The Canadian Obesity Network

The Canadian Obesity Network

June 18, 2012 10:00 ET

Media Advisory-The BIG Idea: A Visual Exploration of Contemporary Culture & Obesity

Canadian Obesity Network partners with Edmonton art curator, international artists for unique exhibition

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 18, 2012) -

WHO: News editors, photo editors, features editors, editors/journalists covering the health beat on: childhood and adult obesity, weight loss, body image, prevention, treatment, surgery, weight bias and discrimination, fine arts, and more.

WHAT: Opening of The BIG Idea: A visual exploration of contemporary culture & obesity

WHERE: Peter Robertson Gallery, 12304 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T5N 3K5

WHEN: Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 7:30 pm MST. Exhibition runs to July 7, 2012.

BACKGROUND: The Canadian Obesity Network - Réseau canadien en obésité (CON-RCO), Canada's national organization representing health professionals and other stakeholders with an interest in obesity, is holding the 3rd Canadian Student Obesity Meeting (COSM) June 20th-23rd, 2012 at the University of Alberta.

In an effort to engage with the wider community and bring new voices to the table, COSM has invited artist and curator Julian Forrest to organizing an exhibition of contemporary art that will run concurrently with the obesity research conference.

In Forrest's open call to artists, applicants were asked to respond to issues ranging from the cyborg, the medicalization of the body, the obesogenic environment, the psychological complexity of obesity, body and boundaries or obesity and space, to positions on consumption and consumerism, or the "super-sized".

After reviewing over 60 submissions, Forrest and his team selected ten artists from across Canada, the United States, and the UK. Working within a range of media, including installation, performance, video, audio, sculpture, print-based media and photography, these artists offer divergent viewpoints on the subject.

Noted American performance artist, writer and sociologist, Kimberly Dark, will open both the exhibition and the COSM conference by giving several short presentations.

About the Canadian Obesity Network - Réseau canadien en obésité (CON-RCO)

CON-RCO was founded in 2006 to link the research, policy and practice communities to advance the development and delivery of effective obesity prevention and treatment solutions. The network's core strategies focus on addressing the stigma associated with excess weight, changing the way policy makers and health professionals approach obesity, and improving access to prevention and treatment resources. Currently, more than 7,000 professionals in Canada are members of the network. CON-RCO is hosted by the University of Alberta, and is based at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, AB.

About Julian Forrest, MFA, Curator

Julian Forrest received his BFA from Mount Allison University and his MFA from the University of Alberta. He has received several awards and grants for his work, including a SSHRC Graduate Scholarship and three Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Awards, as well as creation grants from local, provincial and federal organizations. In addition to their inclusion in the 2007 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art, Forrest's paintings have been shown provincially, nationally, and internationally (including recent exhibitions in Berlin and San Antonio), and are represented in several provincial and private permanent collections. Julian Forrest is currently Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta's Augustana campus.

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