Lindsay Wiggins

The artist Lindsay Wiggins could just as easily be found on Jasper’s Day Jobs page since, in addition to being an artist, she also works full time as a histologist – someone who studies the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues in plants and animals. And that intimate knowledge of the infinitesimal is clearly evident when Wiggins, who is also a photographer, takes paintbrush in hand. “Some of the patterns and symbols in my work come from my love of the microscopic world,” she says, citing her landscapes “where the neurons become trees, or is it vice-versa?”

A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Wiggins moved to Atlanta when she was 17 and attended the Atlanta College of Art, but her interest and proficiency in visual arts began much earlier. As a student at a magnet arts high school in Alabama, Wiggins studied college level courses in photography and, in her senior year, won Scholastic’s Art and Writing Gold Award for a photograph of her father that was displayed at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. Though she left college after a year to pursue a career in histology, she returned seven years later and, in May 2011, earned her BA in studio art from Columbia College.

Wiggins lists several female surrealists as major influences on her art. “After seeing Frida Kahlo’s work in Berlin a couple of years ago, I have been heavily influenced by her,” she says, also naming Dorothea Tanning and Leonora Carrington as artistic role models. “Since high school I have always surrounded myself with artists and musicians and writers. When I was at Columbia College, Mary Gilkerson was my painting professor and Stephen Nevitt taught me printmaking.”

Nevitt, who is a professor of Art at the school, says that Wiggins “came to Columbia College as a gifted photographer with a wonderful eye and a highly sensitive approach to personal expression, along with rich but sometimes difficult life experiences. Lindsay eventually moved to drawing, then printmaking, and now painting, always applying a constant and unrelenting work ethic to get the most out of each new medium she mastered. Her focus is always on concept and message while making the viewer an essential participant in the process.”

Threads of family and a unique and atomic look at the universe run through almost all of Wiggins’ work. “The idea that intrigues me is how nature echoes itself from an aerial perspective to a microscopic view. The bottom of the ocean contains creatures that resemble histological components seen in the human body.” Wiggins’ grandfather, the only other artist in her family, was also a horticulturalist who raised orchids and bromeliads. “These plants are a repeated symbol in my work that represents my blood’s identity and the impact of my family lineage,” she says.

In addition to the Corcoran, Wiggins work has been seen locally at Art + Cayce, Anastasia and FRIENDS, the Goodall Gallery on the campus of Columbia College, the Columbia Museum of Art, and as part of the Painted Violin exhibitions in 2008 and 2007. Her photographic work has garnered several first place awards in the professional division at the South Carolina State Fair. Jasper has no doubt that we’ll be seeing more of Wiggins’ work and witnessing her continued growth as an artist.

Jasper is watching you, Lindsay. No pressure.

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