Diana Thater

Core Faculty, Graduate Art


Diana Thater is a core faculty member and former chair of ArtCenter’s graduate Art Department. An exhibiting artist since 1992, Thater has received international acclaim for her ground-breaking film, video and installation-based works. A writer, educator and curator as well as artist, she is known for exploring the unpredictable relationships between culture and nature, human and animal, and science and magic. Her film Welcome to Taiji with T. Kelly Mason and Ric O’Barry served as the basis for the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove.

Thater received her BA in art history from New York University and her MFA from ArtCenter. During the past decade, her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions, including the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; Natural History Museum, London; Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Secession, Vienna; and The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Illinois. In 2015, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, a 25-year mid-career survey of her work.

Her art is represented in museum collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Notable awards and fellowships include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art project grant, Artistic Innovation award from Los Angeles’ Center for Cultural Innovation, and James D. Phelan Award in Film and Video.