BC Art Gallery presents new exhibit: Peter Reiquam’s “Win or Lose”

Public-art sculptor, Peter Reiquam, displayed his miniature to-scale sculpture proposals and successes at a showcase titles, “Win or Lose!” on May 8 in the BC Gallery. Reiquam wanted to show the “continuum and the evolution of [his] career” at this event. The showcased projects included models of rejected proposals, as well as successful miniatures and photos of their life-size brethren.

“Public work is out there permanently,” for anyone to see, whereas “commercial gallery work is displayed for a short period of time for a few people to see, “but then it goes into storage and no one ever sees it again,” Reiquam explained.

Reiquam began his college career in 1977 as a sculpture student who wound up working for his professor as a studio assistant. He continued pursuing art by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the University of Washington, and attended graduate school at Yale University where he received an master’s degree of fine art in sculpture. When Reiquam had first moved to Seattle in 1979, one of the first friends he made was Ross Brown, who currently teaches a sculpting class at BC. Last year, Reiquam casually mentioned his idea of this type of show, and Brown mentioned the opening BC’s Gallery held for May 2013. Chad White, the BC gallery director, approved Reiquam’s showcase; “so, here it is,” Reiquam happily concluded.

His work is “responsive to sites, locations, architecture and landscapes.” He draws inspiration from the history and physicality of the site his art may be built on, and gives his piece personality specific to that. Not all projects are approved for construction, and rejection is a part of the process. “I don’t really consider it criticism of my work,” he said, because “sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.”

Reiquam’s showcase included two projects that were originally rejected by selection committees. He refurbished and personalized for different sites for which they were accepted, one of which is going to be built this summer. “In some cases, I can find an opportunity to revise and rework that proposal and use it somewhere else, where maybe it fits better.” An example of this was a rocket ship piece he originally created for Olympia, but wound up having it  built in Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico harbors the White Sands Missile Range and Area 51 near Roswell and has an extensive history of rocketry and alien suspicion from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Reiquam is confident in his work, and proud of what he makes. “Win or lose,” he continues to create art.