected Patron Print Artist, Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA

Readers Digest Residency Recipient, Musee de Claude Monet, Giverny, France

Guest Lecturer, SMU in Paris, France


Visiting Artist, Critic and Lecturer, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Speaker, “The Process of Creating Art,” Business Volunteers for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Chairperson, College Art Association, Committee for the “Artist’s Award for a Distinguished Body of Work”


Presenter, Women’s Caucus for Art, Awards Dinner, Houston, TX, honoring Judith Brodsky

Member, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA, Doctoral Equivalency Evaluation Committee

Guest Juror, “Woman Image Now,” Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Panelist, “Space Chase Conference,” Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Member, College Art Association, Committee for the “Artist’s Award for a Distinguished Body of Work.”

Guest Artist, Critic and Lecturer, Hollins College, Roanoke, VA


Guest Juror, annual Women’s Caucus for Art exhibit “Influences: Across Borders, Beyond Boundaries,” Florida International University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Member, Art in City Hall, Curatorial Committee, “The Still Life in Two and Three Dimensions,” Philadelphia, PA

Juror and Guest Lecturer, All Florida Exhibit, “Inner Surfaces,” sponsored by Women’s Caucus for Art

Member, Kutztown University, Tenure Panel


Visiting Professor, Princeton University, Princeton NJ

Convener, Women’s Caucus for Art/College Art Association Los Angeles Convention, Developing and Planning Session

Guest Artist, Great Lakes Colleges Association, The Philadelphia Urban Semester

Guest Juror, Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival


Guest Lecturer and Critic, “Art Series Program,” Kutztown University

Guest Juror, Bucks County Community College, sculpture contest for “Volunteer of the Year Awards”

Speaker, Women’s Caucus for Art, Awards Dinner, Toronto, Canada

Guest Juror, Delaware County Community College

Guest Lecturer, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, Visiting Artist Series

Guest Lecturer and Critic, Stockton State College, Atlantic City, NJ

Guest Lecturer and Critic, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ


Moderator and Panelist, “Drawing: A Mainstream Activity of the Eighties,” College Art Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA; with Dotty Attie, Arnold Bittleman, Chuck Close, Keith Haring and Ellen Lanyon

Presenter and Coordinator, 5th Annual WCA Honor Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts, Women’s Caucus for Art Convention, Philadelphia, PA

Guest Speaker, “Pennsylvania Waterways Project and Landscape as Theme,” Allentown Art Museum, PA

Guest Lecturer, “Pennsylvania Waterways Project,” Albright College/Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, Reading, PA

Guest Lecturer and Critic, “Review of Work and Pennsylvania Waterways Project,” Artist for Environment Foundation

Panelist, 1984 Painting Fellowship Grants, New Jersey State Council on the Arts


Panelist, “Politics and Arts,” Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA

Guest Panelist, Artists Talk on Art Series, “Landscapes as Morality Play,” Landmark Gallery, New York, NY

Guest Speaker, Whitney Museum of Art, Fairfield County Branch, Stamford, CT, in association with The American Landscape: Recent Developments exhibition


Panelist, “Why No Great Women Artists?” Women’s Caucus for Art and Coalition of Women’s Art; with Linda Nochlin (moderator), May Stevens, Audrey Flack, Grace Hartigan, Diane Russell, Thalia Gouma-Peterson, Josephine Withers and Adelyn Breeskin

Guest Speaker, “Review of Development,” Bucks County Community College

Panelist, “Philadelphia Women Artists,” Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Gallery Lecturer, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadlephia, PA

Guest Lecturer, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA


Panelist, “Landscape Observed and Transformed,” College Art Association Conference, Washington, DC; with Yvonne Jacquette, Jane Frelicher, Ann McCoy and Lenore Malen, Moderator

Guest Lecturer, “Photography’s Role in My Work,” Philadelphia College of Art, Photograph Department

Guest Speaker, “Second Annual Roaring Fork Women in the Arts Festival, Colorado Mountain College, Aspen, CO

Panelist, “What Enables Creativity?” and “Issues – 1979,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Denver, CO

