Daina Higgins - biography
Daina Higgins was born and raised in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Her early art training was at the Columbus College of Art and Design, where she attended Saturday morning classes for seven consecutive years. During this time she attended Fort Hayes, an arts alternative high school located in downtown Columbus. In 1997 she received the Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She moved to New York, and graduated in 2001 with her BFA.
Out of a small studio in her Brooklyn apartment, she began making small paintings using a spray paint and stencil technique she invented while looking at Georges Seurat’s drawings. In 2003 the Rebecca Ibel Gallery exhibited these paintings. In 2005 Higgins also joined the Elizabeth Harris Gallery, receiving critical acclaim for her 2006 solo exhibition in the New York Times.
In 2007, Higgins enrolled as an MFA candidate at Queens College CUNY. During the two years of graduate school, she was included in the Queens International 4, a biennial exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing, and in 2009 she won the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant. Higgins also traveled to California to open a two-person show with Liat Yossifor at the University of LaVerne’s Harris Art Gallery, curated by Dion Johnson.
Numerous publications have documented her paintings, including ArtNews, The New York Sun, The Village Voice, The Columbus Dispatch, and The New York Times. 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.”
In 2010 Higgins moved to Philadelphia, where she restored an 1890's townhouse and studio and for which she achieved historic designation in 2018. In 2017, Higgins installed four paintings on permanent view in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. In December of 2020 she was awarded a second grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 2021, Higgins joined Contemporary Art Matters Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. She was awarded an emergency grant from Artist's Fellowship, Inc. in 2021.