The objects that Pete Seligman picks up along Rock Creek don’t belong there – wood scraps, items of clothing, a crushed soda can. But some of them find a new purpose as a “jumping off point” for Seligman’s collages and constructions.
Seligman lives on Veazey Terrace, and you might find him walking along Rock Creek after rainstorms, looking for interesting materials that may have washed up on the creek’s banks. Once, he found part of a boating dock.
“I was definitely puzzled how a dock came to be floating down Rock Creek,” Seligman says. “I sawed it into different size pieces and used them in a number of wooden constructions.”
Seligman is a self-taught multimedia artist and once he retired from the Library of Congress, he devoted himself to his art full time.
Seligman tells Forest Hills Connection he started to incorporate found items in his art about 25 years ago, when he discovered he liked painting on wood more than canvas. “Over time that led me to incorporate wood into the paintings themselves, and the paintings then morphed into wooden constructions that included paint,” Seligman says.
Seligman is represented by Foundry Gallery in DC and has exhibited in the Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. He has a solo show at Foundry Gallery through October 27th. Each piece has a Rock Creek connection: found objects that “form the jumping off point of each of my constructions.”
“By limiting the artwork’s genesis to material found along Rock Creek,” Seligman says, “I feel that each piece resonates with “place” – the place the objects were found. So I see a connection among all the artworks in the exhibition because each one began with something fished out of or found along the banks of Rock Creek.”
Learn more about Seligman’s work at PeteSeligman.com. His Foundry Gallery exhibition, featuring wood-based constructions and collages, is open through Sunday, October 27. Foundry Gallery (FoundryGallery.org) is located at 2118 8th Street NW near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station. It is open from 1 to 7 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.