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‘Out Behind the Shed’ will run Nov. 10 through Dec. 22

Tragedy, or the suspicion of it, often changes people’s perspectives. It did so for three renowned landscape artists whose works will be exhibited in the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery Nov. 10 through Dec. 22.

The exhibit, titled “Out Behind the Shed,” will feature the work of Kim Dorland (Toronto, Canada), Ben Grasso (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Todd Lowery (Springfield, Ill.). The exhibit depicts perspectives of the rural North American landscape in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

“Before 9/11, the pastoral landscape of North America was depicted as fruitful, bountiful and benign,” explains Jim Toia, director of the Grossman Gallery and the Community-Based Teaching Program. “Today, isolated regions have become associated with terrorist cells, xenophobic mercenaries, and uni-bombers. We no longer think of the rural landscape as a comfort zone.”

A panel discussion with all three artists will be held 4 p.m. Nov. 15 followed by a reception from 5 to 6:30 pm. The Grossman Gallery, located in the Williams Visual Arts Building, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, contact the gallery at x5831.

According to Toia, Grasso’s work depicts buildings and landscapes being torn apart, as if they were being tortured. Dorland’s works portray landscapes where improper events may occur, or where people of such character may reside. Lowery questions his “hillbilly” heritage as his paintings and drawings mock hillbilly stereotypes. In doing so, he calls attention to the increasingly distaining eye of humanity.

“Each artist was selected because of their similar stylistic approach to painting and, perhaps more importantly, their take on the rural landscape as a canvas for menacing events or ideas,” Toia says.

Toia describes these three artists as “exceptional painters and draftsmen. The work was chosen primarily for the quality of craftsmanship. Subject matter followed suit.”

Several students from Toia’s Gallery Management and Curatorial Studies class are assisting him with the exhibit. The students are Teevrat Garg ’10 (Haryana, India), who is pursuing a B.S. in mathematics and an A.B. in economics and business; Estefania Sanchez ’10 (Quito, Ecuador); Marian Lee ’09 (Morristown, N.J.), an English major; Hristiana Eneva ’10 (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria), an international economics and commerce major; and Jesse Lagle ’09 (White Plains, N.Y.), an English major.

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