First Hand A Temporary Art Installation

By Shannon Garden-Smith
& Polina Teif

July 10 - October 1, 2015

Presented by the Blackwood Gallery in partnership with the City of Mississauga's Culture Division

First Hand, (2015) Shannnon Garden-Smith and Polina Teif. Photo: Mike Dopsa

First Hand (2015)
Shannon Garden-Smith & Polina Teif
Vinyl decals
14ft x 7.3ft

The installation will be on view from July 10th to August 15th, 2015 in the passageway that links the CCT Building to the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre at UTM. (Map below.)

For a link to more campus maps and parking information, click here.

Artist Statement

First Hand fancifully transmutes that which is human, intimate, and bodily into the architectural framework of the City of Mississauga. Gigantesque vinyl decal hands appear to caress, press, push, and otherwise explore or confound the screen-like windows of the buildings of the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Churchill Meadows Library. Hands seem to be reaching out toward one another from opposite sides of the windows of the walkway between the CCT building and the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre. From certain vantage points, the hands, which belong to students who routinely use this passageway, appear to make contact with each other, thus visually collapsing space and disconnectedness. Across the city at the Churchill Meadows Activity Centre and Library, an array of hands—once again belonging to users of the space—spell out "share the love" in ASL fingerspelling. Vinyl hands placed strategically on doors and windows welcome and guide community members in and out of the building.

- Shannon Garden-Smith & Polina Teif

Share the Love

First Hand is presented by the Blackwood Gallery and commissioned by the Culture Division, City of Mississauga for “Share the Love”, a temporary public art initiative presented as part of the IGNITE series during the TO2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. This city-wide initiative aims to create a legacy beyond the games by fostering a sense of community, connectedness, and cultural awareness within Mississauga. The program runs for the duration of the games, starting with the Pan Am opening ceremonies and finishing with the Parapan Am closing ceremonies. It celebrates the spirit of the games and brings together the citizens of Mississauga through various forms of creative engagement. 

For more info on the “Share the Love” project visit:

Artists' Biographies

Polina Teif and Shannon Garden-Smith are GTA based artists who have been collaborating together since meeting in the Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto in 2009. Teif and Garden-Smith are interdisciplinary artists allied by their common interest in the intersection of the commercial image with the animate world. They have exhibited at AGO First Thursday’s, Mississauga Living Arts Centre, Gallery Stratford, Birch Contemporary, Art Metropole, Hart House, University of Toronto Art Centre, and Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.

Installation Photos

First Hand is presented by the Blackwood Gallery in partnership with the City of Mississauga's Culture Division.