Jerry Hammes has lived in the Calumet area almost all his life. He spent four years in the Air Force, two years in Tennessee and two in Germany during the Occupation in the early 50’s . When he returned, he resumed his job in the meat department of the A&P in Calumet. Eventually the A&P moved into the current location that houses the Copper Country Associated Artist Gallery. After about 30 years, he became the manager of the meat department at Louis SuperValue in LakeLinden, and retired in 1992. He has a son who currently resides in Chicago, but treks back to the Keweenaw to visit his dad and old friends.
Jerry was always interested in art, and was often found copying cartoons from comic books as a young boy, eventually drawing his own cartoons. After retirement, he started working with acrylics on canvas as well as on saw blades, painting scenes from his childhood in the Copper Country. He does careful sketches before he paints, working mostly from memory but also from researching old photographs. His style can be described as “folk art”, and his subjects vary from “Grandma’s Kitchen” to trains, mines and famous buildings. His work has been so prolific, as a collection it tells the story of Calumet during the middle part of the twentieth century.
Jerry Hammes was the Featured Artist at the Eagle Harbor Fair in 2009, and had a wealth of paintings on display. Consistently thoughtful, caring and humble, we are honored to have Jerry as a member of the Copper Country Associated Artists, and particularly pleased to have a special display of his work at the CCAA gallery this winter, from November until May.