Monday, April 25, 2016

The Brain Project launches #noblankbrains

A healthy mind is a goal of the Baycrest Foundation and they want to draw awareness of the growing problem of dementia and Alzheimers with an ambitious art installation that will see 100 brain sculptures placed around Toronto. The works will be created by artists such as Mr Brainwash and Gary Taxali, architects, designers and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and her daughter North West.
Paul Godfrey, Ben and Jessica Mulroney, Erica Godfrey and husband Noah

Telus presents the project and Baycrest President Dr William Reichman was joined by Vice-Chairman of the Baycrest Board Paul Godfrey, host of etalk and project co-chair Ben Mulroney and Mayor John Tory at City Hall for the announcement of the Brain Project. Other leaders of the project include Jessica Mulroney, Sandra Ainsley, Clara Halpern, Anda Kubis and Ann Priftis. Due to the crummy weather, the unveiling of the sculpture "My Heart Knows You" by artist Gary Taxali, a graduate of OCAD University, which was presented within the members lounge adjacent to the Toronto City Council Chambers. Gary's work has been shown in the Andy Warhol Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum in Rome as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art. 
Unveiling "My Heart Knows You" in the Council Chambers Members Lounge

Sponsors include Amaya Inc: "Amaya is happy to support the The Brain Project and to advance public awareness of important issues surrounding mental health and awareness," said David Baazov, Amaya Chairman and CEO. "Poker is a mind sport and a form of entertainment which heavily encompasses strategic thought, helping to keep the brain healthy and active. Many of the poker world's top players find a healthy diet means a healthy mind, and a healthy mind means better results."
Baycrest President Dr William Reichman

The large brains are the brainchild of Baycrest Foundation Board member Erica Godfrey and husband Noah, who drew their inspiration from other public art installations, including the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in New York and the Heart in San Francisco. Like the Big Egg Hunt, the brains will be exhibited before being auctioned off to raise money for the Baycrest Foundation.

The progress of the Brain Project began with artist submissions, selections by the team of curators, production of the artwork, public display and voting for the top five projects and finally the brains are auctioned.

Baycrest notes the following. "It makes sense for everyone – all of us – to pay attention to brain health. When dementia strips a person of their abilities and memories, it’s a devastating loss for the person affected and their loved ones. Whether you’re young, middle-aged or older, you can make changes now and potentially reduce your risk. At Baycrest, brain health has been our focus for many decades. Funds raised by The Brain Project will help our important work to change the future of aging and help people realize their optimum cognitive well-being for a lifetime." A staggering statistic suggests that the number of people suffering with dementia is expected to double by 2030.
Council Chambers seems peaceful at the moment
Ben Mulroney, Mayor John Tory and Paul Godfrey chat before the event
A large crowd of sponsors, media and the project team and artists attend the launch

Mayor John Tory addresses the crowd
Artist Gary Taxali, left, with his creation

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