Diane Arrieta

Artist Statement

I am a research-based artist focusing on biodiversity loss and the effects humans have on the accelerated population declines and overall health of animals, particularly endangered species. I produce stylized, figurative work based on the philosophies of the animated film genre and the neurobiology of wonderment. My figures tell stories of human/animal interactions in odd situations that ignite the creative mind of the viewer. Although seemingly bright and cheery, the work has dark undertones and messages of extinction, changing landscapes and a dying planet. Wonderment is the basis of all learning. Wonder is the desire to know the unknown. It consists in “never taking anything for granted”, even that which is known. Wonder helps us deal with reality and allows for new possibilities” [L’Ecuyer, 2014]. …children have this. Many adults lose the ability to wonder. My installations draw you into a "play" environment, but allow for open discourse related to the science of species and ecosystem health. “If you want children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales” --Einstein ​


Diane Arrieta was born in Clearfield, Pa and raised in Oil City, Pennsylvania. The town was the site of a Seneca Indian Village, that later became the epicenter for the petroleum industry. The significance of this rich history would have a major influence on her beliefs that eventually became the basis for her art practice.

Deeply influenced by her Native American and European Descent–Susquehanna Indian and immigrant farmers from Czechoslovakia, Arrieta’s views of nature and her stewardship of land and the environment were formed from childhood.

She holds a BFA in ceramic sculpture, but did not find her true voice until much later, when she earned an advanced degree (MSc) in Wildlife Health from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Her work focuses on biodiversity loss and the effects humans have on the accelerated population declines and over all health of animals, particularly endangered species.

Her work has been shown widely throughout the United States as well as the United Kingdom. She has exhibited in several museums, such as the Cornell Museum, The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, The Boca Raton Museum and the Museum of Fine Art Tallahassee. She has had several solo exhibitions, including the Art & Cultural Center Hollywood and Palm Beach State College. Arrieta’s awards include the coveted South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship Grant and the Hector Ubertalli Award for the Visual Arts. She has served on several public art committees, ran a University exhibition program, and is the founding Director of the International Humanities Project Curatorial Lab. Her main art studio is located in Palm Beach, FL., with a summer studio in Yonkers, N.Y.