As its name implies, this blog is dedicated to the great features of Indianapolis. Usually we talk about the great things going on around here and the latest Indy news. Today, though, I wanted to dedicate a bit of space to our southern neighbor, Bloomington, because frankly, the city has earned a bit of attention with its new plans for the spring. The month of May will mark the beginning of Brain Extravaganza, which artistic brains on display in Bloomington. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is the creator and organizer of the project, whose goal is to raise awareness of the human brain. Brain Extravaganza is likely to entice more people to spend time enjoying Bloomington’s outdoors during the beautiful spring and summer months.
Mastermind Behind Brain Extravaganza
Dr. Jill Taylor is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, or brain scientist, and motivational speaker. In 1996, she suffered an unusual kind of stroke, called an arteriovenous malformation. Full recovery took eight years of intense therapy to gain her brain function back. She published her memoirs about her experience in a book called “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.” As an advocate for brain health issues, she has been the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Research Center and the president of the Bloomington chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Taylor is a resident of Bloomington.
All about Brain Extravaganza
Dr. Taylor developed her artistic side during her long recovery from stroke, and she came up with the idea of Brain Extravaganza to raise awareness of the amazing and complex functions of the human brain. The project consists of 22 enormous sculptures of brains to be on display in highly visible locations in Bloomington and the IU campus.
The brains are made of fiberglass, and each is to be decorated by a different artist. Artist Martina Celerin, a Bloomington resident, is decorating her brain in two distinct halves, one green and one black, to signify bipolarism. Joe LaMantia, also from Indiana, is placing animals on one half and faces on the other half as a depiction of the different perspectives of the two brain hemispheres. Each brain has a sponsor to help cover the brain’s cost of $3200.
Brain Health and Disease
Brain Extravaganza is intended to encourage people to think about what amazing things healthy brains can do. The project can also make you think about the potential for disturbances in equilibrium and cures for brain illnesses. Brain disorders include depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and meningiomas, or other brain tumors. Modern technology is increasingly effective at treating disorders. For example, Bloomington-based IU Health Proton Therapy clinic uses a highly specialized radiation procedures to treat brain tumors.
Now that you’ve been warned, don’t be alarmed when you start to see or hear about giant brains appearing in Bloomington. Instead, admire the artwork and, as Dr. Taylor hopes, take some time to consider the incredible functions of the human brain. Located 50 miles south of Indianapolis, Bloomington is just a quick day trip away, so it’s easy to make an effort to see each of the brains in Brain Extravaganza. .
About the author: Matt Herndon is a freelance writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a native Hoosier, he enjoys helping others discover the exciting things happening Indiana. You can follow Matt at @Just_Matt_.