The University of Alberta's Brain Storms exhibit collects various items from alumni, from prosthetic legs to fine art to tea towels
By Steven Sandor | December 3, 2015
In one of the galleries, you’ll find a prosthetic leg, a collection of tea towels and a promotional poster for the Disney hit, Big Hero 6.
What would three disparate items be doing in the same room, let alone the same exhibit? They’re some of the items that more than 130 University of Alberta alumni have out forward to be featured in Brain Storms, an exhibit at University of Alberta Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square.
The event celebrates 100 years of the university’s Alumni Association. So, instead of opening a show to only arts graduates, a call was made to all of the U of A alumni. The goal was to show not only art, but examples of innovations and craft from the students.
Jim Corrigan, the curator of the exhibit, ensured that the spectres of the alumni are prevalent throughout the galleries. So, you have a coat rack from Loyal Loot Collective member and Top 40 Under 40 alumna Dara Humniski near Randy Marsden’s Cleankeys bacteria-free keyboard. Near Keith James’s prosthetic leg are Samuel Ho’s promotional posters for bands like Black Sabbath and Daft Punk (pictured).
The oldest alumni featured is Barbara Patterson, who earned her diploma of arts in 1957. Fittingly, her item on display is a maquette of U of A founders Alexander Rutherford and Henry Marshall Tory.
Corrigan said that when the call went out, he was stunned by the response. He had to cut off submissions.
“We were overwhelmed, we had to say no to some people,” said Corrigan. “We couldn’t take any more. We could do something like this forever.”
The first phase of the show opened in November. The second phase, with some new items swapped in, just launched and runs till January 23.
There will be a scavenger hunt for adults and kids this Saturday, as well as Prairie Tales, a touring collection of shorts from Alberta filmmakers, including Avenue Top 40 Under 40 alumnus Trevor Anderson.
And, January 14, Thomas Wharton will read, to bring a literary component to Brain Storms.