Originally from Montana, Dara Solliday spent her formative years in the American South, studying architecture at Tulane University in Louisiana, and fine art at East Carolina University in North Carolina. Her early work focused on human structures, weather, river basins that refused to be tamed, and the fragile homes around them. Solliday returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2008, to Seattle, and became fascinated by the city’s rapid development via its history of ambitious land projects. Her latest series on the subject focuses on the Denny Regrade, an early 20th century land project that resulted in Harbor Island, and the removal of an entire hill that is now Belltown. She is a teaching artist at Pratt Fine Arts Center, with an emphasis in encaustic mixed media, painting composition and book arts. Her current project is a series of new paintings for SAM Gallery that incorporate imagery of the WSDOT Viaduct demolition currently taking place outside her studio window in Pioneer Square.
Solliday’s encaustic and installation work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States, including the Museum of Northwest Art; Bellevue Arts Museum; Hockaday Museum of Art; Gray Gallery and Emerge Gallery in North Carolina; and in Seattle at SAM Gallery, CoCA, Kate Alkarni Gallery, Linda Hodges Gallery, Pun(c)tuation, NW Encaustic, City Hall and ShunPike. Her work is included in corporate and private collections internationally.