Vitek Kruta

Written by: Rohan Tandon & Sai Chaitanya Ayyadevara

About  Vitek1

Vitek Kruta (born in Prague, Czech Republic) is a professional artist, muralist, art restorer, set designer and teacher. Mr. Kruta acts as a consultant for various educational, art organizations and historical commissions. He is well versed in the Old World artistic sensibility and restoration process having learnt his trade in Germany, working on castles and churches. Mr. Kruta exhibits his work in galleries and art shows throughout the country.

Introduction to Restoration


According to Vitek Kruta, restoration is the dignity you give and respect to your culture, people and self. 

Restoration is the enjoyment in taking knowledge of ancestors and applying it. We owe this knowledge to ancestors. His motivation for restoration is based on several things, respect for ancestors and their skill. Respecting your ancestors means respecting yourself and your future. Everyone must be rooted somewhere, you need to be culturally strong and inspired by your culture.

Mr. Vitek Kruta was born in the beautiful city of Prague, where he developed an interest in art and became passionate about human history.

“Seeing my beautiful city destroyed by the Soviet union army, motivated me to preserve art and introduced me to restoration.”

Restoration Experience

Vitek4Mr. Kruta specializes in the restoration of paintings, fresco murals, medieval sculptures, sacral furniture and altars, gold leafed frames and architectural decorative elements. He gained this knowledge while working with the Wiedl Restoration Co. in Nuremberg, Germany. Also, he trained extensively in analytical techniques, documentation and research of historic finishes working closely with the Historic Preservation Commission of Munich.

Vitek has received the opportunity to work on historic buildings such as Albrecht Durrer House, Hirschberg Castle, Faber Castell Castle, Wildbad and also over 100 churches in South German cities. He moved to the United States in 1991, and now lives in Holyoke where he has his own studio and an entrepreneurial venture “Gateway City Arts” where he promotes upcoming artists, teaches art and has dining services.

Styles of Art

Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Vitek Kruta had to travel extensively to different art galleries and host showings of his personal collection of paintings. There are four distinct styles of art which he reflects in his paintings.


Inscapes Painting

The first style is called “Inscapes”, these types of paintings involve the classical style of painting landscapes. Mr. Kruta wants to invite the viewers on a journey to explore the landscapes and lose themselves in the painting. 


Abstract Painting

The second style of art deals with abstract paintings, which are pleasing to the viewer but involve a little twist in
them. Objects are portrayed to be very realistic in nature but often do not exist in the real world. He likes idea of creating a new possibility what viewers do not expect.

Another style is called “Cityscapes”. Mr. Kruta demonstrates his views and opinions on human history in these paintings and often wants the viewers to contemplate about our past as a species. These paintings are about war torn cities in ruins, which indicate his deep interest in human history. 

The last technique focused on decorative art. These paintings are inspired by the art and history seen by him during his time in Germany, restoring castles and churches.


Cityscapes Painting


Decorative Painting


Mr. Vitek Kruta has a wide customer base that includes private customers, art galleries, antique stores and even restoring of churches in the area. Private customers often want their personal artwork to be restored which involves gold leafing, fixing missing pieces of furniture, sculptures, and wood carvings.

Larger projects which Mr. Kruta has taken up include the restoration of the 14 Stations of the Cross in Easthampton. Here, he is working on cleaning murals, wood graining, and using the technique of faux finishing which means using paint to imitate other materials (ex: making paint to look like wood).

Restoration of St. Joseph Church in Lowell

Contribution to Holyoke

As Holyoke is going through a redevelopment phase and trying to regain its lost glory, Mr. Kruta is often in touch with city planners and council members, using his experience to guide them regarding displaying public art and it’s liability, insurance, and construction issues.

One of the highlight features of Holyoke is the computing center and the planning of th-38a8f7cda5e458f7e giant wheel at the facility was done in collaboration with Mr.Kruta. He helped in figuring out the placement of the wheel and also hired an architect to engineer the base of the 65000 tonne giant structure.

Mr. Kruta also promotes the upcoming local artists of the area through his entrepreneurial venture “Gateway City Arts”. He also teaches drawing here to his students and his philosophy about teaching is that “I am not going to teach how to draw. I will teach how to observe, listen to art. Drawing is about sitting down and leaving behind the daily madness of life. To understand the world around you, one must understand oneself first”. 

Interview with Vitek

Written by: Sara Tajik and Emily Thompson

What is you passion in life?

