Jerry Peters: From fire fighting to painting

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on April 1, 2011

Forest Dweller by Jerry Peters

Jerry Peters spent 30 years as a firefighter, the last 10 as a Battalion Chief for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. His career inspired his early artistic pursuits, which featured fire engines, fire helmets and fire scenes.

“I’d never held a paint brush or anything else artistically speaking before I retired,” he said. “I started taking drawing classes at Foothill College and just continued to take classes until I finally ran out of choices!”

More recent work, “Old Truck” – paintings of old trucks in rural landscapes – opens today (4/1) at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park, displaying the artists fondness for blending the beauty of nature with the character and history of battered vehicles.

“In the same way painting kind of happened to me, so did the trucks,” he said. “We were driving and I spotted two old trucks and tractors by the side of the road. I took a photo and painted them. Now people send me photos of old trucks from everywhere.”

In addition to his “Old Trucks,” Jerome paints from photographs taken during his travels. His work includes scenes from Italy, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, England and Turkey, as well as from across the USA and Canada. Several of his landscapes and still life paintings will be included in the exhibit, which runs through April 30.

More of his work can be viewed online. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The Potola Art Galley is located at the Allied Arts Guild on Arbor Road in Menlo Park.

Note: The photo of Jerry was taken at the Oklahoma City (Murrah Building) bombing in 1995. He was the Task Force Leader for Menlo Park’s Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) team.

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