Diane Arrieta

Artist Statement

As a conservation biologist, my art practice centers on scientific research. The work engages in critical narratives surrounding the environment and shifting landscapes, together with female perspectives of the inequalities of society. The domination of women and the degradation of the environment are consequences of the patriarchy and capitalism. I infuse natural materials with industrial and found objects as a deliberate choice that helps entrench human activity as the driver for the discourse of my work. Foraging for found objects helps reduce my environmental footprint by steering clear of generating needless waste, while also connecting me to the world around me. Einstein said “If you want children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales”. I create endearing visual allegories that evoke wonder, the awe of nature and faith in humanity that defends the marginalized and endangered. The art is immersive, playful, and fosters curiosity, encouraging an appreciation for the possibilities it presents.


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.