May 28 - June 28, 2019
Daria Sandburg : The Seekers Book of Knowledge
(main gallery)
Public Reception: Saturday, June 1st, 5-8 pm

Daria Sandburg is a Pittsburgh-based multi-media artist. Using 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. Sandburg's objects are not meant to be perceived in isolation from her artistic process. 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. Her works often contain hidden treasures. Open a jar to find a pendant, unravel fabric to find hidden text. 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 love lost, admissions of poor choices, addiction, and anxieties of every shade are stowed in the case. And while there’s a level of repetition and predictability to many of the entries, the format of one real human having submitted her or his expression in their own hand, in person, directly to Sandburg’s protective case makes each one unique, special, and often tragic. When the claims get deeper, more personal, they can be outright devastating. Take my lies, one reads, or My father’s suicide, or Letting where I missed be the measure of my life, or She was abused, now he’s dead. No guilt. Over the last two 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 is 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. 

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! Art Fair NY 2017 and DC 2018, and LA Art Show 2018 and 2019.

Reception with the Artists
Daria Sandburg: The Seekers Book of Knowledge will be on exhibit from May 28th through June 28th in BoxHeart’s main gallery. The exhibition coincides with our 2nd-floor gallery exhibit Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now. The reception with the artists will be held Saturday, June 1st, from 5 - 8 pm.



May 28 - June 28, 2019
Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now
(2nd-floor gallery)
Public Reception: Saturday, June 1st, 5-8 pm

From May 28th through June 28th, BoxHeart Gallery is proud to present Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now on exhibit in our 2nd-floor gallery. A synopsis of Yücelen’s diversified artworks, From Ancient to Now draws on a range of cultural and historical references. Organized by Nicole Capozzi and Joshua Hogan, owners of BoxHeart Gallery, Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now references not only ancient scripts, architectural patterns, traditions, and social interactions but also allusions to literature, history, and science. Yücelen’s intent is to engage the community in understanding how norms and values within the present landscape were shaped by the past and how the future will form them. Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now tells stories lost in a time between ancient and now and a place between Middle East and West. 

Yücelen’s figurative bronze sculptures are a philosophical journey through the essential elements of life. Each sculpture is a visual commentary that questions our urge to overthrow our present norms, values, and aesthetics, instead of using them to inform our progress. By mashing past and future together, Yücelen dares us to cherish the human intimacy and face to face collaboration that we used to take for granted, and to discover new pathways to them.

Among the works on paper featured in Yücelen’s exhibition, From Ancient to Now, are three 30” X 22” monotypes on Women’s Rights in Islamic countries. From her 2017 series “Overwritten Scripts” each print emphasizes the inequality that exists based on socio-cultural norms rather than Islamic principles, which regard men and women equal in humanity. During the summer of 2018, Yücelen created one small monoprint every morning. The result is her series, “To Moon”. From Ancient to Now includes works from this series that reference ancient scripts and poetry.

Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now also includes selected metal sculptural dresses and shoes from her series, “Clothes from the Past”. Inspired by her cultural history, Yücelen created garments as a reference to the clothing patterns of Europe and Anatolia during the era of the Ottoman Empire. Her work, “Persian Dress with Crescents”, was inspired from a woman’s 18th century robe because of the deep influences of Persian language, epic poems, and miniature paintings on the Ottoman culture. Constructed from brass and red dupioni silk, Yücelen used a technique she adopted form dival embroidery of thread over cardboard to create the dresses crescents. The crescent motif appears in Turkish textiles dating as far back as the 14th century.

Yücelen, a Turkish-American, is inspired by her cultural history. She studied sculpture at the Florence Accademia D'Arte in Florence, University of Colorado Boulder, Art Students League of Denver, and Scottsdale Art School. With a PhD in chemical engineering and research, Yücelen also knows how exciting the future is. She has received various grants including; the 2018 Moon and Stars Project Grant; 2018 and 2017 Fellow by the Clark Hulings Fund, 2018 Kristal Martı Award by KALID; the 2017 Tending Space Fellowship for Artists by Hemera Foundation, and she is a National Sculpture Society elected member. Publications include; in Fort Morgan Times, Pittsburgh Articulate, The Tribune Review, Les Femmes Folles, the Daily Camera, Chicago Reader, The Examiner and Reporter Herald.

Reception with the Artists
Belgin Yücelen: From Ancient to Now will be on exhibit from May 28th through June 28th in BoxHeart’s 2nd-floor gallery. The exhibition coincides with our main gallery exhibit Daria Sandburg: The Seekers Book of KnowledgeThe reception with the artists will be held Saturday, June 1st, from 5 - 8 pm.