Artist Ashley Ortiz-Diaz looking at Pioneer grave stones

grave rubbing
Residents make rubbings of local graves

Artists on a tour of the Beechwood Cemetery

A look at death in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

A look inside a mausoleum

Artist Sharron Stevens tries on a casket at the Pike Vessels workshop

Ayatana residents document birds killed in collisions with buildings

Ayatana residents look into a fresh grave

Ayatana residents visit a taxidermy studio

Art historian Stephanie Williams explains Memento Mori in art history

Ayatana residents explore the archives of the Museum of Nature

Artist Erin Williamson listens to the inside of a whale ear bone

Residents explore the vault at the War Museum's archives



Mortem: For artists to study death
8 classes in October 2024
Deadline to apply: June 15

Mortem is an 8 day online death school for artists to pursue our curiosity of death and to explore and develop our identities as a death-curious artists. The virtual residency will involve daily live video lectures with international death care and funeral industry workers, historians, biologists and artists on a range of death related topics and several short one on one meetings with artists who make art about death around the world. Built in to the 2- 2.5 hours of daily programming are discussions, recommended assignments and show and tell. The program is designed to give insight into death knowledge and ritual from a wide range of perspectives.

Ayatana death residencies facilitate talk about death. It is not grief therapy and won't ask you to dwell on pain from your past, although it will be an opportunity to share past experiences in a death positive context and most likely will be therapeutic. It will help you identify as an artist who works with themes of death and give you tools to talk about your work and to get involved with non-art professionals who also work with death.

Ayatana residencies focus on experience and research by visual and conceptual artists. Artists, writers, poets, musicians and dancers are invited to apply. This residency will host six or seven selected international artists. No previous experience related to death is necessary but a portfolio showing your creative practice is required to apply.


Death and art:

Residents are invited to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Beautiful Death: The Art and Mystery of Mortality with the director of the Museum of Morbid Anatomy Johanna Ebinstein

How to talk about impending environmental doom with photographer and documentary film maker Chris Jordan

Frankenstein and the history of scientific study of the souls with Author Brandy Schillace

Decoding the imagery on grave stones with Elise M. Ciregna of Harvard University

Body disposition options:

Talk to a funeral director to learn about standard burial and cremation processes

Green burial activism with the Green Burial Council

Enbalming chat with an eco-casket builder

Presentation of the history of death rituals around the world

Death care:
What to do when some one dies: a chat with a death doula

Guided death meditation


$600 USD
Residency places are limited to 7 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help find grants and funding.


How to apply:
Send the following material to ArtLovesScience@gmail.com
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of your work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.