Monday, October 18, 2010

Curmudgeon Prevention Program

                 You can see the finished product of "The Wall Draw" in Beasley Art Gallery until Oct. 23, when it will be painted over.  Wah!  Photo by Chris Taylor.
A big brain is a sexy thing.

There is a new scientific theory that says doing new things every day of your life increases your brain capacity.  It's called neuroplasticity. By challenging yourself with novel experiences, you can make new neural connections, stay flexible and open-minded, and perhaps even remain "forever young."   (As least in mind and spirit.)

How wonderful is that!

Here at the university we have a ton of people who are always doing new things.  For example, Christopher Taylor, adjunct faculty and Beasley Art Gallery coordinator at the School of Art, just produced something entirely different.  He taped off a geometrically shaped line on the walls of Beasley Art Gallery and had students from all over campus, community members, and guests draw their favorite images within these lines with black paint.

The resulting exhibit is called "The Wall Draw."

Chris and the artists spent a month drawing on the walls, and many of them said it felt good to get out of the classroom, good to break some taboos, and REALLY good to draw on the walls.  (I bet it felt kind of naughty, and I'm sure their neurons were just connecting like crazy!  A virtual neuro-party!!)

They did all of that work, and it's only up for a week.  It's an act of true creativity, something done for the love of process, not for the permanent nature of it all.

I admire that.

And  I admire the people at KNAU who are also concerned with making new connections; radio connections, that is.  In case you haven't noticed, this week is pledge drive week, and they are asking people to help keep public radio alive and well in our town.

The news, talk shows, and classical music that I hear on KNAU all certainly give me food for thought--they are good for my brain.  Everything I hear from them is brain food.  And I also got to challenge myself today by being a guest on the classical music hour with Brian Sanders.  Being a radio host is certainly something that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

Attending and participating in these kinds of things is the stuff that keeps us from becoming curmudgeons, (a.k.a. crusty irascible cantankerous old people full of stubborn ideas.)

Photo by Chris Taylor
It's all about being open to new experiences.  It gives you a beautiful brain!  And that, people, is utterly attractive.

(Keep an eye out for my television story about Chris Taylor and The Wall Draw, coming soon on Inside NAU; The TV Show.)

No comments:

Post a Comment