Sunday, August 11, 2019

2019 Brain Project

August 2019 - Toronto ON

Brookfield Place        - 9/9 now moved to Yorkville
City Hall
Distillery District       - 5/5
Yorkville                    - 7/7
Billy Bishop Airport
Queen's Quay            - 5/5
Blue Jays Way           - 3/3
Sony Centre

TOTAL 29/46

It's time for the 2019 Brains project. Click here to find links to brains from other years.

The Yogen Früz Brain Project is a large-scale, outdoor exhibit that brings brain health, art and imagination to the streets of Toronto. In its inaugural year, The Yogen Früz Brain Project launched across Toronto and started a public conversation about brain health and brought awareness to diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Now in its fourth year, The Yogen Früz Brain Project will bring together a diverse group of artists from around the world who will transform blank brain sculptures into beautiful, energetic and thought-provoking pieces of art. These sculptures will be sponsored by corporations and philanthropists, and placed on display in more than 15 locations around the Greater Toronto Area. Funds raised through the project are donated to the Baycrest Foundation, the fundraising arm of Baycrest, a global leader in brain health and aging.

It was handled a little differently this year. I was so excited at the end of July to find ALL the brains at City Hall. But then they disappeared. Seems they were on display until July 31 and then they were dispersed to locations around the city.

So I am showing these at City Hall at the moment, but they will end up elsewhere.

Sorry, these shots were taken at high noon!

The Worlds Within
Sylive Adams
"The Worlds Within" refers to the capacity of our brain to create incredibly diverse concepts. It illustrates how the brain can imagine so many different worlds, to create new forms and new ideas - often from nothing - and to invent environments, stories and music to inspire humankind. This sculpture also represents the capacity of our brain to make connections, reflect, deduce, think, feel emotions and build meaningful relationships. As our point of view changes, so is what we see reflected in the sculpture. Thus the sculpture is always changing and evolving, like our thoughts and our brain.

Distillery District?


The artist Helen George called 24/7, is a maze which contains a hidden word within its walls. The message she wants to convey is that mental illness is not UNCOMMON and the crazy maze of thoughts and feelings occurring in our brains is okay. It is okay to call for HELP. Because it never stops. It's 24/7. So, we need to lose the stigma surrounding mental illness and keep the lines of communication open, because mental illness isn't going away any time soon.

Walk Slowly

For artist Kyong Boon Oh, each of her artworks represents her journey of life, walking one step at a time. Life is a pilgrimage. Transcendent end is hidden in our own depths, waiting for the chance to occupy a conscious moment. She tries to be in the moment through putting herself in the position of labour-intensive repetition in a very slow and meditative manner. This process clarifies her mind and releases her from the ambiguity of life. For Kyong, this sculpture is like a newly-discovered road, which is intertwined in complexity, but in order.

Mindfulness Sherrye

Flowers have been known to have a positive effect on the brain. They elevate mood, reduce stress and even help people heal faster through their colour and symbolism. Janice’s inspiration for this piece comes from a friend who had a serious brain injury due to a car accident. Her friend has made significant improvements over the past 10 years through her involvement with mindfulness and nature. Janice has also witnessed several relatives and close friends become afflicted by brain disorders, spurring her desire to get involved in the Brain Project.

Distillery ?

Brookfield Place

The Routine Ride

For many Torontonians, streetcars represent a part of their daily routine. They are a unique aspect of Toronto’s transportation system and are familiar to everyone in the city. Visually, they are a powerful symbol of how it becomes second nature for people to move around in big cities without thinking about it. Our commute is an example of something that becomes embedded in the subconscious of city dwellers and will not be easily erased from our memory.

Communication Breakdown

“Communication Breakdown” depicts a woman trying to speak but stopped by a slash of dripping white paint. The piece is inspired by the gradual and heart-wrenching process of losing a loved one to Alzheimer's disease, and the gradual breakdown of communication. At first it’s barely noticeable but the conversations get stranger and less coherent over time until communication fails. The piece tries to capture that moment when the verbal connection is gone but you can still see in their eyes the yearning to connect.

