Thinkin' aHead was a 2004 art calendar that celebrated local artists in thier growing awareness of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). It included information on brain injury, its impact on the injured and their families, and avalailable resources in our community. As the Community Services Director for the Golden Key International Honour Society - University of Victoria Chapter, I designed and coordinated this project.
We need to think about our heads, and we need to use foresight to prevent most unintentional injuries. A calendar is a natural vehicle for these messages as we use it to "think ahead", but especially because it is one of the most valued tools for those with memory deficits due to acquired brain injury. Thinkin' aHead (TAH) was an awareness-raising project that required local artists to undergo an educational process. The artists participated in workshops, seminars, film and video viewings, and recreational activities with volunteer members of the Vancouver Island Head Injury Society. Artists learned about the impact of brain injury on personal, familial, and societal levels. Then each artist created a visual expression of this learning experience. TAH was a celebration of Art, Learning, and Service!
Thinkin' aHead was a collaboration between the Vancouver Island Head Injury Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society - University of Victoria Chapter.
Calendar Logo and Layout: Richard Greenwood
Photography: Steele Eye Photography
Printing: Digital Direct Printing Ltd.
Artists: Ida Wellwood, Stephen Strutynski, Jen Steele, Janice L. Rogers, Monika Mueller, Eli McGinty, Lauren Aubrey Marsden, Debra Mackie, Renate Grinfelds, Alan Klughammer, Lindsay Beal, Clive Beal.
Steele Eye Photography
Fran Willis Gallery
This project has not only raised awareness of acquired brain injury, but it has also bridged communities, expanding the horizons of those involved. While service can be a simple matter of handing over something valuable, TAH has been an intricate exchange of valuables, between organizations, businesses, and indivduals.
When the artists committed to TAH, they agreed to learn, to receive from others, and they agreed to give, to offer their full attention, to lend themselves to empathy. When the participating members of VIHIS committed to TAH they agreed to share their experiences, to give voice to the issues of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), and at times, to push the barriers of fatique and pain. They also received appreciation, ruth, and allies in advocacy. These exchanges create bridges and because they are personally transforming, they keep the bridges functioning for a long time.
It has been deeply satisfying to be a part of something much larger than any individual could accomplish. My hope is that this calendar ignited compassion and propelled the creation of a safer world.