Painter Bert Petri and part owner of Our Gallery in Pentwater died Tuesday.

Petri used watercolor and oil for his paintings and last year published a book teaching people watercolor painting.

Local photographer Brad Reed remembers Petri as a unique character.

“He was a world-class painter,” said Reed. “I think the quality of his art was by far one of the best in Michigan. He was undiscovered still, but his work will only get more valuable.”

Reed said it was obvious how much he loved his wife, Cheri.

“Although there was a difference in age, they were very cute together,” said Reed.

Pentwater Village President Juanita Pierman said Petri will be sorely missed.

“Bert Petri was absolutely a wonderful person with an incredible background. He and his wife Cheri have been a part of downtown for more than 23 years,” said Pierman. “Their gallery has been a mainstay.”

Pierman said Petri did a lot of paintings of Pentwater, one of them is a painting of a band concert that she has hanging in her office. She said he was the official painter for the United States Coast Guard and there is a permanent series of paintings called “The Pentwater Series” hanging in the gallery.

“He also did several religious paintings. He had an incredible talent,” said Pierman.

“He was a really fine artist and did a lot for the art community in west Michigan,” fellow artist Judy Seeley said about Petri.

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