Unafraid to join the conversation, Higgins is bringing communities out of the shadows. At this point in history the monuments may only be symbols but their existence is a reminder of the systems of oppression for so many. Lone monuments, figures and trees are symbols of isolation. During the COVID-19 shutdown Higgins took many walks in the evening light, reminding her of simpler times. She sees the parallels of our time to the Victorian era that are unmistakable, and it is unnerving to realize that perhaps parts of our society have not advanced much at all. She is a member of the artist collective Toppled Monuments Archive, which records the fallen and removed monuments around the globe.
The paintings in this show explore the solace found in the parks, with a German Romantic feel of Casper David Friedrich. The hazy forest setting and the glow of dusk light are captured in these lush pictures. Higgins memorialized the power of the protests through the graffiti-laden civic monuments. She then created an imaginary landscape with fallen monuments in various positions, juxtaposing destruction and beauty.
Originally from Columbus, Daina Higgins graduated from the Fort Hayes High School and attended pre-college programs at The Ohio State University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Pratt Institute. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2001, followed by an MFA from the Queens College CUNY in 2009. Her works have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country including Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, The Pizzuti Collection, The Queens Museum of Art and the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. She was recently awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in 2021 (also received in 2019) and was the beneficiary of a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA grant and the Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship.