How an Artist Teamed Up With Her Dog to Recreate Art

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This article was originally published on The Iris

Every weekday morning, Eliza Reinhardt and her creative partner, Finn, start their day at 7am by getting up, brewing a cup of coffee, and snuggling while they browse online galleries to find a work of art to re-create as part of the Getty Museum Challenge. After choosing a painting, Reinhardt finds the costumes and props they’ll need to bring it to life, sets up the shot in the loft in her apartment that serves as her art studio, and gets Finn dressed in his costume and in place for the photo shoot.

Finn is a three-year-old Australian shepherd, but he follows direction as carefully as an actor on a film set. “I really do think Finn takes this on as his daily task,” Reinhardt said. “I say, ‘Finn, do you want to do a photo? You want to go take a picture?’ And he’s ready to go.”

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Inside the Senior Communities Taking the Getty Museum Challenge

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This article was originally published on The Iris

When Brittney Giammaria, activities coordinator at the Veranda of Pensacola retirement community, first tacked printouts of paintings to the community bulletin board and began encouraging residents to come to her “art re-creation” photo shoot, she thought she’d get maybe four or five takers. She had spent weeks explaining the challenge, created by Getty at the end of March. She mentioned it to residents in her water aerobics classes and during happy hours—trying to sell them on the idea of choosing a painting and re-creating it themselves using props and clothing they already had. Giammaria had been searching for safe, socially distanced activities to help occupy the residents’ time, and this one would be fun, she told them.

On the day of the photo shoot, Giammaria put down a box of props and costumes, and spread around 25 printouts of paintings on a table in an event room, including Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Frida Kahlo’s Self Portrait With Bonito, and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine. At first, only a few of the more extroverted residents let her take their photo. One gentleman selected Rene Magritte’s The Son of Man, so Giammaria gave him a face mask to wear that she had adorned with a picture of a green apple. Another chose Saturday Evening Post artist George Hughes’s illustration of a swimwear-clad boy playing the piano; he took a seat at the community piano wearing red swim trunks.

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The Mighty’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease

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This guide was originally published on The Mighty

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects your body’s ability to produce dopamine, a chemical found in your brain that helps you initiate and control your movements. This causes symptoms like uncontrollable shaking in your limbs (known as a tremor), slow movement, a rigid, stiff feeling in your body, unsteady gait and posture, as well as symptoms unrelated to movement like loss of smell, constipation, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, cognitive challenges and blood pressure issues. Parkinson’s most frequently develops in people over age 50, but can also appear in younger individuals, too.

You might feel stiff, like it’s hard to move your muscles, and maybe you have uncontrollable shaking in one or more of your limbs or fingers. You might also feel fatigued and have difficulty feeling motivated to get up. Everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes, cooking and driving a car might be a struggle due to the stiffness and slowness of your muscles. Perhaps family members have noticed you don’t swing one of your arms when you walk.

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What Is Modern Architecture, Anyway?

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This article was originally published on The Iris

The development of Modern architecture revolutionized our cities and workplaces, and its design principles not only reflected progress in science, health, and social equality but were also intended to help these ideals thrive. Today, Modern design principles help connect society and are seen in the construction of schools, homes, and even bridges and highways.

What is Modern architecture?

The term “Modern architecture” describes architecture designed and built within the social, artistic, and cultural attitude known as Modernism. It put an emphasis on experimentation, the rejection of predetermined “rules,” and freedom of expression in art, literature, architecture, and music. The Modern Movement in architecture was born in the 20th century and really took off after World War I. Advancements in engineering, building materials, social equality, health, and industry converged, while past historical styles were rejected. This created a perfect storm that allowed architecture to enter a new era of design.

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Rediscovering Black Portraiture Through the Getty Museum Challenge

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This article was originally published on The Iris

As COVID-19 closed in on the United Kingdom in mid-March, opera singer and BBC broadcaster Peter Brathwaite was abruptly left with time he didn’t want: all of his upcoming performances were canceled until August. He kept busy practicing and researching for future shows, but was still “twiddling his thumbs a bit.” But then he came across the Getty Museum Challenge—an invitation to recreate a famous work of art using props from around your home; a fellow opera singer had posted a photo on Twitter of herself as Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. Braithwaite thought, what can I recreate?

