Elizabeth Burden

Elizabeth Burden is a multidisciplinary artist, blending studio work with social practice. Her work focuses on the interrelated themes of geographies, space, and place; legacies and vestiges of historical violence and trauma; contemporary state and societal violences; and re-imagining and re-solution.

She believes that we need to prepare for the post-(fill in the blank) world–whether one defines it as post-SARS-CoV2, post-Trump, post-democratic, post-global, or something else. Further, she believes that the US is at one of those paradigm-shifting points in history, which is an opportunity to plant seeds for the transformation of the social order in favor of new, more equitable and just systems. Lastly, she believes that art-based processes can be an effective means to open space for reimagining the praxis, grammar (and rhetorics), aesthetics, and geographies of entrenched and failing systems, and for delving into concepts of community resilience, resistance, and restoration.

Elizabeth was one of four Mellon Projecting All Voices fellows (2020-2021). She was an artist-in-residence at the Santa Fe Arts Institute (Truth and Reconciliation Residency, 2018-2019), and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Trainings for the Not Yet, 2019). She holds a master’s degree in geographic information science technology, and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and in visual arts.


Truth & Reconciliation 2018/2019
Revolution 2022




Tucson, AZ USA


“Everywhere African-Americans looked, the state was not only impervious to their suffering but an accessory to the crime.” — Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

In moments such as these, I retreat (that is, withdraw to a quiet secluded place) with art in its various forms. Nina Simone called to me; I responded: Minnesota Goddam. Georgia Goddam. New York Goddam. Texas Goddam. Arkansas Goddam. Arizona Goddam. (Fill in your state) Goddam.

I resolve to make more art that creates space for retreat (that is, a change to one’s decisions, plans, or attitude, as a result of critique), reflection, and redemption. – Liz Burden

For a complete read of Anti-racist statements by SFAI Alumni, visit the SFAI140 Chronicles page.