Local descendant scores with sports-themed artwork

Contributed | Dave ChoateFormer Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax is depicted in acrylic in this work by Dave Choate. 

An artist with local ties has been making sports themed paintings for more than a decade.

Dave Choate’s pop art has a sports bent, and although he grew up and lives in Connecticut, he has Otsego County ties. His great-grandfather, Charles Edward Choate, was a fire chief in Oneonta in the 1920s, he said, and his grandfather, Arthur Choate, was police chief in Cooperstown just before World War II.

“I have always been curious about the area when looking at family history,” Choate told The Daily Star in a phone interview Wednesday, June 17. “I did a lot of research on ancestry.com and newspapers.com.

“I had been planning to finally visit this year, before the coronavirus hit,” he continued.

Choate said he was selling real estate in a suburb of New Haven when the Great Recession hurt the business. He had always been interested in art, and specifically, the mix of sports and art, but when the real estate market tanked, Choate said he took it as a sign to follow his passion.

“I thought I could make more money selling my art on the street in New York City than I could selling real estate, so that’s what I did,” he said.

Choate said he would go down to SoHo, a ritzy Manhattan neighborhood near Greenwich Village, and set up a table on West Broadway.

“It was’t hard work, just sitting there, but it could be grueling, because most of the time, you are just alone,” he said. “If I did it Saturday and Sunday, it would take me a whole Monday to recover.”

Choate said he was able to slowly start selling his paintings, which are mostly acrylics. Sales led to publicity and within a few years, Choate said he had supplemented a career in real estate with one in art.

He doesn’t sell street-side much anymore, he said, but through online platforms, repeat clients and referrals.

“I wouldn’t say I am rich, but no artist gets into it to be rich,” he said. “But I am not out there searching for new real estate clients. That time is spent making art now.”

Go to www.etsy.com/shop/choateart to see Choate’s art. He also has accounts on Twitter and Instagram under the name @DaveChoate.

Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at gklein@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7218.

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