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The Brain Project

Art on the mind.

The Telus Health Brain Project is no grey matter. Launched last year, the public art exhibition showcases 100 brain sculptures that have been transformed into colourful, vibrant works of art by artists around the world. Also among this year’s participants are notable Canadians including Paralympian Rick Hansen, journalist Peter Mansbridge, and hockey player Wayne Gretzky, who each worked with an artist to design a brain of their own.

Should you be in the market for a rather distinct piece of home decor, the creative craniums can be purchased for $3,000 to $10,000 with proceeds going towards Baycrest Health Sciences, a geriatric care centre specializing in cognitive research and education. In addition to raising money, the project is also raising awareness, acting as a catalyst for important conversations about brain health. “Life expectancy is rising in Canada,” says the Brain Project website, “and what should be cause for celebration has actually created a dire increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.”

The pieces are not only beautiful, but thought-provoking: Canadian fashion designer Roger Edwards wrapped his brain in carbon steel chain to represent the constraints of dementia; New Brunswick paper artist Chantal Larocque dedicated her photo-and-flower collage entitled Forget-Me-Not, to caregivers; and Toronto artist Sophia DeFrancesca’s swirling, ethereal wire mesh design reminds us to “forgo limiting thoughts” and “reach for our highest potential.”

The Brain Project debuted on the streets of Toronto in July, popping up everywhere from the Distillery District to the Drake Hotel, making its way to more than 15 locations in and around the city. Their last stop of the exhibition and current home is Yorkdale Shopping Centre, where they’ll be on display until November 14.

You can view and purchase the sculptures from this year’s Telus Health Brain Project at


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