Clifton park employees to show off artistic sides

Jerry Dumary works in the town’s highway department by day, but what most people might not know is t
Organizer Teresa Brobston adjusts a painting Thursday at the Grooms Tavern, which will host artwork created by town employees and their families.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Organizer Teresa Brobston adjusts a painting Thursday at the Grooms Tavern, which will host artwork created by town employees and their families.

Jerry Dumary works in the town’s highway department by day, but what most people might not know is that he’s a master woodworker on nights and weekends.

From 7 to 9 tonight at the restored Grooms Tavern, Dumary and five of his fellow town employees, and a few family members, will go public with their artistry at a reception and public art exhibit.

“I used to work in auto mechanics and construction, building decks and sheds,” said Dumary. “Then I turned more to the arts and crafts. I think people will be surprised to see what I’ve made.”

Dumary will display an Adirondack chair and a toy horse barn handmade for his daughter Amy, 13. But Dumary admitted he’s not sure how his work will stack up to the other creations at the exhibit.

“I just hope everyone else doesn’t blow me out of the water,” said Dumary.

Along with the larger pieces, Dumary’s forte is carving names inside unusual frames, such as a kid’s name in a football helmet.

“The carving is something I do for friends; I don’t sell my art,” said Dumary.

Deputy Town Clerk Teresa Brobston, who organized the event, was setting up her oil and watercolor paintings Thursday afternoon. Against the backdrop of the antique tavern, with its slanting sunlight and the dramatic, exposed wooden beams, the exhibit was quickly taking shape.

“What we’re doing here is taking things out of our homes and sharing them with people,” said Brobston, who has been painting for about two years. “Art is very personal; they’re like your babies once completed.”

Other exhibits will include Shaun Bertok’s photography, Irene Botch’s paintings, Kara Handerhan’s photography, and Shari Washer’s quilting.

One town official conspicuously absent from the list of exhibitors is town Supervisor Philip Barrett.

“They don’t show stick figures,” said Barrett.

The reception, which will feature a chocolate fountain and other snacks, is also a chance for people to peek inside the tavern. Tonight’s event marks the first art exhibit at Historic Grooms Tavern since its reopening April 2007. The historic tavern, where the first Clifton Park Town Board meeting was conducted in 1828, has been the site of several meetings and children’s programs since its April opening.

Brobston also said by taking the plunge and showing their work publicly, she hopes town residents will be encouraged to share their artistic endeavors.

“There’s a lot of talent in the Town Hall; we’re not just that person behind the counter,” said Brobston. “We have interests that other people out there share, and it brings us all together.”

The reception is free and open to the public.

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