About Us

The Art of Death Conference and Exhibition   October 2-11, 2015

We want to thank you again for your participation in the Art of Death Conference last year. As you know, the conference was a huge success with over 500 people coming through the conference and exhibition. This is unprecedented for a first time event and for an event focused on the very thing most people say they don’t want to talk about. Well, we have debunked Myth #1, as it turns out people do want to talk about it, and are eager to learn more and to be more participatory in a community that supports death as a natural process.

We are pleased to be partnering with the Bellingham Public Library this year who will be housing most of our conference at the Historic Fairhaven Library. We hope that you will join us again this year in helping to make this conference a community success. It simply can not be done without the generous contributions from our community sponsors. Together we can give our community the web of resources that is truly needed to create the support and care through the full transition from wellness into death and bereavement.


Mission of the Exhibit:

We hope to offer an opportunity for personal exploration of the topic and choices surrounding Death and Dying.

By using many different points of interest as access points or doorways into the board subject of Death and Dying, we offer an opportunity for people of all comfort levels, learning styles, beliefs, cultures and understanding to enter into the subject with curiosity and comfort.

The Arts can open the doors of curiosity and awareness more than any other access point. By using the expression of art, like: music, poetry, dance, painting, sculpture, films, storytelling; in conjunction with the more logical-linear formatted presentations, alongside interactive, hands-on learning, spiritual and cultural expressions and healthcare professional education programs. We will offer a supportive balance of offerings for exploration on the choices surrounding Death and Dying in End-of-Life care.

Every day we go through death. Death of a day, death of a season, death of time, youth and innocence. We put to death bad habits, bad relationships and bad jobs. We watch as our friends, family, pets and colleagues die. It is the small deaths that prepare us for the large death; our own. We have all been touched, moved and supported by death.

Death is part of life. It is in line with the natural order of all things. Yet, our culture has created a negative label for death. We each have very strong images and words in our minds associated with death. We are taught to look the other way, not talk about it and to conceal our emotions surrounding death. Yet death is inevitable. What we can do is change our knowledge and perceptions of death.

There are so many choices we can make about our dying process. Choices about  medical care, living wills, DNR orders, legal concerns, powers of attorney, wills, cremation, burial, green burial, funerals, vigils, ceremonies, religious and cultural services. The lists of options are as varied as the fees. What most people don’t realize is what happens when you don’t make any of these choices before you die.

The goal of The Art of Death Conference & Exhibit is to bring a broader awareness to the choices surrounding and supporting death.

A good death is an informed conscious death. May this exhibit offer you some tools to raise your consciousness.


The Main Event:

The Art of Death Conference will proudly present: The Web we Weave. A dance and spoken word performance to illustrate the struggles we encounter from the web we weave ourselves into as we enter the path towards end-of-life. It will be held at the beautiful Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building on Saturday October 10th at 6:00 pm and will include our Key Note speaker; Swil Kanim with musical guests, Tracy Sprin, the Mockingbirds, Harper: Duncan Saunders, and wine reception with our exhibitors from the various agencies and businesses supporting end of life choices.  We are happy to be including a privet viewing of the museums instillation of: HELMI’S WORLD: SYMBOL, MYTH, FANTASY.  Tickets to this evening performance and presentation are $10 Adults, $8 students or seniors, children under 10 are free. Tickets are available at the Downtown Bellingham Community Food Co-op and at the door.

There are many ways to be involved with The Art of Death exhibit. Of course we hope you will join us at the conference. But there are ways to participate beyond just attending… see our sponsor and presenter pages. Or contact us for volunteer opportunities. 

Event Tickets

Stephen Jenkinson
Dying Wise Presentation
Thursday October 22, 2015 7-9pm
at WWU Academic West Lecture Hall




No paper tickets will be mailed. All tickets will be at will call. Please print your Paypal receipt/confirmation and bring that with you to will call. There are no refunds but tickets can be transferred to another party with written authorization. If your ticket is purchased under someone else's name, the ticket purchaser will need to be present to confirm the ticket assignment unless written authorization is provided.If you have questions please email ashleybenem@gmail.com