Vitek identifies his art as painting, although trained in sculpting, clay, wood, etc. (except glass and metal). He applies his painting skills for theaters and operas, painting murals, restoration of historic buildings (churches, castles, etc.).

What is your history with Holyoke? How did you get to this point?

Vitek begins, “now this is a long story.” After being born in Prague during communist Czechoslovakia, current Czech Republic, his family decided to escape the country. Vitek joined with his father who escaped to Austria. Vitek’s father ended up residing in Germany working on the famous movie “Amadeus” with director Milos Forman. This movie continued to win eight Oscar titles in the early 80s, including best picture, best actor, and best director. Vitek’s father worked on the film doing restoration and garden work, similar to Vitek’s field. However, the German’s did not want Vitek’s father living in Germany, and he was forced to flee the country. Famous director, screenwriter, and actor Milos Forman generously allowed Vitek’s father to move to his estate in Connecticut and perform similar work there. Unfortunately, Vitek dreamed of moving with his father on the estate but due to green card issues, he stayed and raised his children in Germany. Here, Vitek gained experience restoring German castles and churches. After seven years of trying, Vitek finally was able to move to Milos Forman’s estate with his father, wife, and three young children. Here, Vitek ran his restoration for some time while his father continued gardening. In 2001, Vitek moved out of Conneticut to North Hampton, MA until 2005 when he got divorced and moved to Holyoke. Meanwhile, his father passed away, and his kids graduated to UMass Amherst and Mass Art in Boston. Vitek bought himself a house and has been living in Holyoke for around ten years now. After a long lifetime of constantly moving place to place, he finally feels peace in finding a loving, stable community and home in Holyoke, MA. This complex history of Vitek has been a major influence to his dynamic artwork. Vitek says he “Fell in love with Holyoke – there are just a lot of good people here. He is just happy here. He moved around the world since 1981 for 31 years- and this feels this is home again.”

Whom do you feel your product benefits?

Vitek felt he had a “Slightly complicated answer. The word ‘decorate’ means to dignify. If you dignify your home by decorating it beautifully, or if you decorate your home with your paintings you are creating an environment that is giving them the inspiration of your work.”

How do you feel your product fulfills the needs of the redeveloping city of Holyoke?

Due to Vitek’s restoration skills, he has vast knowledge and understanding of construction work and finishing. He has the ability of restoring castles and churches with people of all different fields. He is bringing this expertise to Holyoke to inspire as well as reconstruct.

The arts are also a business that is making people- friendly, bringing in art and people and music to people. The downtown that was called a “war zone” has become for fun and knowledge.

Is your work known regionally, nationally, internationally?

Vitek feels that it depends who is looking, because his work is “all over the place”. He does the kind of work that doesn’t make you a movie star- doesn’t get the exciting type of exposure. However, if you ask a group of people that know about his field of reconstruction, he is well known. Vitek was in a book published in Holyoke about legends of Holyoke and it’s history.

How did you emerge into the artist you are today? Did your complex past play a major role in this?

“Absolutely. When I did shows in the last 15 years, I completed 2500 paintings throughout exhibits and trade shows all over the country. Now I am focusing on Gateway City Arts. All of this travel and market for arts and graphics and meeting thousands of people has really given me a creative scope.”

What advice would you give to others who are following a similar path?

“Don’t ever look at your art as a reason for doing what you are doing. It’s the process not the product.” When Vitek finishes a piece of art, he is already working through another one hundred pieces of work. “It is a byproduct of a way of living, you can’t be too hung up on the details. There is a lot of disappointment in your career, sometimes you sell a lot and sometimes you just don’t. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.” Vitek’s second piece of advice was that “you need to have a topic that you are working on. If you paint a stonewall you have to understand how laying stones works and why. If you paint a door you have to understand the joints of that door. If you paint a landscape, you need to understand the land and who lives and what grows on that land. Once you understand it you can paint it without having to look at it. But people are not patient enough to stop our brains and look closer. This results in the quality of art around us- people do not observe anymore”

Would you describe yourself as an artist, entrepreneur or innovator?

All three. Vitek feels that in order to be successful, you must be all three.

Why did you choose to live and/or work in Holyoke?

Vitek found a house that he liked and bought, and then shortly after was invited to help work with theater murals. He met lots of great people and decided to stay here and fall in love with Holyoke.

 Contact Mr. Vitek Kruta

Location: Gateway City Arts

                  92 Race Street

                  Holyoke, MA, 01040


Phone:     413-539-0385