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Thesis Exhibitions Examine Caste Divisions, Human Nature

The University of Alabama department of art and art history is proud to present the Master of Arts thesis exhibitions of Shivam Pawar and Upneet Kaur Mair, March 23 – April 2, 2021, in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery. The public is invited to visit Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Due to our ongoing precautions to keep our gallery visitors and staff safe, visitors must wear masks and are limited to ten people at a time.

Upneet Kaur Mair, “How dumb are you?” (detail), marker and acrylic on rosaspina paper, 19. 5 x 27.5 inches.

Don’t Get Swayed – MA Thesis Exhibition of Upneet Kaur Mair

In her drawings, Upneet Kaur Mair observes an array of life events in society, and along the way, asks questions about human nature, in particular, why a person becomes evil. She uses humor in her work as a coping mechanism towards the negativity she experiences. “In my work, the character of the thief emerges from the evil side of a person. When a person starts to lack empathy, and become selfish and greedy, their evil side becomes more prevalent. They start to lie, steal, hurt, torture and murder people. The representation of thieves does not target a certain group of people but people in general. The identity of the person is hidden behind the mask; it can be a poor person who robs in search of food, or it might be a politician who exploits people and steals money from common people.” Mair holds a BFA in painting from Central India School of Fine Arts, Nagpur, India. Mair has exhibited her work in China, India, Serbia and the United States. She is on Instagram here.

Shivam Pawar, “Pay Day” (detail), 109 x 60 inches, charcoal and acrylic on raw canvas.

Unidentified Beings – MA Thesis Exhibition of Shivam Pawar

Shivam Pawar exposes the inequalities of the caste system and the invisibility of the lower classes in India through his prints and paintings. Growing up in India, he saw the hardships in the lives of people who worked in his house and in other houses in his neighborhood. Pawar writes that he is developing a body of artwork that “recognizes their work in diverse ways and addresses the contribution that they have been making through generations…Seeing their conditions has made me question my own privilege – I feel that it is a social responsibility and a method for me to narrate them through my work by observing what was happening around me. I sense that there is a lack of empathy and care for these people in our society that results only in a state of mass helplessness.” Pawar holds a BFA in painting from Central India School of Fine Arts, Nagpur, India. He has exhibited his work in exhibitions in India, Norway, Serbia and the United States. He is on Instagram here.

Upneet Mair and Shivam Pawar are both co-curators in the exhibition, 14 SELECT(IONS), on display in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art from March 22 to May 7.

Visiting the Sella-Granata Art Gallery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The SGAG is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Gallery hours for the 2021 spring semester are Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The SGAG is open to the public and limited to ten (10) visitors at a time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors must wear face coverings inside the gallery and maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others. The SGAG is located at 109 Woods Hall, 7th Avenue, on UA campus in Tuscaloosa. 

For more information about the programs in the UA Department of Art and Art History, go to this page or contact the department at (205) 348-5967.