research labs
Residents are introduced to the K. Irving Botanical Garden research labs
Residents visit the Just Food farm to learn about seed savingiytf
Residents visit the Art of the Plant show with the Ottawa Society of Botanical Artists
Artist Cynthia Farnell inspects a pineapplweed flower with a pocket microscope

Residents forage with herbalist Amber Westfal at the Wild Garden.
Residents collect ferns by moonlight for a ritual performance
Residents view specimen at the National Museum of Nature's Herbarium
Residents learn to prepare materials at the Biodynamic Kin Vineyard



Plants and botany for Artists
Gatineau Hills, June, 2019
Deadline to apply: Jan 30, 2019

Germinate is a weeklong program for artists to focus on the plant kingdom in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in the summer of 2019. The residency will involve twice daily excursions into forests, wildlife sanctuaries, farms and research labs enriched by various plant specialists. The program is designed to give insight into plant knowledge from a wide range of perspectives.

Ayatana residencies focus on experience and research by visual and conceptual artists. Writers, poets, musicians and dancers are also invited to apply. This residency will host five or six selected international artists. This immersive research residency leaves little time free for making art, but developing ideas out loud and collecting material is encouraged at all times. Although the magority of the activities in this program are scientific, of all the Ayatana residencies, this one envolves the most magic. Artists interested in ritual and energy will be be happy here. No previous expirience in biology is necisary but a portfolio showing your creative practice is required to apply.

At least half of Biophilia field trips are spent outdoors. Hikes are gentle.

All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine.

We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Guided tour of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden to talk about native species.

Meet with the Ottawa Society of Botanical Illustration.

Visit the National Herbarium archives to open drawers, learn about collection and DNA sampling.

Hike the woods with an expert from the Ontario Invasive Species Council.

Meet a kirilian photographer for an artist talk and plant EEG demonstration.

Hike the Wild Garden to pick edible and medicinal plants.

Learn about trees and climbing them with an arborist.

Explore shore line plant life with a river keeper.

Visit the Ottawa Seed Library to learn about seed saving and sustainable food farming.

Visit a biodynamic vinyard to learn about planting by luar calendar.

Talk on poisonouse garden plants from a representitive from the Royal Horticultural Society.


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town, surrounded by mountains and nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River, is home to many scientists and artists.


$1250 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help in the procuration of grants and funding.


What is included:
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
A comfortable bed in the Ayatana residency house.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef. *Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants, which will happen 2 or 3 times during the week.

How to apply: Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.
Send the following material to
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of work


Disclaimer: Those who do not like the outdoors or to talk about art, need not apply.


For more images of past Ayatana adventures see our face book albums

Germinat July 2018, Chelsea Quebec

Germinate Aug 2017
, Chelsea, Quebec

Biophilia Sept 2016, Chelsea, Quebec

Biophilia July 2015, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Biophilia Sept 2014 Wakefield, Quebec