Save the Date for Celebrate Fleisher! 30th Founder's Award Honoring Diane Burko

Thursday, June 6, 2019, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, June 6, Fleisher will honor Diane Burko with the 30th Founder’s Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant commitment to providing access to the arts, promoting excellence in creative expression, and enriching Philadelphia’s cultural resources.

Fleisher is proud to honor Diane for many reasons, including her contributions as an artist, educator, and environmentalist. Diane served on Fleisher’s Board of Directors for many years, helping to create access to arts education for thousands of children and adults, and has been a generous supporter of our work. Most recently, Diane has distinguished herself nationally for her environmental advocacy, and devotes her attention to communicating issues of climate change.

The Founder’s Award Celebration is Fleisher’s most significant annual fundraising event to support arts education for community members of all ages. Together, we’ll foster a diverse and just community where everyone can discover the artist within.

Pictured above: Diane Burko, detail of “Arctic Melting,” 60”x84”, mixed media, 2017.

Diane Burko first arrived in Philadelphia from New York City to pursue an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then she’s had an active studio practice and a 29-year career as professor and founder of CCP’s Transfer Art Program. Her early mark in the arts community happened in 1974 by creating FOCUS, Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts. She has served on the PVLA Board (1985-89); was a member of PAFA’s Morris Gallery Committee (1988-91); Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, (1987 – 91); Philadelphia Art Commission, (1992 – 96) and Philagrafika (2009-2011). Her support for Fleisher’s mission stems from two terms as a board member (2007-2012) as well as being an original member of the Dear Fleisher, committee, and taking figure drawing classes during graduate school.

In 2006 Diane reoriented her practice to the intersection of art, science and the environment. Her large-scale paintings and photographs, developed in close collaboration with glaciologists, documented the disappearance of glaciers. She is now investigating the pressing issue of threatened coral reef ecosystems, having spent a month in Hawaii and American Samoa, bearing witness to the ocean sprawl and visiting marine biology labs. Her commitment to witness, record, translate, and communicate scientific information through her art as well as public engagement serve as an antidote to climate doubt.

A six-month exhibition, Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs at the National Academy of Sciences, closed in January. In Houston, the Cindy Lisica Gallery will mount a solo exhibition of her work from May 3 to June 8, 2019. In September 2021, The American University Museum, will devote an entire floor to Diane Burko: An Artist Confronts Climate Change.

Past Founder's Award Recipients

  • Gayle Isa and Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel, 2018

  • Marsha Moss, 2017

  • Dr. Dennis W. Creedon, 2016

  • Louise Clement-Hoff, 2015

  • Helen Cunningham & Ted Newbold, 2014

  • Dina & Jerry Wind, 2013

  • Jill & Sheldon Bonovitz, 2012

  • Al West & Paige West, 2011

  • Carole Haas Gravagno, 2010

  • Louis Massiah, Pepón Osorio, & Lily Yeh, 2009

  • Peggy Amsterdam & Karen Davis, 2008

  • Anne d’Harnoncourt, 2007

  • James Nelson Kise, James Bennett Straw, & David A. Schultz, 2006

  • Frank & Betty Louchheim, 2005

  • Suzanne Fleisher Roberts, 2004

  • Dr. Luther W. Brady, Jr., 2003

  • Thora Jacobson, 2002

  • Happy Fernandez, 2001

  • Linda Lee Alter, 2000

  • Hon. Edward G. Rendell, 1999

  • Marian Locks, 1998

  • Joseph Rishel, 1997

  • Dorothy R. B. Manou & Melinda Whiting, 1996

  • Ella King Torrey, 1995

  • Helen W. Drutt English, 1994

  • Edna Andrade & William Parshall, 1993

  • Penny Balkin Bach & Jody Pinto, 1992

  • Judith Tannenbaum, 1991

  • Frank Gasparro, 1990