Greg Lundgren

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Greg Lundgren
Born1969/1970 (age 49–50)[1]
OccupationArtist and funeral monument businessperson

Greg Lundgren is a Seattle-based artist, author, filmmaker and entrepreneur.[3]

Vital 5 Productions[edit]

Vital 5 Productions was a "one-man arts organization" for which Lundgren won a Genius Award in 2003.[4][5][6] The program created exhibits, publications and issued grants.[7] In 2007, it was the subject of an eight-week 911 Media Arts Center retrospective called "Straight to Video: the first 10 years of Vital 5".[8][9]

Lundgren wrote The Vital 5 Cookbook, published in 2006, as a set of "recipes" for exhibition and self-expression.[10] The title may have been a reference to The Anarchist Cookbook.[5]

Lundgren started Vital 5's Arbitrary Art Grants program in 2009, issuing $500 grants to local artists to "serve as catalysts to create large-scale group projects and performances".[11]

In 2015, Vital 5 Productions retrofitted the 3rd floor of the historic King Street Station in downtown Seattle for contemporary art exhibition. This 22,000 square foot space hosted Out of Sight - a survey of contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest concurrent with the Seattle Art Fair. Giant Steps - a 48 Hour Artist Residency on the Moon, a group exhibition and competition, opened in the space on March 3, 2016. The second year of Out of Sight will launch on August 4, 2016.

Lundgren Monuments[edit]

His funeral monument business, Lundgren Monuments, opened in 2004,[1] and he opened a "death boutique" showroom on Seattle's First Hill in 2008 including work by other artists such as Jesse Edwards (artist) and Michael Leavitt (artist).[12] Lundgren has been noted for "bring[ing] more art and design into the world" of death care,[13] and creating "a renaissance in the funerary arts in 21st-century America."[6]

Lundgren Monuments specializes in large-scale cast glass monuments with the intent of bringing more color, light and diversity into the cemetery landscape. They also design and build modern urns and host group exhibitions focused on contemporary design and alternatives to traditional death care.

An exhibit at Lundgren Monuments in 2010 was called "the first time in history that a group of architects have focused their talents on the cremation urn as an architectural object".[14][15]

An urn/artwork called The Final Turn, which he collaborated with architect Tom Kundig in designing, was noted in Robb Report and The New York Times, and is shown in Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Awards gallery.[3][16][17]

The Order of the Good Death[edit]

Lundgren, along with mortician and author Caitlin Doughty, TED speaker Jae Rhim Lee, alternative funeral home director Jeff Jorgenson, and other death professionals, founded The Order of the Good Death, promoting alternative death care and putting Seattle in the forefront of this new endeavor.[18][19][20][21]


Books and film[edit]


Lundgren has written two children's books and one book about making art.

  • Lundgren, Greg (2006), The Vital 5 Cookbook: Recipes for the Contemporary Artist, Curator & Troublemaker, ISBN 978-0977908004
  • Lundgren, Greg (2012), Greenview Cemetery, ISBN 978-0977908011
  • Lundgren, Greg (2012), Maybe Death is Like a Light, ISBN 978-0977908028

Lundgren's feature length one-take film CHAT, starring Rosalie Edholm as a camgirl sex worker, was screened at the Northwest Film Forum in July, 2014, and again in September for Seattle's Local Sightings Film Festival.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b Nick Eaton (June 14, 2006), "Maker of glass tombstones sees life in cemeteries", Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  2. ^ "Greg Lundgren and the Art of Living", Vanguard Seattle, September 11, 2013
  3. ^ a b "The Final Turn (product design)", National Design Awards gallery, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, March 19, 2013
  4. ^ a b Emily Hall (2003), "2003 Stranger Organization Genius Vital 5", The Stranger
  5. ^ a b Jen Graves (July 6, 2006), "Cookbooks and Tombs: Vital 5's Greg Lundgren Believes in Art", The Stranger
  6. ^ a b Brendan Kiley (July 17, 2008), "The Art of Dying: How One Guy in Seattle Is Changing What Happens When We Die", The Stranger
  7. ^ Amanda Manitach (May 8, 2012), "The Softer Side of Death", CityArts
  8. ^ "Straight to Video", Henry blog, Seattle: Henry Art Gallery, June 5, 2007
  9. ^ Regina Hackett (June 4, 2007), "Straight To Video", Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  10. ^ The Vital 5 Cookbook, Vital 5 Productions
  11. ^ 10 years of Arbitrary Art Grants, Walden Three Seattle, December 2, 2012
  12. ^ Marlow Harris (June 11, 2008), "Death boutique, wine and cheese, tra-la!", Seattle Twist
  13. ^ "Modern Homes for the Dead", Funeral Business Advisor, September 8, 2014, Greg Lundgren has been designing and championing high craft, modern urns, and brought some of the leading 21st century architects and designers into the conversation. Architects like Tom Kundig, Lorcan O’Herlihy, George Suyama and Eric Kahn. Designers such as Stefan Gulassa, Mark Mitchell and Arne Pihl. This conversation is very much alive and changing the way we consider our last home. Do the people you love reside in cardboard boxes? Lundgren Monuments believes that with death comes the opportunity to bring more art and design into the world, that monuments and urns help define our cultural heritage, and at present, we are failing in our approach to death and the legacies we leave behind.
  14. ^ "Death by Rock and Roll",, June 25, 2010
  15. ^ "The Architect and the Urn exhibit", ArchDaily, June 4, 2010
  16. ^ Samantha Brooks (May 15, 2013), "Urn Style", Robb Report Home & Style, Easily mistaken for a purely decorative object, the Final Turn is actually an urn. The Seattle-based architect Tom Kundig, of Olson Kundig Architects, created the piece with the designer Greg Lundgren, of Seattle’s Lundgren Monuments ...
  17. ^ Julie Lasky (December 12, 2012), "A Work of Art Where You Can Rest in Peace", The New York Times
  18. ^ Kiley, Brendan (September 17, 2014), "It's Time to Think About Your Demise; An Interview with Caitlin Doughty, Author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Doyenne of Death", The Stranger, retrieved September 18, 2014
  19. ^ Kiley, Brendan (September 17, 2014), "Enough Talk About Your Youth—Let's Talk About Your Death: Seattle Is at the Forefront of Innovative Thinking About What to Do with Dead Bodies", The Stranger
  20. ^ Damon Sayles, ed. (December 16, 2014), "Hot topics: Hey funeral directors, move out of the way!", Funeral Home and Cemetery Executive Briefing, retrieved 2014-12-26
  21. ^ Members: Death Professionals, The Order of the Good Death, retrieved 2014-12-26
  22. ^ Chris Burlingame (September 25, 2014), "Greg Lundgren's CHAT puts the "work" in sex work", The SunBreak
  23. ^ Amanda Manitach (July 30, 2014), "Sex in Seattle", CityArts

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]