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In April of 2018, Chicana artist, Abby Rocha, curated a death positive art show at San Francisco’s Sketchpad Gallery. She says:

My intention in the creation of “The Good Death Art Show” was not only to curate an exhibit at Sketchpad Gallery very different than previous shows, but to also have a conversation with the public about the multi-faceted subject of death. I wanted artists to use visual storytelling to speak about their relationship with death, either cultural, personal or other. In many ways, the artists surpassed my expectations, they opened up and spoke about those whose stories never were told, cut short or those who left a deep impact in their lives. They talked about death in culture, their fears, their hopes and some even poked fun at the great unknown.

Departure, by Hsing Yi “Cindy” Lee.

“The ones we lost moved on, but their love will always remain to keep us going.”

Hsing Yi Lee, Cindy, is originally from Taichung, Taiwan and came to the U.S. five years ago to study art. Since graduation, she has done freelance work as an illustrator and helped with visual art on a few collaborative animation projects. She aspires to become a great visual storyteller.

How to Navigate Despair, by Dean Stuart.

“After losing someone special, life becomes an ocean we must learn how to navigate.”

Dean Stuart is an illustrator and gallery artist, He’s created work for magazines, books, and galleries for the past several years. He works out of his studio space at The Compound Gallery in Oakland, CA.

Our Lady of Holy Death, by Ana Vee Valdez.

“Santa Muerte is a folk saint and the residue of many Mexican and Chicana’s indigenous roots. She is part folk-catholic saint, an undertaker and escort to the spirit world and part death goddess, stemming from an instance of the  syncretism of Mictecacihuatl (the skeletal death Aztec death goddess). She is a protector, a server of justice, and an ethereal advocate for those who have suffered abuse or misfortune.”

Ana Vee Valdez is an Bay Area illustrator, Artist, a folk catholic and a witch. Her work heavily is influenced by her mestiza background, queerness, the occult and nature.

The Earnest Work, by Tiffany Turrill

“…Each of us is given only so many mornings to do it – to look around and love the oily fur of our lives, the hoof and the grass-stained muzzle. Days I don’t do this I feel the terror of idleness, like a red thirst… When we die the body breaks open like a river; the old body goes on, climbing the hill. – Mary Oliver”

Tiffany Turrill is a fantasy illustrator who creates work for publishing and game companies. She specializes in dark fantasy, folklore and zoology. She lives in the East Bay, CA.

Regeneration, by Krystal Lauk 

“Some people want to live forever, and advances in technology may make this possible one day. But only with death can fresh ways of thinking and new ideas grow with new generations. This is why death is not only good, it is necessary. “

Krystal Lauk is an illustrator and visual designer living in San Francisco, and worked with clients such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Fast Company, UC Berkeley and Column Five. Her work has been recognized by American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators, and 3×3 magazine.

Date With Death, by Michelle McNeil

“Get ready, look sharp—your date will be here before you know it!.”

Michelle McNeil is a designer and illustrator in San Francisco. She works as a graphic artist at the San Francisco Public Library.

Always With Us, by Kimberly Cho 

“When we lose an loved one, it feels as though they have left a gaping hole in our hearts. However, they have also left an imprint in our memories. When we reminisce about those we love, it makes us feel, in that instance, they will always be with us.”

Kimberly Cho is a San Francisco based illustrator from Taiwan. She enjoys exploring new places, near or far, and eating amazing food. However, she is usually found binge watching a TV show or doing a movie marathon. 

Baron, by Duke Duel 

“Baron Samedi, the Loa of Sex, Death and Saturday night. Baron Samedi can usually be found at the crossroads between the worlds of the living and the dead. When someone dies, he greets their soul after they have been buried, leading them to the underworld..”

Duke Duel is an artist and sign maker.

Memento Mori, by Abby Rocha 

“Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning ‘Remember you must die’. The Victorians were steeped into an era of melancholy for over 40 years when the Prince Consort, husband of their Monarch Queen Victoria, died and she went into perpetual mourning. It became fashionable and even good etiquette to be obsessed with death and mourning.”

Abigail Piña Rocha is a Chicana Illustrator based out of  beautiful Oakland, California. She creates illustrations, comics and murals and her work often has political/social commentary about Latinx culture as well as the world around her. As a failing goth in recovery, she is an advocate of the death positive community.

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