Guest Speaker, “My Own Work and the Landscapes of the West,” Yuma Arts Association, Yuma, CO

Guest Speaker, “Review of 10 Years and My Attraction to the West,” Denver University, Denver, CO

Guest Lecturer, “My Work Since Skidmore,” Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; in conjunction with the First Distinguished Alumni Award Exhibit

Guest Panelist, “Artists Talk on Art Series: Why Make Art in New York?” Landmark Gallery, New York City

Participant as a Fellow, Fall Program, “Literature and the Visual Arts: The American Landscape,” Lilly Foundation, Pennsylvania Program

Guest Lecturer, “Review of Work,” Beaver College, Glenside, PA


Guest Lecturer and Visiting Artist, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Guest Lecturer, Visiting Artist and Panelist, “The Dealer and the Artists,” Arizona State University; with Marian Locks, Leonard Lehrer and Muriel Magenta

Panelist, “20 Landscape Painters,” Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ; with Alan Gussow, Wolfe Kahn, Karl Schrag, Peter Homitzkg and Ted Christenson

Guest Lecturer and Visiting Artist, “Summer Six Program,” Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Panelist, “Three Philadelphia Realists,” Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA; with Edith Neff and Arlene Love


Panelist and Moderator, “Artists as Humanists Today,” College Art Association Conference, Los Angeles, CA; with Audrey Flack, Elenore Antin, John Moore, Phillip Pearlstein and Cindy Nemser

Panelist, “Philadelphia Women Artists,” National Art Education Association, National Convention, Philadelphia, PA

Guest Lecturer and Visiting Artist-Critic, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Guest Lecturer, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ

Guest Lecturer, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ

Panelist and Guest Artist-Critic, “Contemporary Landscape – Image and Idea,” Queensboro Community College, Queens, NY; with Philip Pearlstein, Bill Richards, Marcia Resnick, David Hendricks and Lenore Malen

Panelist, “Who Cares About the Arts?” Radio Station WCAU, Philadelphia, PA


Panelist, “Changing the Art World Structure,” College Art Association Conference, Chicago, IL; with Alice Baber and Dorothy Gillespie

Visiting Artist, Cheltenham Adult School, Cheltenham, PA

Guest Lecturer, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Symposium Participant, “Humanizing the Art World,” Pleiades/Cloud Gallery, New York City, Association of Artist-Run Galleries; with Jacqueline Skiles, Jonathan Price, Richard Kerp and Joellen Bard


Symposium Participant, “Women in the Arts: Our Status Today,” New York University, Loeb Student Center; with Dorothy Gillespie, Mary Garrard, Cindy Nemser and Vivian Wechter

Guest Speaker, Arts and Humanities Committee Conference for the President’s National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year, State Department, Washington, DC; with Lila Katzen, June Wayne and Mary Garrard

Guest Artist, Interview, Radio Station WBAI, New York, NY

Guest Lecturer, Celebration of the Arts, sponsor: National Council of Jewish Women; Cherry Hill Jewish Community Center, Cherry Hill, NJ


Guest Speaker and Visiting Artist, National Conference, “Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts,” Beaver College, Glenside, PA

President, Organizer and Coordinator, “Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts,” and Panelist, “Radical Alternatives,” with Arlene Raven, Lucy Lippard, Ann Sutherland Harris, Pat Maniardi and Mary Beth Edelson


Panelist, “Contemporary Approaches to Realism,” Alliance of Figurative Artists, New York City; with Chuck Close, John Moore, Janet Fish, Miriam Levin, Cindy Nemser and Gregory Battcock


Community Service

Board Member, Philagrafika, 2006 – 2011.

Board Member, Fleisher Art Memorial, 2007 – 2009.

Member, Committee on Women in the Arts, College Art Association, 2006 – 2009.

Board Member, College Art Association, 1994 – 98.

Member, Philadelphia Art Commission, 1992 – 96.

Member, Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, 1987 – 91.

Member, Morris Gallery Committee, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1988 – 91.

Board Member, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, 1985 – 89.

Board Member, National Women’s Caucus for Art, 1984 – 87.

Vice President for Planning and Development, WCA, 1984 – 86.