Sanford Biggers

Associate Professor of Visual Arts

Columbia University School of the Arts

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) has received international acclaim for creating a diverse body of work in a variety of media revolving around themes of identity, spirituality, and race. In his series of six prints entitled The Floating World, Sanford explores imagery from American history that can also be found in his series of Quilt Drawings. Quilts were commonly used on the Underground Railroad to convey messages to slaves regarding safe houses and information pertinent to their travels. Through paper collage, Sanford recreates the feel of a handmade quilt and uses stencils, silkscreen, and spray-paint as a vehicle for his visual vocabulary. The Floating Worldmakes a vibrant connection between history and its influence on the present.

Sanford Biggers received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he’s currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts within the School of the Arts at Columbia University. He is also Affiliate Faculty in the Sculpture & Extended Media program at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Biggers has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for his work, including the Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy, the Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and the William H. Johnson Prize. He was also one of the three finalists for the inaugural Jack Wolgin International Competition in the Arts, the largest juried prize in the world to go to an individual visual artist. He has had solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, most recently at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL and MassMoCa in North Adams, MA. He is a California native but has lived and worked in New York, NY for well over a decade.