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Blog At the Museum

30×30 Artist Spotlight: Maureen Seltzer

More than 40 pieces of art line the walls of the Museum of Life and Science’s 30×30: Art, Nature, and Science exhibition, and we are honored to introduce you to a few of the artists. The exhibit is open through July 16 and entry is included with Museum admission.

Meet Maureen Seltzer, the creator of Hope Released Two Red Wolves (acrylic and paper collage on canvas), and the winner of the Director’s Prize. Seltzer lives in Wake Forest, NC, and has worked to promote the arts in various capacities and roles for many years. Read more about her here!

Maureen Seltzer

What drew you to 30×30: Art, Nature, and Science?

I was drawn to the 30×30 show because of my love for nature. I was hoping to showcase the wolves and help make people aware of them. I was drawn to the challenge of making a torn paper collage that big as to date it is the biggest one I have completed.

How does your piece, Hope Released Two Red Wolves, showcase art, nature, and science?

This piece of collage art is the first in a series of endangered animals in North Carolina. Why start with the red wolf, you may ask?

I have always had a great love and respect for nature, especially animals of all kinds. Indeed, most of the art I create is about them. As I learned more about the endangered species of our great state, I became intensely drawn to the story of the red wolf — and the program to reintroduce them to the wild at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The more I researched, the more I fell in love with this noble species.

There are two red wolves to represent a pair — male and female — as they mate for life. That is why I named this work Hope Released Two Red Wolves.

Bit by bit through my work, I hope to raise awareness of the plight of red wolves. Maybe others will fall in love with them also.

Would you mind sharing a little about your process in creating Hope Released Two Red Wolves?

When looking at my collage art from far away it looks like just a painting, but on closer observation one would be able to pick out text from an old book page or a music note or two and maybe the corner of a map of some faraway place. Each collage allows me to explore both the abstract and realism in one piece of art. Once the idea is planted in my head, it is quickly underway. I paint in acrylic paint onto the canvas, which acts as a road map for the collage. Then it’s on to mono printing the papers.

Armed with old book pages, sheet music, or maps, the challenge is to make wildly abstract papers in all the shades and tones needed for that particular piece. I often find my mind wondering about the people that once owned them and, in some strange way, I feel like this allows me to take them on my artistic journey as well as save them from the trash pile.

Having monoprint papers ready, the next part of this process begins. Tearing and gluing the papers down much like a painter lays a brushstroke using archival matte medium. Did you know that there is something very zen about ripping paper and then gluing it down? I love watching these abstract papers turn into a very realistic piece of art. When this is finished each piece of art has 3 coats of U.V. varnish applied to seal it. There is no paint added after the paper is placed onto the canvas.


Be sure to check out Maureen Seltzer’s piece and all the works in 30×30: Art, Nature, and Science now through July 16. Visitors are also invited to cast their vote for their favorite piece! The winner of the Visitors’ Prize will be announced at a later date, so click here to make your choice.

The exhibit is located on the first floor of the main building next to Gizmo Garage and is open during Museum hours.