Recently I was treated to spending an afternoon with my friend Linda and her daughter Monica. Linda and I first connected at a shared workplace when she saw my very first two Neuro Art pieces and asked if I could create a piece to her specifications. In particular, she wanted the brain to face the other direction. My first two were left facing and she wanted a right facing brain, explaining that she had a special connection, as her daughter had a hemispherectomy when she was young and had the right half of her brain removed.
It was at least a year later when I actually got to meet Monica, an incredibly happy, engaging, and gregarious 29 year old woman who leads an active life in pursuit of both what makes her happy, and in service to others. Below is an edited 16 minute interview with Monica and her Mom about her surgery, her life and what she wants you to know about being disabled. It is missing a few key bits of information which got edited out: most importantly, Monica has worked for the last 9 years in a hospital as a toy cleaner - she goes in 3 days a week and loves her job. She also loves horse back riding! And, as you'll hear she lives a "happy, happy, happy life!"
Thanks to both Monica and her mom, Linda for sharing their story with me. Due to privacy concerns I am not sharing a photo of them but above is the piece that I made for them and that hangs in their home.
In case you prefer to read the interview - a transcript pdf file is below:
In late July we packed up the car and headed for Canada. I’m lucky enough to live relatively close to the border and it’s a beautiful drive through Western Mass and Vermont. First, we headed to Quebec City where my partner in life led an Improv workshop – you can read about his interesting work here. We also met up with friends, ate a lot of good food, saw some art, and walked the city. If you haven’t been there yet, put it on your list of must-see cities.
Next, we headed to Montreal where I got to meet my Instagram friend and fellow brain project artist Monica Brinkman at the solo show of another artist, Tina Struthers. I’m in love with both these women’s art work and they’ve been a wonderful source of information and support about the Brain Project, having both participated last year. Heaps of gratitude to them for their generosity of spirit. Their Brain project brains pictured below along with a photo of Monica in front of Tina’s work.
Last stop Toronto, where we had only a day and a half in which to see as many brains as possible in the streets. The Brain Project raises funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care and research. See my last blog post for my personal story about the brain I created in loving memory of my stepmother.
Below are just a few of my favorite brains I snapped along the way, including me with Mei Chan-Long – another generous spirit who came and met me at her fabulous metal brain sculpture. Yes, we do have our feet in the water!
It was a thrill to see my brain on display in the Distillery District and I got to meet and talk with a few admirers along the way. The brains are on display until August 31st. If you have any chance of getting to Toronto before them, I highly recommend giving yourself a couple of days to journey through the streets. My partner dubbed it the Brain Project Tour of Toronto. ALSO, visit The Brain Project website here and VOTE for the People's Choice Award. I'll leave you with a few photos of my Brain below.
Chronicling my adventures as a Neuro Artist. I love to make work centered on our magnificent brains and learn about how it all works in the process..