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Elizabeth Stephens


Chair of Art Department.
Environmental Art, Performance Art, Film, Intermedia and Sculpture

Elizabeth Stephens is a performance artist, filmmaker, activist and educator. Her work explores themes of embodied ecologies, queerness, and pleasure in the face of our current age of enviornmental distress. She is the founding director of the E.A.R.T.H. Lab which explores environmental art, research, theory and happenings. In her artistic work she has created a new field of research, SexEcology with her partner and collaborator Annie Sprinkle. Together they have pioneered pushed the boundaries of "Ecosexuality: the art of exploring the Earth as a lover." Through these conceptual moves and artistic practices they are injecting some sexy fun and diversity into the environmental movement while bringing attention to serious issues, especially concerning communities outside the mainstream. Their most recent feature films include Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (2012) and Water Makes Us Wet (2017). Stephens has exhibited visual art, created performance art pieces and screened films nationally and internationally for over 35 years. Her work has been exibited and shown at museums and galleries including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Reina Sophia, in Madrid, Spain, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany, the Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, PS 1/Museum of Modern Art, NY, NY and in the Biennale Venezia 53rd International Art Exhibition. Her films have been screened at a variety of venues includeing Cineteca Nacional Theater, Mexico City, the Bozarts, Brussels, Belgium, and in the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, in Sheffield, England.  Most recently Stephena and Sprinkle exhibited visual art, created performative walking tours and premiered their newest Water Makes Us Wet in Documenta 14.

Education and Training: 
Diploma, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
B.F.A., Tufts University
M.F.A., Rutgers University
Ph.D. Performance Studies, University of California, Davis
Teaching Interests: 

Environmental Art, Performance Art, Ars Erotica, Intermedia and Sculpture

Honors and Awards: 

Eureka Fellowship, Fleishaker Foundation, San Francisco, CA 

Rydell Fellowship, Santa Cruz, CA

San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant, San Francisco, CA

Theater Cash Grant, San Francisco, CA


Digital Arts Research Center 341
Studio: Digital Arts Research Center 229
Office Hours: 
Email for Office Hours
Mailing Address: 

Art Department

Baskin Visual Arts 

UC Santa Cruz

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064