Pete received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Art Institute of Chicago. His awards for his work include Best in World, Miniatures three consecutive years at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Pete’s work has been selected nine times for the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s “Birds in Art” and has a piece in their permanent collection. His newest works investigate an integration of natural materials with cast bronze.
After high school, Zaluzec’s modestly self-described “competency” in art won him a place at the respected School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Although he enjoyed his time there, he says, he had no real direction or purpose. He did, however, advance his skills well beyond pencil and paper, studying both sculpture and oil painting for the first time.
From the Art Institute, he launched into a procession of jobs that had “nothing to do with the arts.” Yet, each in its way laid some groundwork for his creative future. As a social worker, he led outdoor adventure programs for at-risk children—an experience that brought him closer to nature. So did several years cutting down trees for pulpwood in Wisconsin. All along, in his spare time, he made pen-and-ink sketches of animals, birds, and landscapes.