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LIGHTBOX – Preetika Rajgariah

October 20, 2016

We’re happy to welcome Preetika Rajgariah, our newest LIGHTBOX artist!  Her eye-catching piece, So Exotic, shares a poignant story, and will be on display October 15- January 15, 2017.

Born in New Delhi, India, Preetika Rajgariah is a Houston-based artist who is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She received a BFA in Art from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 2008 and has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT (2014) and the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY (2010).

Preetika is a visual artist whose work explores themes of migration, diaspora, and cultural identity in the form of multilayered watercolor paintings of masses to installations that use traditional Indian textiles. By utilizing varying degrees of transparency, she investigates the layered result of an increasingly globalized world and the multifaceted experience of populations.

Preetika RajgariahHere are Preetika’s own words about her LIGHTBOX installation.


This glittered sari, So Exotic, stems from the idea of Orientalism and explores the perception of Indian culture by the west, namely America. In this work, I have taken a full sized, six yard long sari and “dipped” it in glitter — the original design and pattern of the textile is partially obscured by a field of glitter. As an Indian born, American citizen growing up in Texas and now living here, I feel an “exoticism” associated with my appearance, which is what I seek to address in this work. Primarily, I am using my mother’s clothing to represent the place I was born, and by contrast, the glitter indicates the drama inherent in the fetisization of Indian culture.



Walk, bike, or drive by 312 S Neil St. near Downtown Champaign to see So Exotic in person.

See more of Preetika Prajgariah’s art at, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram!

A BIG thank you to 40 North for their involvement and support of the LIGHTBOX program!