Whenever artist Kimmy Cantrell looks around him, visions flow from his soul. “Landscapes become human forms and lumps of clay transform into vivid abstract figures,” the sculptor explains. With his striking ceramic faces, still lifes and nudes, the College Park, Georgia native conjures up imagery that beckons us to view ourselves and the world through an unorthodox lens.
Artist Kimmy CantrellLargely self-taught, Kimmy discovered his artistic vision in high school. His art teacher, Curtis Patterson, now at the Atlanta College of Art, admired his command of clay. Kimmy’s very first piece, a clay vase, landed on display at the Atlanta Board of Education Building. Still, he never considered making art his livelihood. Instead, he studied business administration at Georgia State University and spent 12 years in distribution management. In 1991, a recently divorced Kimmy left College Park to accept a job in rural South Georgia. There, after almost 20 years, his life came full circle. “I just decided one day that it was time to reconnect with the clay so I picked some up and sculpted a vase.“ Kimmy’s vases evolved into bowls, and bowls, faces. And, well, he hasn’t stopped creating since.
Kimmy enjoys developing fresh variations on three recurring themes: faces, still lifes, and the female anatomy. He counterbalances seemingly irreconcilable elements to create pleasing compositions. Half of a nude sculpture entices with its glossy, candy-apple red glaze, while the other retreats in flat, earthy tones. Kimmy uses such asymmetry to challenge traditional definitions of beauty. “I want to show the beauty within flaws,” the artist explains. “Imperfections tell stories that are far more compelling than perfection.” Kimmy’s vibrantly colored faces tell stories, too, and they’re written in the eyes and titles. “I manipulate the shape and position of eyes to express a range of emotions,” he remarked, “and the titles of my work often reflect my own life experiences.” Kimmy also uses still life collages of clay and metal to tell his story. Through his fragmented watermelon, flowers and fish, for instance, the artist recounts fond childhood memories of cooking, gardening and fishing with his grandmother.
From a tiny utility room to his spacious, loft-like, backyard studio, Kimmy continues to masterfully shatter and reshape his subjects and personal history into lively kaleidoscopes of color, texture, form and dimension. He also continues to command attention. A working artist since 1994, Kimmy has won numerous awards and exhibited at many American galleries and major art events, including New York’s prestigious International Artexpo and the National Black Arts Festival. He has also appeared on FOX TV’s Good Day Atlanta and in regional and national publications, such as Art & Antiques Magazine, Images and The Washington Post Magazine. Creative Loafing Art Critic Donald Locke has compared him to renowned artist Thornton Dial. Kimmy’s pieces are in private collections across the United States and abroad, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, from Miami to England.
Robert Carter was born in Louisville, Kentucky, where at an early age
he was receptive to line, color and form, having an intuitive feeling
for design. His sensitivity to detail became the legacy and abiding thread
that connects the continuum of his art and that especially distinguishes
his art of today. The dignity of the human spirit reigns within the people
of Robert Carter’s compositions, uplifted by the virtuosity of his
hand and his privileged understanding of human nature.
Carter earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree at the prestigious Pratt
Institute of Fine Arts in New York. His paintings, drawings and illustrations
are consistently in demand by collectors throughout the United States.
As an artist/illustrator his work is in the permanent collections of museums
and private collectors throughout the United States, while being represented
in numerous art books and other related publications, as well as a his
work as a contract illustrator for major New York publishers.
Robert is a distinguished professor of art at Nassau Community College,
The State University of New York, where he teaches drawing, painting and
design. He is a sought-after lecturer and demonstrator in numerous public
schools, universities and private art organizations.
Recent exhibitions this past year include Dallas, Texas (one person
show); Atlanta, GA. ; Philadelphia, PA. ; New York City, National Black
Art Exhibition and other New York area exhibitions.
Carter lives in Dix Hills, New York, on Long Island, about an hour East
of Manhattan and is married to the fine art jeweler, Panchita Carter.