BHC hosts Dallas artist’s exhibition


Trennt Rhea

Jeremy Biggers’ work “Blue Lives Murder” hangs on the wall behind him. His work combines realism with a design aesthetic and was inspired by his experience in painting and photography.

Trennt Rhea, Staff Photographer

Photorealistic paintings of people lined the walls of Dallas College Brookhaven Campus’ first reception hosted for an exhibition since the campus shut down due to the pandemic. 

Artist Jeremy Biggers’ work “combines traditional figurative realism with abstract design elements to create impactful imagery about Black identity and culture,” according to the exhibition description.

A former Eastfield student, Biggers received a $10,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, through the Challenge America program. According to the NEA website: “Since 2001, the Challenge America program has extended the NEA’s reach by promoting equal access to the arts in communities across the country. The Challenge America program is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.” 

One of the works, “Blood Moon and a Light Sonata” depicts a Black woman illustrated with hard edges, colorful accents and circle pattern grids, reoccuring details present in many of Biggers’ works. The exhibition, titled “Chronology,” was on display in the Forum and Studio galleries March 10–April 8. 

Brookhaven celebrated a homecoming of sorts when Biggers, now one of Dallas’ premier artists, visited Brookhaven for the April 1 reception at the Forum Gallery to showcase and discuss his works. 

In addition to the exhibition at Brookhaven, the grant allowed Biggers to lead a workshop at Cedar Valley Campus, complete two micro-residences at Eastfield Campus and host a conversation with John Spriggins, South Dallas Cultural Center general manager, at Mountain View Campus.

“It’s amazing,” Biggers said. “If I was painting alone, I would still paint whether I got the accolades or any of the other stuff. But to receive the grant is the extra added validation. To see that others are having a response is super cool.”

Lisa Ehrich, a design and ceramics professor and art department chair at Brookhaven Campus, was responsible for putting the grant together. “The grant kind of fell in our lap,” she said. “It was a grant to support an artist in the minority population. I went to my work group with this opportunity, and I told them that we should pursue it.”

Ehrich said when the district transitioned to Dallas College, the rest of the campuses needed to be included in the grant. 

The Brookhaven Campus was still selected as the host for the exhibition because it has the largest gallery. “The exhibition is here, and we are so thrilled and proud to have it here,” Ehrich said.

Biggers is not only an artist. According to D Magazine, Biggers is multi-hyphenate – someone with several professions or skills. He works in drawing, painting, graphic design, photography and filmmaking. The artform he is most focused on is photorealistic paintings.

“For me, painting realism was about impressing my friends initially when I was growing up,” Biggers said. “When I saw other people who had the ability to paint realism, that was what drew me into being an artist.”


Biggers’ art and photorealism process started early. “It started when I was a kid, drawing cartoon characters that look exactly like the characters we see on TV,” Biggers said. “As I got older and as I got better at it, it became less about the cartoon character and more about how realistic I can make objects like a hat or a shoe, and that process ultimately got me to where I am today.”

Biggers has many inspirations for his work, including Kathy Windrow, a drawing and painting professor at Eastfield. “I didn’t think of art as a viable career path until I went to Eastfield and met Kathy,” Biggers said. “Just having her in my corner back then and even now, and her seeing that spark in me. I owe so much of that to Kathy and Eastfield. When I make the documentary about my life, Eastfield will have a huge chunk in the documentary.” 

He also had a short film called “Harvest” on display in the Studio Gallery at Brookhaven. According to the video description, the film focuses on parts of “Black culture that Black people have been called ‘ghetto’ or ‘unprofessional’ for doing, while others have stolen or ‘borrowed’ (with an attempt to rebrand) and have been called ‘fashionable’ or ‘trendy.’”


Biggers said he feels a responsibility toward the next generation of artists. He said he uses his own experiences in his past as a guide for creating a path for the next generation of artists. Biggers said: “What would a 15-year-old me or 7-year-old me do, if they got to talk to me now? What are some things I can give them now so that they don’t have to go through 20 or 30 years of spinning their tires of figuring things out on their own.”

Biggers’ immediate surroundings also impacted his art. “I didn’t see any public art,” he said. His exposure to art changed when he attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. “I wanted to see things I wasn’t used to seeing, like art because the only art I was used to seeing was comic books or Disney,” he said. “So being introduced to broader art at Booker T. Washington kind of pushed me into making public art because I wanted younger people that were like me to see public art for them.”

Biggers said he wanted to make art that did not require kids to stand back or have their hands behind their back to observe. “If you want to go up and look and feel every brush stroke, you can do that,” he said.