Voices of the Brain

This monstrous brain design suggests a playful and colourful way to get rid of negativity and gain happiness. It catches and destroys bad spirits. It has multiple eyes to help spot the negativity. It has a double-sided mouth, which swallows fear and sadness, and appears on both sides. The double mouth offers double protection from evil. Healer snakes help to destroy evil and heal the brain with their special antidote any time the brain gets injured. The sharp drawings show the power of the brain and vivid colours support the power effect and add positivity.

Brain Refraction

This sculpture depicts a painted colour illusion which makes a flat object look dimensional. The design is similar to the artist’s Refraction series of paintings, which play with light and shadow, perspective, shape and line. The flat brain shape lends itself well to refraction with its tapered areas. Colours begin along the edge, broaden in the centre and fade out much like some thought processes, dreams and memories.

The Brain Eater

The artist’s mother had Alzheimer's disease and she saw how her mother slowly withered and how her memory was slowly erased. Orit chose to use the icon of Pac-Man walking through the maze and slowly eating all the cells in the brain. It illustrates how dementia takes control of the mind.

Remember Me

This piece was inspired by a CBC interview with Jann Arden who spoke about her mother (before she passed away) who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She asked her mother if she would forget her and her mother replied: “My mind might but my heart won’t.” From that interview, Bernice came up with the idea of creating “Remember Me” to resemble a “Love Heart” candy to evoke memories, nostalgia, familiarity, sentimentality, a little humour, some fun and most of all, lots of love.

Mental Vacation

Get ready for some sass on the beach! With its pops of colour and patterned textures, this mental Gaycation is a place where you can always see the sun, day or night. As an artist, Tyler likes to create artwork that is fun and visibly queer. He finds a lot of inspiration through artists like Keith Haring who are able to show reverence towards social issues while maintaining a sense of play. This artwork was made with acrylic paint, gouache and resin.


For this project, the artist began by looking at brain PET scans. She was mesmerized by the colours and patterns created, and how these interactions could be used for diagnosis. Sam used these images to create a pattern to cover the brain surface in sequins, and treated the sequins like pixels to try and recreate a sense of the image. There is a contrast between the shine and seduction of the sequins and the reality of the image you are presented with, thereby expanding on the dynamic between beauty and danger.


This work pays homage to the power of the female mind and body; their miraculous, transformative nature, strength, resilience and power. It emphasizes the importance of female mental health, and how social issues affect our brains and self-care as women. We learn to compartmentalize our feelings and sometimes painful experiences to get through life. Through an orchestrated colour palette, the design aims to elevate the minds of all individuals, still focusing on celebrating the warrior, and the power and beauty of the female spirit.

BLUE JAYS WAY - outside the SOHO Hotel

Runt Brain
This design presents the range of emotions and thoughts that happen concurrently and, at times, conflictingly, in one's brain. The overall image is one of activity and energy and reflects, ultimately, a positive view of the strength of a human being's ability to achieve mental peace.

AlexCurrie, known as Al Runt, is a Toronto street artist renowned for painting Lee’s Palace three times. His career dates back to the ‘80s when his art was recognized at various music venues such as the Cameron House. He has also painted iconic murals at the Electric Mud restaurant, the BamBoo, the Underpass Project at the foot of River Street, and most recently, for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and industry leaders at the Fortune 500 event at the Brickworks.

Stop and Smell the Flowers

The concept behind this brain is the idea of stopping to enjoy the small things in life, the ones we take for granted. Many of us take the simple things for granted - things like having a healthy brain that allows us to enjoy these moments. So "Stop and smell the flowers."

Lucent Incubation

The human brain is an incredible creation and though it may become damaged, it has the capacity to revitalize itself when given the proper care and understanding.


Really, really good…

Being mindful of the simplest things in life can bring us the greatest reward.
Indulge, with abandon, in experiences that matter most; families, friendships and time well spent.
This is the stuff that memories are made of; really, really good memories.
Cherished. Vivid. Unforgettable.

Peace Love Dream

There’s a powerful connection between words and feelings. It’s like they pass through a synapse from the brain to the heart: Share Food. Play Music. Spark Joy. Fusion of Ideas. Diversity by Nature. Grab Life. Don’t Let Go…
Peace. Love. Dream.

