News

February 7, 2008

Behind the Scenes of ‘Out Behind the Shed’

Teevrat Garg ’10 shares his experiences assisting Jim Toia with last semester’s pastoral painting exhibit in the Grossman Gallery

Teevrat Garg ’10 (Haryana, India) is pursuing a B.S. in mathematics and an A.B. in economics and business. Last semester, he was part of the Gallery Management and Curatorial Studies course taught by Jim Toia, director of the College’s Community Based Teaching Program, which gave him the unique experience of assisting Toia with setting up the pastoral painting exhibit, “Out Behind the Shed.” The exhibit ran in the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery Nov. 10 through Dec. 22, and featured three artists’ perspectives of rural North America in the wake of 9/11. The following is a first person account of Garg’s experience.

“So, what do you think?” That is exactly how Jim began the exercise of installing the “Out Behind the Shed” exhibit. There were paintings and sketches of all kinds, each having its own unique insight into the landscape of America. It was not just about the physical landscape but also about the perceptions of safe vs. unsafe, happy vs. angry, and serene vs. fierce in the context of America post 9/11. We took a fair amount of time to take in the different depictions before trying to loop them into a story. In addition to the content of an exhibit, we also had to consider gallery space in terms of sizes, types, and artists of the exhibits.

The experience was phenomenal. This was the first exhibit that we were setting up as a group and Jim allowed us to let our imaginations run wild. I know that he secretly was supervising everything, but he just kept asking questions and the rest of us would keep moving the pieces from one end to another. The interesting thing was that each of us brought our own perspective to the exhibit.

Now, in a normal situation, this would lead to a clash of ideas, but Jim made sure that it was not just a fruitless collision of perspectives but rather an amalgamation of diversity. I don’t think I mastered the art of setting up exhibits or got even close to it, but it was a really cool hands-on experience. I learned the challenge of weaving the depictions of different artists into a cohesive message that has political, social, or cultural relevance. Most of all, I learned how to appreciate different forms of art.

I have worked with Jim for a year and took his class last semester. I look forward to another semester of his class.

Garg studied abroad in South Africa this past January interim session and is currently conducting EXCEL research under Lisa DeTora, assistant professor of English. As a member of the Forensics Society, Garg was one of last year’s national champions in the area of impromptu speaking. He is also a member of the Foundation for the Awareness and Alleviation of Poverty (FAAP), International Students Association (ISA) and Economics Club and lives on Haven, a substance free special interest floor. Garg works as a peer tutor in the Academic Resource Center and Calculus Cavalry, a drop in service for students studying calculus.

  • Pastoral Painting Exhibit Portrays After-Shock of 9/11 Tragedy
  • Forensics Society – Teevrat Garg ’10 makes team history
  • Art
  • Economics and Business
  • Mathematics
  • Creative Projects

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