Largely self-taught, Kimmy Cantrell discovered his artistic vision in high school. His art teacher, Curtis Patterson, previously taught at the former Atlanta College of Art, admired his command of clay. Cantrell’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 Cantrell 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.“ Cantrell’s vases evolved into bowls and then faces. And, well, he hasn’t stopped creating since. From a tiny utility room to his spacious, loft-like, backyard studio, Cantrell continues to masterfully shatter and reshape his subjects and personal history into lively kaleidoscopes of color, texture, form and dimension.
A working artist since 1994, Cantrell has won numerous awards and exhibited at many American galleries and major art events, including New York’s prestigious International Artexpo He has also appeared on FOX TV’s Good Day Atlanta and in regional and national publications, such as The Washington Post Magazine. Creative Loafing Art Critic Donald Locke has compared him to renowned artist Thornton Dial. Cantrell’s pieces are in private collections across the United States and abroad, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, from Miami to England.