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Celebrating Juneteenth at Gaston County Museum of Art & History

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Join the museum in celebrating Juneteenth through the lens of one of the most significant Gaston County African American artists of our time. “People, Places & Promises” takes the viewer on a journey of discovery through color, form, and geometric patterns that illuminate the artwork of one of Gastonia’s most prominent arts educators.

Representing a lifetime of work, this exhibit showcases the artwork of Gaston County native James C. Biggers over the five decades of his artistic career. From figurative ceramic works, to paintings and drawings inspired by sacred geometry and West African textiles, Biggers’ had a lifelong love for the arts and a lasting mission to share this love with his community. Curated in large part by the family of James C. Biggers along with museum staff, “People, Places & Promises” centers on themes at the very heart of Biggers’ work: family, spirituality, and community.

James C. Biggers attended Highland Elementary and Senior High Schools, graduating in 1966. He received a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Central in 1970, and a Master in Arts Education from Appalachian State in 1981. Biggers’ received many awards during his lifetime, notably, a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Japan (1977), the NAACP Award for “North Carolina Belongs to Children Mural” (1994), Encore Award, “Educator of the Year”, United Arts Council of Gaston County (1998), “Teacher of the Year”, Highland Junior High (1996), “The Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Award”, Gaston Clergy and Citizen’s Coalition (2015), and “The Visionary Award” at the African American Museum of History and Culture (February 16, 2019).

For more information on this exhibit, contact Alexandrea Pizza, Assistant Director, 704-922-7681 ext. 105 or


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