A Fitting Farewell: Memorial Artists
Memorial gifts and mementos usually take the shape of small tokens of love and affection. An engraved urn can serve as a cremation receptacle and memorial plaque. A memorial blanket can capture a photo or favorite quote. Small tokens like vases, statues, garden rocks, and other engraved surfaces also make popular options. For green funeral plans, family members can plant a tree or place a memorial bench in a favorite park.
While all of these options are great ones, those who want to go above and beyond to commemorate the life and death of a loved one may want to consider hiring a memorial artist. These artists, who work in every medium from paint to stone, are available to create handcrafted works of art dedicated solely to the deceased.
Memorial art is nothing new in the funeral planning industry. Some of our most famous statues and sculptures are tributes to famous, deceased individuals, and even the Egyptian pyramids are their own kind of memorial. While the practice has historically existed for exalted leaders of society, there is no reason why you cannot commission a smaller piece for your own family’s remembrance.
Every artist is going to approach memorial artwork differently, but some of the more common types of pieces include:
- Wood sculptures and carvings (totems, benches, and other handcrafted pieces made from fresh or reclaimed wood)
- Papermaking and printing (can also be used as funeral pamphlets for a token memento for all guests)
- Paintings and drawings (either portraits of the deceased or landscapes that evoke a certain mood/feeling)
- Metal sculptures (varying in size from weathervanes for display at your house to larger, publicly commissioned pieces)
- Concrete artwork (often in the shape of benches or headstones)
- Ceramics (busts of the deceased and other pieces that may or may not include an inscription)
- Landscape design (planting and gardening to create a space of reflection)
Of course, this is just a small sampling of the type of artwork that can be created as part of a memorial gift. It all depends on what type of memorial art you would like to have and what kind of budget is available.
Where to Put Memorial Art
If you commission a large piece, you will also need to consider where it will go. Small pieces can be displayed in the home or in a columbarium, but larger pieces may need to be installed in a permanent location. If you may eventually move from your home or city, it is best to have them installed in a public location where they can be visited at a future date. Although you must always have permission to commission a public work of art, you may find that you can erect a piece for a churchyard, cemetery, private garden, or other public space—especially if the deceased made a major contribution to your community.
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By Amy Johnson