Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Jesse Higman (Seattle) won a 2009 Mayor’s Arts Awards Award and 2011’s Best of Art Walk Award for his solo show at Vermillion Gallery in Seattle. Higman worked in grunge through the 90’s with Seattle rock bands Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Heart designing album covers, posters, shirts and stages sets. A quadriplegic in a wheelchair from a car accident at 15, Higman engineered a painting system of surface construction and pouring solutions of minerals which he calls Illuvium, for the geologic process of particles settling on flood planes. Using physics with the concepts of biology and cosmology he says his aim is to, “show generative relationships, playing with energy to coax the joyful, convivial forces that produce life.”

At times, Higman invites people to pour together, exploring the influence of the individual in a group composition. Leanna Mella of the Smithsonian Museum, which recently featured one of Higman’s painting tables, said “Higman’s work, with its communitarian and convivial ethos, exhibits many of the tendencies associated with Relational Aesthetics, a theory of art practices that takes the whole of human relations and social context into consideration as a point of departure for the production and presentation of the work of art.”

Jesse received a 2012 GAP to help with the costs of building a new system of his design to cradle more pliable painting surfaces; enabling him to transfer pulses of wave energy more directly in a system he calls “Illuvium.” This system, based on the geologic term of particles settling on flood planes, directs in currents iridescent minerals building hills and weighting holes to accelerate flows on the surface of his pieces. Jesse has been offered a show in 2013 at Vermillion Gallery in Seattle.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.