Artifacts spark creativity during COVID-19 lockdown

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This spring, Ingenium members showed their true colours through an online art competition.

With social isolation in full swing in April and May, 2020, the Ingenium membership department challenged our members to tap in to their creativity to bring artifacts to life. The Artistic Artifact competition invited members to look through Ingenium’s online collection to find an inspiring artifact, and then to paint or draw that artifact. We received a very enthusiastic response; over 50 of our members put pencils and paint to paper and recreated some of their favourite pieces in the national science and technology collection.

A winner was selected for each age category. Here are the top creations that we received for each:
 

A child’s drawing of the Basset-Lowke Ltd. model of the Titanic, side-by-side with an image of the artifact.
Ages 4–5: Finnegan Wexler, “Finn’s Big Boat.” Inspired by Basset-Lowke Ltd. model of the Titanic

 

A child’s drawing of the Bramah & Robinson Lighthouse, side-by-side with an image of the artifact.
Age 6–8: Daniel, “The Lighthouse.” Inspired by the Bramah & Robinson Lighthouse

 

A child’s drawing of the Sylvania "Banner H33" Mercury Light Bulb, side-by-side with an image of the artifact.
Age 9–11: Joseph Brazeau, "Banner H33 Light Bulb." Inspired by Sylvania "Banner H33" Mercury Light Bulb

 

A teenager’s drawing of the Minimoog Synthesizer, side-by-side with an image of the artifact.
Ages 12–16: Malaya MacAdam, "Minimoog." Inspired by the Minimoog Synthesizers

 

An adult’s sketch of Avro Canada's CF-100 'Canuck' fighter aircraft, side-by-side with an image of the artifact.
Don Stevenson, "The Good Old Days." Inspired by Avro Canada's CF-100 'Canuck' fighter aircraft

Interestingly, we discovered that some of our artifacts in particular inspire many people. Here are some quick stats on the most popular artifacts used as inspiration for the submissions we received:

  • 7 participants used the Bramah & Robinson Lighthouse to inspire their works
  • 4 participants used the Basset-Lowke Ltd. model of the Titanic to inspire their works
  • 3 participants used the AES Data Ltd. "AES Plus 103" Word Processor to inspire their works
  • 4 participants were inspired by our collections of train cars and locomotives
  • 21 participants were inspired by our extensive collection of aircraft

All of the wonderful and artistic submissions can be viewed in this album.

Perhaps most inspiring is the story of Marcel, an autistic teen who dearly misses his frequent visits to the Canada Science and Technology Museum. His many works of art — one of which he submitted to the Artistic Artifact Competition — have grown his deep connection with the transportation collection, and has provided an outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about Marcel’s story in the article, Artistic artifacts: Teen taps into creativity to stay connected with his favourite museum

A big thank you to all the organizers, participants and judges who helped make this contest happen. We look forward to continuing to engage Ingenium members during difficult times.

Author(s)
Profile picture for user André Laflamme
André LaFlamme

André LaFlamme is the Officer, Membership and Reservation Services at Ingenium Canada. He has worked across professional associations and cultural institutions to help engage members and clients in all manners of activities. He has a passion for Canadian culture and loves helping to share it far and wide!