As Jersey Shore towns get rid of storm-damaged debris to make way for the new boardwalks, artist Roddy Wildeman uses that debris to create art.
“The materials were just everywhere so I just grabbed whatever I could use,” Wildeman said.
After Sandy, Wildeman began collecting everything from pieces ofdocks, benches, boardwalk planks and parts of homes and furniture. After the material is cleaned, cut, torched and designed in his Belmar studio, the debris is transformed into a Starburst. Wildeman, a former contractor, began creating these designs before the storm.
“That’s where most of my work comes from. It was borne from working on these houses, using the material off these houses,” Wildeman.
The artwork has become a way to memorialize the shore communities. Pieces include debris from a number of shore towns, including Ocean Grove’s fishing pier and Long Branch. All the towns are stamped into the design. Wildeman donates some of his work and sells the rest.
Interest in Wildeman’s memorial pieces continues to grow. So far he’s created about 15 works of art and he still has truckloads of Sandy related debris in storage.
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