Sarah Storteboom


CAAF Residency st[art]@art central, February – March 2013




Sarah Storteboom received her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She has exhibited in group shows, including The Cheaper Show 2011. Sarah has worked with organizations such as ‘Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and Unit/Pitt Projects (formerly Helen Pitt ARC) in Vancouver. Sarah’s practice is interdisciplinary and experimental. She is inspired by moments of sensational awareness amidst the everyday. Often, her work appears in public space to maintain the unexpected nature of these moments.



Abolition of the Penny

In 2012 the Canadian government discontinued the production of pennies and, in February 2013, the penny will be removed from circulation. The penny has, for some time, been disregarded by many as futile currency; often tossed away to reduce the load of coin in a purse or pocket. Jars full of pennies sit in closets at home, and pennies fallen to the ground are not worth the physical strain of stooping to retrieve them. This is all about to change however. Purchases will be made with pennies at the cash register, but never returned, and hoarders will surrender their penny jars to be melted down for charity. Soon the penny will be a rare sight.

The Origin of Lucky Pennies

The concept that pennies are lucky stems from ancient religions and mythology, when the copper material represented deities in different parts of the world. But there are many unexplained superstitions that have risen regarding the ritual of acquiring a lucky penny since then. People have formulated rules, such as: only pennies that face the sky are considered lucky, or pennies produced in the same year as you were born are more lucky, or if you a find a penny, it is only made lucky by the generosity of giving it to someone else. Right now, there is no evidence to verify the accuracy of these superstitious theories. And, in fact, the penny has been produced with less than 5% copper content since the late 1990’s, which could possibly mean that recent pennies are not very lucky at all.

Lucky Penny Bank Research

The Bank is invested in researching the circumstances of lucky penny prosperity. This will include monitoring those who show invested interest in Lucky Pennies via social media, and collecting comprehensive experiential data from individuals that hold pennies. Anyone who wishes to participate is encouraged to fill out the Data Collection Survey on the website ( the content submitted on this form will be used to generate analysis reports. This research will determine the specific characteristics and rituals that maximize the luckiness of pennies.

Although the Lucky Penny Bank is an online operation, from February 10th to March 9th this project will be housed at Art Central, in Calgary. The space will be open at various times for the public to assist in the development of this project (Please refer to the contact page of the website for these times). All visitors are welcome at the space, regardless of contribution!