By Paige Mallory Passman, Staff Writer
(Aug. 9, 2018) George Hamaty, who was born and raised in Washington, D.C, will be the featured artist at Baked Dessert Café during Berlin’s 2nd Friday Art Stroll this week.
Hamaty, 90, began painting with oils in high school.
“I started with oil painting and art,” Hamaty said. “Back in the day, I was doing charcoal [and] pastel.”
Hamaty has used a variety of mediums over the years.
“I worked with acrylic and oil mainly. In high school, we couldn’t afford much pen, ink, charcoal and pencil,” he said.
After high school and before college, Hamaty worked for a publishing company in Washington, D.C.
“The company decided they needed a graphic artist. We opened up a department were we did camera work and layout and design,” Hamaty said. “I was put in charge of the pre-press department. I worked there for quite a few years. I was drafted to the Korean War, and I served two years in the Army back in 1951-52.”
Robin Tomaselli, owner of Baked Dessert Café, knows Hamaty through her father.
“He had asked us months ago if we would be interested in highlighting him as our artist of the month, which we were happy to do because we do that every month in the bakery,” Tomaselli said.
The Baked Dessert Café has always been supportive of local artists.
“We are probably one of the only places where local artists can hang their artwork. We don’t do a commission because we are a bakery and we feel like that’s not something that we need to make money off of,” she said. “In addition, it’s super cool for the artwork in the bakery to change every month, and I think that Berlin residents love to come in to see the new artwork that’s hanging. The bakery is completely packed with all local work and some of the artists stay year-round.”
Much of Hamaty’s work captures some themes of the area, Tomaselli said.
“They are all oil paintings and landscapes and his work has been inspired by artists of the Renaissance,” she said. “I think Berlin is designated an Art and Entertainment District, so there’s benefits for artists that lives and work in the area. I personally think it’s important to support our local artists.”
Berlin’s 2nd Friday Art Stroll festivities feature more than a dozen art displays in shops throughout the downtown area, along with sales and specials in restaurants from 5-8 p.m.
For more information on the Berlin Arts and Entertainment committee, visit www.artsinberlin.org.