Title: Professor-Art/Gallery Director/Dept Chair
College: College of Professional and Liberal Studies
Department: Department of Fine Arts
Room: Fine Arts 203C
Monday-Thursday 1-2pm or by appointment.
BiographyJames Biggs grew up in Summersville, West Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and a Bachelor of Science in Art education. He completed an MFA in Ceramics at Indiana State University in 2003. Biggs has instructed Ceramics and Sculpture for 17 years. James has directed the construction of multiple permanent and experimental ceramic kilns while at Concord University.
James has served as the gallery director for the Arthur Butcher Art Gallery in the Alexander Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Concord University since 2004. He has directed the visiting artist program at Concord University providing Athens, West Virginia with free demonstrations by the nations well-known ceramic artists and creating a channel for international exchange.
James’s artwork is primarily ceramic and draws upon themes of Appalachian life through sculpture and utilitarian objects. His work is regularly included national exhibitions as well as local. He has presented, demonstrated, and lectured at multiple colleges and universities and Tokyo, Japan.
EducationM.F.A., Indiana State University
B.A., Concord University
B.S., Concord University
ResearchThese trucks and bulldozers are constructed in earthenware clay using various molding and hand forming techniques. I have settled on the image of the metal toy because it is largely positive, a wide variety of folks have an existing relation to it, and it is not traditionally used as subject matter or imagery for high art. My hope is that the art works presented are truly non-verbal in nature. I want to make work that will instantly draw a viewer in and hold their attention through unexpected pairings.
Images are fluid in terms of their meaning and significance. The material in the truck or in front of the dozer provides me with another possible layer of meaning and context for the truck. I typically try to use that extra layer as an opportunity for play and humor. The toy truck is associated with childhood and childlike impulses. Anything that I put in the truck instantly becomes, by definition, a “truckload”. That transformation is semantic (and silly) but I want the works to have monumental qualities while being as small as possible.
I want the loads to be overwhelming. I want the viewer to rely on their own associations to make sense of those materials, objects, and commodities. I think the playfulness and general mischief will come through the work. The works will convey ideas of generosity, and abundance but I’m okay if a few notions of wastefulness get through as well.
I hope that adults who are well versed in art theory, art history, and criticism can find interest in the sculptures. At the same time, I want the work to appeal to children.