Pete Hassler

by Dana Kester-McCabe

It was not until he retired that Pete Hassler returned to his first career choice: making art. Now living in Ocean Pines he sculpts full time creating both representational and abstract pieces.

After high school Pete joined the Navy and then the Merchant Marines so he could see the world including Italy and Vietnam.

When Pete returned home he settled into a job as New York City fireman until layoffs in 1975 forced him to take some time off. Between doing odd jobs to support his family he went to college on the GI Bill and took night classes at the Art Student League which was taught by well known artists of the day and included a few famous classmates like Peter Falk.

But Pete put away any aspirations for the creative life until his retirement. After watching fellow firefighters and friends perish in the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Pete began to dedicate himself to sculpting.

Pete says that of all the stone he has carved Carrere marble is his choice because of its great beauty because it was the favorite of Michael Angelo the artist he looks up to most. Sometimes Pete begins with a plan for a stone and sometimes that stone has a plan for him.

Pete is working on a book about his experiences in the merchant marines. His sculptures can be seen at the Worcester County Arts Council, the Ocean City Center for The Arts, and on his website