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James Biggers Anchors Centennial Celebration at NCCU Art Museum

Symbolic II Double Circle

North Carolina Central University’s Centennial Celebration continues with the exhibition of 25 digitally manipulated prints and eleven drawings and paintings by the Gastonia-based artist James Biggers (born 1948). The exhibition is scheduled from September 6 to October 16, 2009, at the North Carolina Central University Art Museum located on Lawson Street across from the Farrison-Newton Communications Building.

Biggers has exhibited widely throughout the Southeastern United States. He works in a variety of media, with special emphasis on painting, drawing, and monoprints. Influenced by his uncle, internationally renowned artist John T. Biggers, he has developed his own personal style. Although his work often reflects his African heritage, his recent work has incorporated themes derived from his interests in mythology and geometric patterns. Digitally generated work will be represented in The Egg, Vegetable, Carved wood, and Owl series.

Biggers’ work has been exhibited throughout the Southeastern United States. He has collaborated on several projects with his uncle John, including two 30-foot tall murals in the O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State University, Origins, and Ascension, from 1990 to 1992. In 1992, he again joined his uncle in the design and execution of the Hampton University Murals — Tree House, and House of the Turtle — installed at the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library, at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.

The three-year collaboration with the senior Biggers led to several mural commissions for James across North Carolina. Among them was the eight by 40-foot mural North Carolina Belongs to Children commissioned for the North Carolina Artworks for State Buildings Program, and installed in 1994 in the North Carolina Legislative Building, in Raleigh. In the following year, he created the piece Celebration, which depicts the influence of the African-American church in the Charlotte community, for the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to drawings and paintings by James Biggers, John Biggers’ preparatory study for the Treehouse mural at Hampton will be in the exhibition.

James Biggers, a native of Gastonia, is also an alumnus of NCCU who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education in 1970. He received a Master of Arts Education degree from Appalachian State University in 1981. Over the course of a nearly four-decade career James Biggers has been a respected educator and visual artist. During 30 years with Gaston County Schools, he taught visual arts at two junior high schools and one high school and served as arts coordinator for Gaston County Schools from 1983 to 1991. He retired from Gaston County Schools and has taught at Gaston College since 1998.

The North Carolina Central University Art Museum makes every effort to ensure that all museum events are accessible to the handicapped. For general information, assistance, or group visits, please call 530-6211. The Museum is open Sunday from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Published: Tuesday, September 01, 2009
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