Diane Arrieta

Artist Statement

“Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it”. – Rapunzel from Tangled

The work of Diane Arrieta is fueled by a lifetime kinship for animals, environmental stewardship and a love of animated movies.

The art work investigates environmental and social concerns through a whimsical use of color and characters. It is rooted in the style and philosophies of animation and comic book genres. The work is a type of parody for real life and activates childhood imagination and play. Through the use of cultural icons, symbols and references, the artist gives the viewer a sense of nostalgia. The work elicits compassion for the animal subjects the artist presents. It offers a story for exploration without confrontation. The message of the work is important, but not necessarily the end result for every viewer. Albert Einstein said "Imagination is more important than knowledge”. If the art work ignites reflection, memories from childhood or empathy for the subject, that is more important than the facts. The artist’s research shows that this may encourage investigation into the message .

Arrieta is offering a moment of fantasia, while simultaneously offering environmental awareness .


Diane Arrieta (USA-Czech/German/Native American) was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in South Florida. She holds a BFA in ceramic sculpture (Florida Atlantic University, FL) and an MSc in Wildlife Health (University of Edinburgh’s School of Medicine and Veterinarian Medicine, U.K.).

Arrieta employs an insouciant use of a stripped down schematic characteristic of 21st century cartoons and animation. This schematic, together with the application to her paintings’ surfaces of ambiguous symbolic phrases and shapes (e.g., repetitive circles or triangles) invite closer attention, serving to intensify the curiosity of the viewer regarding the density of meaning implied in the term syncretism. Her female figures in much of the work recall imagery depicting the Disney version of Snow White (and her physical attributes “as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood.”) Snow White iconography is firmly imprinted on popular consciousness worldwide as the first Disney leading lady, surrounded by singing and dancing animals. Arrieta applies the same approach, giving the viewer a common starting place to interact with the work. Despite its avowed purpose , the overall effect is in no way directly didactic.

The works of Diane Arrieta have been exhibited in several museums, such as the Cornell Museum of American Art & Culture, 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 and Product 81 Creative Lab in conjunction with the Ford Artist Residency. Her work is shown throughout the United States and the United Kingdom and is in both private and public collections, including the Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz (Girl’s Club) Collection.

Additionally, Arrieta has been granted the coveted South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship Grant in 2008, and the 2010 Hector Ubertalli Award for the Visual Arts. Birds are Nice has served on several public art committees , runs an exhibition program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Libraries, is the Director of the International Humanities Curatorial Lab (IHP) Project at FAU and maintains a studio in Palm Beach, FL.

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