Daria Sandburg is a Pittsburgh-based multi-media artist. Using paper, found historical objects, sculpted metal work, fused glass, and narrative brought meaningfully together to form a new coherent whole, Sandburg gives form to time and memory by visually creating a quiet glimpse into a worn, personal history. The materials she selects are intended to awaken within the viewer the value of daily experience and the connection between the universal and the individual organically. Sandburg fosters imagination by creating a participatory experience between her artwork and the viewer.
In the summer of 2015, Sandburg took to the streets with her self-initiated social practice project, “Baggage Claim”, an artistic community experience of sharing stories, burning up the drek, letting go, and using hope to fuel new possibilities. It’s a strange weight to carry – both metaphorically and very literally. Sandburg’s worn shiny metal case is painted with a series of intriguing messages. A quote from Kate Tempest: “That thing you weep for, leave it,” and one from Carl Sandburg: “What is this load I carry out of yesterday?” The ends of the case have the instructions Got baggage? Leave it here. Sandburg honors every one of the case’s painted instructions with an invitation for whoever accepts to leave their messages in the form of short, hand-written notes on scraps of multicolored paper. The baggage claim tickets cover the full gamut of guilt, regret, fear, and much more. Markers of love and lost love, admissions of poor choices, addiction, and anxieties of every shade are stowed in the case. When the claims get deeper, more personal, they can be outright devastating. Over the years, hundreds have taken Sandburg up on the offer to share their claim.
In 2017, Sandburg expanded the “Baggage Claim” to include her new series River of Blues. Boats made of cast glass, fibers, and sculpted metal sail down a river of broken blue glass. Tiny suitcases, made from sculpted metal, are usually anchored to boats or ladders. Sandburg’s intention was to call attention to our shared journey, to amplify our voices and bring people together. At the end of Sandburg’s River of Blues rests her “Dreamboat”, a larger, assemblage object for participants to place hopes and dreams for the future. Her current exhibition, The Workbook, was titled from a Covid time sketch book, Night Box CODA: The Workbook. In music, a coda is a passage that brings a movement to an end. For Sandburg, her workbook became solace in a time of grief: a luxury during loss. Her home studio became a theater for one, where she was both artist and audience. Images, ideas, and text emerged and presented escape to another word.
Born in Rock Island Illinois, Sandburg was the co-founder of Bohemia Gallery in Tucson Arizona where she curated exhibitions while making her own artwork. In 2012, she moved to Pittsburgh for her residency exhibition, “In Her Own Words”, at Borelli-Edwards Galleries. In the 2013 “35th Annual Frank Sticks Exhibit” at Glenn Eure Gallery in Nags Head North Carolina, Sandburg's artwork received top honors with the Best of Show Award. In 2014, Sandburg's artwork was selected to appear in the Lions Gate motion picture The Last Witch Hunter. Her artwork has been exhibited at Aqua Art Miami 2016, 2017, and 2018, and Superfine! NYC 2017 and DC 2018, and LA Art Show 2018 and 2019.