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Hilltop Happenings

Salisbury Gentleman Jéan-Marc Togodgue '22
Kristina Miller

Jéan-Marc Togodgue '22 standing next to Jasper John's “Slice.” (Photo by Jeff Ruskin)

What began as a simple thank you gift caused quite a stir in the art world and raised many legal questions. But this story ended in much the same manner as it began; with a simple thank you.  Read more about the unique experiences of a promising young man who exemplifies the values of a Salisbury Gentleman.

Following Jéan-Marc's knee surgery in 2017, while he was an 8th grade student at Indian Mountain School, Jéan-Marc drew a diagram of the parts of a knee so that he could better understand how his knee works. He gave the drawing to Dr. Alexander Clark, his orthopedic surgeon, as a thank you. The drawing was in Dr. Clark’s office and was seen by the American artist Jasper Johns. Jasper then incorporated Jéan-Marc's drawing as part of his new work called “Slice.” This piece is on display at the Whitney Museum in New York City. 

Jéan-Marc grew up in the Republic of Cameroon in west-central Africa, where he did not have access to running water or even have his own bed. He arrived in the United States four years ago and currently resides on the Hilltop with his host parents Community Service Director Rita Delgado and her husband Instructor in Mathematics Jeff Ruskin. Jéan-Marc is a basketball standout on the varsity team, following in the footsteps of his older brother Samuel Dingba '14, who had come to play basketball for Ruskin in 2010. 

Jéan-Marc's story was recently published by the Washington Post in an article titled, "How did this teenager's drawing of his knee wind up in a Jasper Johns painting at the Whitney?" as well as by the New York Times in an article titled, "All the World in a ‘Slice’ of Art."