Fruit for Thought

This design is inspired by the fruits we eat that nourish our brain where sweet memories reside.
There’s comfort in nostalgia, but remembering a time, place or person can also inspire us to create moments worth remembering today, tomorrow and many more years to come.


A lot of remedies and cures are directly inspired from nature-related events. Penicillin is one of those great examples of learning from nature and working together to create something useful. This is what the artist is trying to trigger with this abstract ''Brainature'' design. Is it coral in the ocean that we should study? Or is it trees on land? To be able to study these unknowns we should go out there and explore! To be able to conduct this vital research, help is needed in every way, shape or form.


This piece is inspired by the Birth of Venus. It is a monumental story in the artist’s life as he perceives its message to be a reminder when he is coping with anxiety and depression. Although some things in life may seem to be going negatively, there is always a blessing in disguise. Venus is the blessing that was birthed by a tragic event. Similar to the story, Rei perceives negative emotions as roots that are needed in order for the branches of happiness to flourish.


The organization of the project this year has been odd at best.

These nine (in one cabinet) were at Brookfield Place (see above) and are in Yorkville.

These are outside the Four Seasons Hotel.

Chromatic Thoughts

The sculpture is composed of a structure of geometric lines interlaced with the shape of the human brain. In its interior are several multicoloured floating cubes showing the viewer a contrast between the lines of the structure, the different sizes of the cubes, and the combination of colours. Both the structure and the cubes are made of galvanized wire with acrylic paints.

Silver Bloom

The human mind is beautiful and complex, yet chaotic and fragmented. Our entire reality is created inside our brains. As you move around the piece, it evolves and changes with the light. Broken mirror and crystals reflect, distort and animate the environment in which the work is placed. ”Silver Bloom” investigates the process of how our reality is constructed and affected by our environment, while simultaneously exploring the fragility of memory and brain health.

Beautiful Mind

Internationally-recognized artist Romero Britto paints in vibrant, bold and colourful patterns to reflect his optimistic view of the world around him. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in over 100 countries. "A Beautiful Mind" showcases the inspired brain – full of colour and sparkle – with love radiating from the central focal point.

All by itself on Yorkville Ave.

Love Me

Our complex, vital brains ask us for love: care through healthy habits and mental stimulation. A loved one, changed due to dementia, asks us for love: care through nurturing, understanding and patience.

On Bellair

The Garden

This sculpture is part of "The Garden" series, which tells the story of our existence. The brain itself is overflowing with new growth of flora; reaching beyond the interior; trying to make new connections. This brain sculpture follows the style and genre that David continues to explore: hand-cut collage. The many layers were carefully cut and assembled by hand to create the final piece. He then applied a gloss of resin to seal it together for permanence, making it pop with colour and contrast.

Walk Slowly

For artist Kyong Boon Oh, each of her artworks represents her journey of life, walking one step at a time. Life is a pilgrimage. Transcendent end is hidden in our own depths, waiting for the chance to occupy a conscious moment. She tries to be in the moment through putting herself in the position of labour-intensive repetition in a very slow and meditative manner. This process clarifies her mind and releases her from the ambiguity of life. For Kyong, this sculpture is like a newly-discovered road, which is intertwined in complexity, but in order.

My favourite!!!

Moxie Wide Big Eyes

The definition of moxie is “force of character and determination”, and at 97 years young, Iris Apfel, portrayed in this sculpture, has plenty of moxie. “When you’ve got moxie, you need the clothes to match.”* She is an inspiration to all and sets an entire new bar of what our 90s can look like. Many of us won’t see our 90s and many won’t have the brain health to remember. This brain is intended to inspire everyone that brain health is so important: we must get involved and help find a cure.


  1. ...#NoBlankBrians, I like it!

  2. Never heard of this before.
    Coffee is on

  3. My brain rather feels like the third one but later if the weather holds, it should resemble the tram brain when I go to have a look at a new style of tram track work.

  4. Yes, I saw them in the square, looked at several of them back in July. I should have photographed them.


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