Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs
A Multi-Media Exhibition by Diane Burko
August 15, 2018 - January 31, 2019
NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Free. Photo ID required.
Diane Burko blurs the lines between art, science, and the environment. Since 2006, her practice has been devoted to communicating climate change issues. She synthesizes information from her own on-site investigations together with data gathered from research and meetings with scientists into a range of media including paintings, photography, and video. Her goal is to further the conversation about how our natural world is being challenged by climate change.
For more than a decade, she has documented the dramatic disappearance of glaciers with large-scale paintings and photographs developed in close collaboration with glaciologists. She has made expeditions in Svalbard, Norway, Greenland, Argentina, New Zealand, and Antarctica as part of her study of polar landscapes. In the past year, Burko has turned her attention toward the impact of climate change on coral reef systems around the world, traveling to Hawaii, American Samoa, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to learn from marine biologists and to see first-hand how increasing ocean temperatures, sea-level rise, and ocean acidification are affecting coral reef systems. In her paintings, prints, and video she uses material as metaphor to evoke movement, the passage of time, and the fragility of these endangered landscapes. This exhibition will, for the first time, feature her new reef paintings together with her glacier paintings.
Born in Brooklyn and based in Philadelphia, Burko has exhibited her paintings and photography widely throughout the United States in a career spanning nearly 50 years. About her climate-focused work, Burko states, “I don’t want to frighten people away. I want to celebrate these places and ecosystems, and then through the celebration and through reminding people about ecological signs and warnings, communicate that there’s an underlying issue: that we have to protect nature and we’re the ones who are directly involved in destroying it.”
Watch a short video about the exhibition
Visit Diane Burko's website
Pictured: Faga'alu, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches