biography + statement

Daina Higgins is a multi-media painter working in oil, gouache, watercolor, and spray paint. Her work has been exhibited nationally in New York, Columbus, Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in 16 solo exhibitions since 2005. In the fall of 2023 she mounted a solo exhibition at the SUNY Westchester Community College Art Gallery. In 2021 she mounted a solo exhibition at Contemporary Art Matters in Columbus, Ohio. Recent group exhibitions include Basin Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Cerulean Arts Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA), and Piano Craft Gallery (Boston, MA).


She has been featured in various publications including The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtNews, The Columbus Dispatch, The Village Voice, and Create Magazine. In 2006 Roberta Smith reviewed her exhibition at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, ending her review with “[she]…creates a poetic awareness of the passage of light, moving through the world, bouncing off things and making visual experience fleetingly possible.” That same year, her graffiti was featured in Nicholas Ganz’ book Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents.

Higgins has been awarded numerous grants and prizes including the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant, three grants from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Artist’s Fellowship Grant, and the Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship to attend The School of Visual Arts, where she earned her BFA in 2001.


Her work is in the public collections of the Columbus Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where it is on permanent view. She is a member of the Long Island City Studio collective in Queens, NY. She is represented by Contemporary Art Matters in Columbus, Ohio.


Higgins received her MFA from Queens College, City University of New York in 2009.


Statement


Over the past two decades, my work has focused on the visual and cultural identity of urban sites in the American Northeast. My painting is rooted in my emotional and perceptual responses to these specific places. I use a variety of painting techniques to convey the experience of place, as mediated through a camera lens. My paint mediums are carefully chosen to visually and culturally represent their subject. I employ a wide variety of tools and mediums including photographic reference, spray paint, oil paint, and water-based media. As an example, my photorealist spray paint paintings of forgotten urban sites and non-places stem from my youth as a graffiti artist. Typically, I paint on a scale that could be defined as “object” sized, that one could easily hold in their hand or with their arms.


I titled my recent series “Letters to Home” because each painting is formatted as a sheet of note paper. The series is spurred by a recent traumatic experience that displaced me from my home, during which I kept a diary of the events as they happened. Being uprooted has caused me to reflect on my identity as the daughter of a WWII Displaced Person and a descendant of the first white landowners of the American Southwest, and to bring these themes into my work.


Before, I was painting the external landscape with a focus on the specificity of place. Now, I look upon my “inner landscape” where there is a home that only exists in memories. The notepaper format in each painting serves as the foundation onto which brush marks can move with the urgency of a pen, setting up a tension between certainty and uncertainty. Sometimes referencing wallpaper or appearing doodled in a haze of stream-of-consciousness, I use a limited palette on pale yellow paper to slowly evoke quiet dread amidst the staid visual language of office stationery. These paintings are built up like ink drawings; each stroke is visible underneath the one atop it, the marks accumulating and deepening like memories themselves.

 
 

CV

Daina Higgins

Curriculum Vitae

Born: Columbus, Ohio 1979

Education:

MFA, Queens College CUNY, New York 2009
BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York 2001
Pratt Institute Pre-College Program, July-August 1996
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Pre-College Program, July 1995
Ohio State University Pre-College Program, June-July 1994

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions


2024

Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 


2023

WCC Art Gallery, SUNY Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY "Uncertain Belonging: Places Lost, Remembered, and Reclaimed", curated by Joseph Morris


2021

Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH: "Pandemic/Protest"


2018

Chromedge Gallery, Columbus, OH "New Paintings: Ridge Avenue"

2017
Studio Hada, Philadelphia, PA "Main street"

2012
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY "New Paintings"

2009
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY, “Environs
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “Paintings and Works on Paper”

Harris Gallery, University of LaVerne, Claremont, CA, “To Here Knows When” with Liat Yossifor, curated by Dion Johnson

Graduate Thesis Exhibition with Nathania Rubin, Klapper Hall Gallery, Queens College, CUNY


2008
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “Market”

2007
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY, “Babel in Brooklyn”
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “New Paintings”

2006
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY, “New Paintings”
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “Ceramics”

2005
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “Flaneur” (catalog)

2002
Tillie’s of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, “Daina Higgins: Recent Works”


Group Exhibitions


2024

Basin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, "Speak Up! Women, Art, & Social Justice" Curated by Valeri Larko

Icebox4 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, “Necessity: A Mother”, Curated by Tom Fitzgibbon 

Open Studio, Sunset Park Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY

New York Studio School, New York, NY, "Anonymous Was a Masterpiece"


2023

Thomas VanDyke Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, "South Brooklyn Salon"

Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH, Summertime 2023: A Virtual Exhibition

Leake Street Galleries (online), Her City Exhibition, Curated by Valeri Larko and Marc Craig

Leake Street Galleries (online), 50/50 Exhibition, Curated by Marc Craig

Open Studio, Long Island City Studio Collective, LIC, NY

Open Studio, Sunset Park Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY


2022

Basin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, "December Art Bazaar"

Piano Craft Gallery & Studio, Boston, MA, “I Like Your Work Fall Exhibition” Curated by Erika B. Hess

Cerulean Arts Gallery & Studio, Philadelphia, PA, "Traversing Terrain"

Shot Tower Gallery, Columbus, OH, "Inspired Reunion 2022"

Open Studio, Long Island City Studio Collective, LIC, NY


2021

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, “Woodmere Annual: 79th Annual Juried Exhibition”, Curated by David Wiesner

The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA "2021 Annual Domenic DiStefano Memorial Works on Paper Exhibition" Curated by Aida Birritteri

Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH, “Taking Interest: Summer in the City” virtual show


2020

Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH, "End of Summer"

Cerulean Arts Gallery & Studio, Philadelphia, PA, "The Stillness of the City"

Shot Tower Gallery, Columbus, OH, "40th Anniversary of the Fine Arts Program - Fort Hayes Alumni Exhibition"

LinkPHL, Philadelphia, PA, "Art on Link" (digital art show)

The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA “157th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings” (online)

Gallery of Art, Temple University Rome, Italy, "Tiny Biennale: 20/20 Vision" Curated by Susan Moore


2019

Cerulean Arts Gallery & Studio, Philadelphia, PA, "7th Annual Juried Exhibition" Curated by Jane Irish

The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA, "156th Annual Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings"

Gallery of Art, Temple University Rome, Italy, "Tiny Biennale: Light" Curated by Susan Moore


2011
Miranova Gallery, Columbus, OH, "Teasers: Selected Works from the Pizzuti Collection by Women Artists" Curated by Rebecca Ibel
The Proposition Gallery, New York, NY, “Summer Salt” Curated by Ingrid Dinter

2010
Cue Art Foundation, New York, NY, “Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Recipients 2009” (catalog)
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, "Trompe L'Oeil"
Fort Useless, Brooklyn, NY “Bushwick Open Studios Exhibition" Curated by Jeremiah McVay

2009
The Queens Museum of Art, NY, “Queens International Biennial 4” (catalog)
Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Old Westbury at SUNY, NY, “The Grand” Curated by Eun Young Choi
Gallery Satori, New York, NY, “Two Degrees of Separation”
The Puffin Room, New York, NY “Queens College MFA Exhibition”

2008
Gallery 151, Queens College MFA Exhibition, New York, NY, “Retail Space Available”
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY, “Urban Landscapes”

2007
Dinter Fine Art, New York, NY, “Common Objects
Shot Tower Gallery, Fort Hayes MEC, Columbus, OH, “Inspired Reunion”

2006
Dinter Fine Art, New York, NY, “Summer Hours
The Showroom, New York, NY, “365 T-shirts”

2005
Supreme Trading Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, “The Sisters”

2004
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY, “Night New York”
Orchard Street Gallery, New York, NY, “Showgirls”
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY, “Selected Works from the Mudpit”
Volume Art & Performance Space, Brooklyn, NY, “Spring Fix”

2003
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH, “Fresh Faces”

2003
BLD Studios, Columbus, OH, “Columbus Hip-Hop Reunion Festival”
Eickholt Gallery, New York, NY, “Giza”

2002
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY, “Local Talent/Small Works”
DUMBO Arts Festival at Dumbo LUNA, Brooklyn, NY
St. Cyril Croatian Catholic Church, New York, NY, “Hit and Run”

2001
SVA Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY, “Men and Dogs”, curated by Dora Riomayor


Bibliography and Press


Katz, Ray; “Local Artist’s Work on Display at WCC Gallery”, The Viking News, October 18, 2023

Valerio, William (foreward), The Woodmere Annual: 79th Annual Juried Exhibition, 2021. Juror: David Wiesner (catalog)

Sweet, Laura; “Dismantling the Confederacy: Paintings by Daina Higgins”, Ifitshipitshere.com, March 2021

Create Magazine (feature), March 2019
Schultz, Charles; "Daina Higgins New Paintings [at Elizabeth Harris Gallery], The Brooklyn Rail, February 2012.

Vasquez, Mario; Interview with Mario Vasquez of Super Mario's Art: Fine Art in the Fast Lane,

http://mariosartworld.blogspot.com/

Jose Ruiz and Erin Sickler; Queens International 4 Catalog (reproduction), 2009

Landi, Ann; “Urban Landscapes (exhibition review)”, ArtNews, September 2008, with reproduction.
Mullarkey, Maureen; “Testing the Urban Topography”, The New York Sun, June 19, 2008.
Visual Arts Journal (SVA), “Alumni Exhibitions” (reproductions), June 2008
Baker, R.C.; “Best in Show”, The Village Voice, December 12-18, 2007
Kotwal, Kaizaad; “Visionaries Somehow Fit Together”, The Columbus Dispatch, January 14, 2007.
Starker, Melissa; “Painting the Town”, The Columbus Alive, January 11, 2007.
Mayr, Bill; “Alumni Exhibit Reveals Depth of Fort Hayes Talent Pool”, The
Columbus Dispatch Weekender, January 11, 2007.
Smith, Roberta; “Daina Higgins at Elizabeth Harris Gallery”, The New York Times, March 3, and “Last Chance” March 10, 2006.
Ganz, Nicholas; Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents, 2006.
Mayr, Bill; “Spray Painter Makes Graffiti More Respectable”, The Columbus Dispatch Weekender, February 10, 2005.
Starker, Melissa; “Soft Focus”, The Columbus Alive, January 5, 2005.
Mullarkey, Maureen; “Elizabeth Harris Gallery: Night New York”, The New York Sun, June 24, 2004.
Stelling, Steve; “Sunrise through Crosshairs”, catalog essay for Rebecca Ibel Gallery, 2004.
Animal Magazine; paintings featured in issues “Giza”, 2003 and “Spring Fix”, 2004.
Davis, Nikki; “Fresh Faces at Rebecca Ibel Gallery”, The Columbus Alive, Dec. 1, 2003.
Jeanne Fryer-Kohles; “Pieces Offer Intriguing Peek into Future”, The Columbus Dispatch, December 7, 2003.


Commissions and Public Collections

2023

The Bunker Artspace, Palm Beach, FL


2019

Walt & Whitman Brewing, Saratoga Springs, NY; Custom painting for lounge and graffiti mural for lobby locations


2018

The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Embark Collection: Prints from The Joseph Collection

2018
The Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia PA; Paintings on permanent view (outside of Hall E)

2015

The Ohio Portfolio, two prints commissioned for the Joseph Hotel, Columbus, Ohio

2010

Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH


2005
"Work on paper" for Progressive Corporation Annual Report, Cleveland, OH

Awards

2023

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (third grant)


2021

The John R. Maxwell Prize (for oil painting), The Woodmere Museum’s 79th Annual Juried Exhibition, Juror: David Wiesner

Emergency Grant, Artist's Fellowship, Inc.


2020

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (second grant)

Coronavirus Artist's Relief Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation

Second Place Award, “157th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings”, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA, Juried by Matthew DeProspero


2019

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

2009
Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant

1997
Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

Teaching and Professional Experience


2024

Contemporary Watercolor, School of Visual Arts BFA Program, New York, NY

2001- Present: Daina Higgins: Art Office and Handling Consulting Services


Juror and Curatorial Experience


2022

Juror, “158th Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings”, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA


2011

Double Down” Exhibition of work by Lacey Fekishazy and Liz Atzberger, Fort Useless, Brooklyn, NY


Lectures and Interviews


2024

Interview, ArtShow with Craig Stover, Youtube.com

Interview on BronxNet News with Valeri Larko for Speak Up! Women, Art and Social Justice Exhibition

Artist talk, Basin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Youtube.com

Artist talk, Brandeis University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Waltham, MA


2023

Artist talk, SUNY Westchester Community College Art Club

Artist talk, SUNY Westchester Community College Painting students

Artist talk with Wayne State University visiting students


2022

Artist talk, Maspeth Town Hall Senior Art Program, Queens, New York


2021

Artist talk with Rebecca Ibel, Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, Ohio


2009

Artist talk, University of La Verne, California


Web-based and Collective Projects

2021, 2022, 2023

Artist Member, Long Island City Studio Collective


2021

Artist Member, Toppledmonumentsarchive.org


2007
“Weekend Journey”, Project Room, dinterfineart.com