February is Museum Month in San Diego. Museum Month began 39 years ago to make museums more accessible and affordable for locals and tourists alike. All participating museums and cultural institutions in San Diego County are offering half price admission for the next 28 days.
San Diego Museum Council Executive Director Bob Lehman said:
More than 60 museums are participating this year and 15 new locations have been added. One of the newest museums participating in Museum Month is The Brain Observatory.
The Brain Observatory is located on Broadway, across from the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego. The brainchild of Jacopo Annese.
For most of his career, Annese was a full-time professor at the University of California, San Diego, and president and CEO of the Institute for Brain and Society.
Annese said the goal behind the brain lab and art gallery combination is to bring the brain and society closer together.
“I felt like I was in a college environment working behind closed doors. There’s a lot of beauty and mystery in the work we do because we’re working with real brains.” I personally felt that,” said Annese.
The observatory just opened and Annese said it was still a work in progress. But some brains are already here – brains donated by people whose life stories are well known.
“[They]were probably donated by people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease. My specialty is brain imaging,” Annese said.
He said most imaging is an attempt to understand the characteristics of the disease, how it manifests and how it progresses. It is done by researchers who know nothing about the details.
Combining these images with a person’s life story could lead to a clearer picture of the disease, perhaps one day leading to a cure, Annese said.
But at this point, you may be asking yourself what exactly is the relationship between the brain and art?
“When it comes to brains, there are two types of art. There is so-called neural art, which makes art from the image of the brain on the north wall,” Annies said. Moving from imagination to imagination is what artists do, using introspection and imagination. She sees potential in asking artists to work with scientists to discover how the brain works. Rather than making artists feel like lab intruders, they can actually contribute with insight. ”
According to Annese, in the near future we will be able to see researchers doing research on the brain and at the same time see art based on their research.
To visit Brain Observatory or any of the 59 other museums participating in Museum Month, you can download digital passes for up to four people on the San Diego Museum Council website. Or you can scan his QR code on paper passes available at over 80 libraries across the county.