Brains on Art: Member Night @ the Museum

We carried our well-sealed bucket of brains to the Portland Art Museum on Thursday night, for animated discussions about vision and art in our gallery space on “The Nature of Seeing...”

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We promised no hazardous spills amongst the Morans and Monets, and arrived with far less formaldehyde than, for example, artist Damien Hirst… 🙂

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We set up our Noggin gallery table, with welcome help from Ted…

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Our artistically inclined pipe cleaner neurons were also present, ready to help visitors understand the pathways critical for visual perception.  The gallery features striking Allen Institute for Brain Science images of mouse brain cells and connections, along with Noggin explanatory text…

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Tonight’s event was the sold out 123rd Annual Meeting and Member Open House for the Portland Art Museum, the 7th oldest museum in the United States, and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest…

123rd Annual Meeting at the Portland Art Museum

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Our brains proved popular with museum visitors, and were ably introduced by experienced NW Noggin volunteers, including John Harkness, Rosie Salice, Nathan Allen, Angela Gonzalez and Angela Johnson from WSU Vancouver, and Allie Clark, Michael Miller and Lindsay Miller from nearby PSU…

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Neuron selfies were very popular..!

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And of course, our creative neurons could not resist the extraordinary landscapes that make up the “Seeing Nature” exhibit, from forests and farms to erupting volcanoes, grand canyons and mysterious surrealist vistas…

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That last one a museum guard (Madeline) titled “Brainstorm” 🙂

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After a few hours of fascinating discussions at the museum, we packed up our extra brains, and headed to Gallery 114, where NW Noggin Art Coordinator Jeff Leake was celebrating the opening of his new show, “Of Cabbages & Kings…”

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There was a little neural influence evident in some of Jeff’s work, including a green, apparently inhabited, wall-mounted cerebrum… 🙂

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And that giant squid alone had many of us thinking of Hodgkin & Huxley, who won the Nobel Prize in 1952 for their studies of resting and action potentials using a giant axon from this creature of the deep… 🙂

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Many thanks to the Portland Art Museum for a chance to collaborate on brains and art…

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