While browsing for images, he found A Black Servant, England, an 18th-century painting by an unknown artist. “I’ve got some clothes that are that color,” he thought, “and I could take the photo in my window.” Substituting a stuffed sheep for the dog, he faithfully emulated the rest of the painting, from the draped green curtain to the smile on the subject’s face.

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The Artist’s View Through the Window

This article was originally published on The Iris

Gazing out a window may, at first, feel like a lonely act—especially now, as many of us are spending most of our time at home, away from loved ones and our daily routines. But a window can also help open up our worlds, framing the life that still goes on outside. Taking a moment to acknowledge the quiet beauty of trees rustling in the breeze, children playing catch, and neighbors rushing home with shopping bags reminds us that an infinite number of stories are unfolding every day, right outside.

Artistic inspiration, too, can be found simply by gazing out (or in) a window. The view from an artist’s window may reveal how they interpret the world outside or illuminate the story unfolding inside. (In 2014, there was a Getty exhibition on the topic.)

Take a look at the paintings and photographs below to discover a few ways artists have featured windows in their work. While many of us are spending more time looking out our windows than ever before, these works demonstrate the power and beauty that can be found in this quiet act.

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7 Things Everyone Experiencing Medically-Induced Menopause Should Know

This article was originally published on The Mighty.

For most people who get periods, menopause may seem like a far-off cloud on the horizon — an unpleasant experience we all know we’ll go through someday, but until then, it’s easier not to think too hard about it.

Menopause is the term for the time when your body starts producing less estrogen, which causes you to stop menstruating. It usually starts in your 40s or 50s. If you have an illness that affects your reproductive organs, however, your treatment might cause menopause earlier than normal. This process is called medication-induced menopause (or treatment-induced menopause), and it can be a confusing, frustrating experience, made more difficult by the fact that it piggybacks on top of your other medical issues.

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6 Things Every Parent Should Know About SUDEP

Originally published on The Mighty

Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce died in July at age 20, with an autopsy confirming the cause was sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Epilepsy is not considered a terminal illness or even a condition that frequently causes death. But in rare cases, it can lead to death.

Naturally, for any person with epilepsy or their parents, news like this is incredibly scary. However, it’s important to remember that SUDEP is rare and education is power. The more you know about SUDEP, the better you can protect your kids (and yourself, if you have epilepsy) against risk factors.

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Americans With Diabetes Take a ‘Caravan to Canada’ for Cheaper Insulin

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Originally published on The Mighty

In the United States, people with type 1 diabetes spend an average of $5,705 per year on insulin alone. In Canada, people with type 1 diabetes pay an average of $1,500 CDN (about $1,140 USD) per year for all their diabetes supplies, including medication. So last weekend, a group of Americans went on a “Caravan to Canada” to not only buy insulin for a fraction of what they would pay at home, but also to raise awareness of the price gouging Americans face for the exact same medication.

The group was organized by the Minnesota state chapter of Insulin4All, an advocacy group under the diabetes nonprofit organization T1International. The “caravan” traveled by private bus, starting off in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday and arriving in London, Ontario, the next day after picking up other caravaners along the way.

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Why We Need to Include Chronic Pain in Suicide Prevention

Originally published on The Mighty

When we talk about suicide, we usually talk about it in terms of mental health and mental illnesses. She was depressed. He was “struggling.” She had mental illness for years.

When we talk about chronic pain, especially in light of the opioid crisis, we often focus on the clinical, the diagnoses. The “risks.” Her doctor should never have written that prescription. Opioids are “no good.” Why couldn’t she just take ibuprofen?

What we need to do is start talking about the intersection between suicide, mental health and chronic pain. We need to stop believing chronic pain is just something you “suck up and deal with” and that suicide is just a matter of someone being “sad” and “not strong enough.” We need to talk about the very real fact that chronic pain is a unique factor that can lead to suicide — and the fact that we’re not doing enough to stop it. Leaving people with chronic pain out of the suicide prevention discussion can be, quite literally, deadly.

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