Renaissance Man: Jerry Teters’ Mid-Career Pivot

By   |  Roy Gumpel  |     |  Makers

In 2011, Jerry Teters found himself at a career crossroads. West Park Union Free School District, where he had taught art since 1998, closed down. “Who’s going to hire a mid-career art teacher?” he recalls thinking. Fortunately, Teters’ professional uncertainty didn’t last. A longtime abstract painter who utilizes both palette knife and brush, he sometimes worked on commission for an interior designer friend. He and his wife, Betty Marton, decided to build on that experience. “We thought, ‘Let’s do art because that’s what feels good,'” Marton says.

Marton began traveling from their New Paltz home to New York to meet designers, “letting them get to know me,” she says. “They called me ‘the art lady.'” Today, Teters Art is in full swing, with Maron liaising between her husband and his clients.

Teters creates custom art for the clients of New York City-based interior designers Arlene Angard, Robin Baron, and James Rixner. His diverse client list includes New York real estate broker Ryan Serhant of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and Alice B. Fogel, New Hampshire’s poet laureate. Teters admits that in the past he might have resisted this path. “I probably would’ve said, ‘I’m not going to work with somebody else’s palette,” he says. “But it turns out it’s just a different structure, working with new color palettes I’ve never used before. The crux of the matter is, is it still art? Yes! In the Renaissance, Rafael, Michelangelo-they were commissioned artists.”

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