Ayatana residents explore with entomologist Fenja Brodo

Ayatana residents explore with entomologist Diane Lepage

Residents catch insects with entomologist Andrew Young

Ayatana residents visit the Ottawa Community Beekeepers' hives

Residents hold a wrigling Atlas moth pupa (photo Melissa Smith)

Entomologist Jeff Skevinton shows the group around the
Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes

Residents examine moths in the field with
entomological photographer Jim des Rivières

Ayatana residents learning to catch insects with entomologist Hume Douglas

Artist Laura Williams looks at flies at the CNC


















































Swarm: Insects and Entomology for Artists
Two weeks in July online 2021
Application deadline: April 10

Swarm Online Insect School is a two week-long program for artists to learn about insects. The virtual residency will involve daily live video lectures with international entomological researchers on a range of insect related topics, one tethered international field trip in your backyard and several short one on one meetings with artists working with insects 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 insect life and how it fits into the big ecological picture from a wide range of perspectives.

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

Participants must have access to a device to run Zoom, and an internet connection.

All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables.

Artist talk: Residents are invited to give a private artist talk to introduce your work with the group.

Introduction to wild insect identification and taxonomy

Invasive Bark Boring Beetles and Other Insect/ Tree Relationships

Live Insects in Contemporary Art, and Entomological Resources for Artists

The Life of a Hive. Bee Physiology and Colony Collapse.

Virtual outing. Participants will observe, collect or photograph the insects in their area and the group will identify what is observed with the help of a taxonomist.

Insect Farming – Ants and Aphids

Insect Farming- Crickets as Agriculture

Eusociality and Super Organisms

Periodicity and Cicadas

Bio diversity, insect apocalypse

Forensic Entomology


Insect Communication


$550 USD

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 work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


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


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For more images of past adventures see our face book albums

Swarm 2019, Chelsea Quebec

Swarm 2018, Chelsea Quebec

Swarm 2017, Chelsea Quebec

Creep 2016, Chelsea, Quebec

Biophilia July 2015, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Biophilia Sept 2014 Wakefield, Quebec