Sandy Milroy’s origins in art come from a love of the tactile materials found in the art classrooms of her childhood; paper, paint, and scissors. More sophisticated versions of these same materials are still the primary sources for her intricate collage/mixed media pieces. Another strong influence was the ancient and beautiful landscape of the tall grass prairie in the Blue Stem Flint Hills region of Kansas where she grew up. The colors of nature, its textures and forms, whether the delicacy of a dandelion or the subtleties and striations of tree barks, made deep and lasting impressions. The close up details of many natural forms or the long range views across the prairie or seen from an airplane are examples of what has inspired her art. It was later that she became fascinated by ancient Peruvian textiles, the many forms of vernacular architecture, and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Sandy was an art history major at Wellesley College and then apprenticed in art conservation at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum. After moving to North Carolina she took up weaving, studying at the Penland, Arrowmont, and Haystack craft schools. Over the course of twenty five years she taught many classes at the Durham Arts Council and exhibited her tapestries widely in the southeast. Her further life experience of living in Zambia for two and half years and collecting quality crafts made in the villages there for their national museum, followed by two years in Aberdeen, Scotland, and three additional years in the English Lake District where she maintained weaving studios, extended her reach and interests. She was awarded a major grant from the British Crafts Council and had a solo show at the Carlisle Art Museum.
She has also had a continuing interest in working with children and youth, whether tutoring or developing and teaching art programs. Recently she has been involved with the Karen Youth Art Group at FRANK Gallery.