Geology for Artists November 2020
Deadline for Applications, June 15th 2020


Geophilia is the love of the earth. Get grounded and study minerals and crystals with Canadian experts.

Geophilia is a residency for Canadian and international artists interested in geology, minerals and the Earth to study, research and explore the natural world. It will take place over a week in the Gatineau Hills, Canada, in the fall of 2020. The residency will facilitate daily excursions into nature for the collection of materials and exploration of a wide range of Canadian geological sites. Daily expeditions in to caves, laboritories and fossil beds will be enriched by geologists and experts. 

Ayatana residencies focus on experience and research by visual and conceptual artists but writers, poets, musicians and dancers are also invited to apply. This residency will host only five or six selected international artists. Preference will be given, but is absolutely not limited, to those working with performance, intervention, site specific installation, interactive or nomadic work, new media, interdisciplinary research and collaboration.  This action-packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, so brainstorming new ideas and collecting material is encouraged at all times.

All participants will be invited to contribute to the residency catalogue. We hope the experience will facilitate connections between participants and lead to international shows. Although Ayatana residents are not expected to produce work during the program, collaboration with each other and the non-artist community of geophiles is encouraged, especially at the conceptualization stage.  

We are looking for adventurous artists interested in experimentation who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous sharing of early-stage ideas and work in a small group. The workshops will support the experimentation of new artistic projects in a friendly and analytical context.



Fossil hunting:
We will visit sites rich with stromatolites, some of the earliest lifeforms, and orthocones, 400million-year-old relatives of the squid, with the guidance of a paleontologist.

Rock hounding:
With the help of a physicist and lapasmith we will explore an abandoned appetite and mica mine.

We will venture into the Lafleshe cave system, the largest accessible system on the Canadian shield.

Raku Firing: 
The Japanese technique of firing ceramics by dropping red hot pieces straight from the kiln into saw dust causes dramatic flames and a mysterious metallic finish on the work. We will each glaze and fire a pot.

Star gazing:
We will watch the skies with the guidance of the astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Rock Balancing:
We will learn how land artist and physicist John Ceprano balances rock sculptures at the Remic Rapids in the Ottawa River.

Rock carving:
We will visit the Smith and Barber stone carving studio to see ongoing masonry reconstruction and conservation of the Canadian parliament buildings.

We will visit Carleton University's Microanalysis Laboratory and use their Scanning Electron Microscope to test the minerals we find throughout the week.

We will visit Carleton Universitie's Earth Science Department to image sand through compond microscopes and to admire thin mineral sections with a polorising petrographic microscope.

National Collection:
We will have a backstage tour of the National Museum of Nature's mineral collection and archives.


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.

$1300 USD

Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invitations will be given to accepted applicants to help in the finding of grants and funding.

What is included:
Lodging. A bed in the residency house.
Indoor and outdoor work spaces. 
All activities.
Ground travel to all activities.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by resident chef. *Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants once or twice in the week.
Workshops by local community members.
Introductions to sites and contexts.
Facilitators / production assistants. 
Participation in residency catalogue.
Possibility of a Canadian group exhibition.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear. 

Eligibility: The program is open to any creative person who demonstrates high caliber art production or research practice.

How to apply
Send the following material to ArtLovesScience@gmail.com

1.       Artist CV
2.       Artist statement (about 200 words)
3.       Ayatana form
4.       Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of your work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.





































Paleontologist Chris Maksey explains to Artist Andrew Godsalve that he has just discovered a 350 million-year-old fossil of tracks made by what is now called the Godsalve scorpion
residents explore the Lafleche cave system

Ayatana residents on a fossil hunting expedition led by geologist Beth McLarty Halfkenny

rakuResidents performing a raku firing

Physicist and earth artists John Ceprano telling Ayatana residents about rock balancing

Artist Anna Kodama admires the Canadian National Mineral Collection

View through a petrographic microscope


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

Summer 2015 Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Fall 2014 Wakefield, Quebec