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 Jim Cantrell  (1935 - )

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Lived/Active: Nebraska/Kentucky/Oklahoma      Known for: figure, still life, buildings easel and mural painting

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Ad Code: 3
Jim Cantrell
Jeannette, 2006 (oil on linen; 20" x 22")
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following review is courtesy of Jeannette Cantrell.  Excerpts are from the Press Release, The Louisville Visual Art Association, Louisville, KY

The Louisville Visual Art Association & Heaven Hill Distilleries present the paintings of Jim Cantrell at the Water Tower, July 5 - August 17

Louisville, KY...Through the generous support of Heaven Hill Distilleries, the Louisville Visual Art Association is currently exhibiting the work of Jim Cantrell at the Water Tower through August 17, 2003.

Jim Cantrell has been painting and making art for thirty years.  He reflects that the human figure has been a constant element throughout his portfolio.  This exhibition concentrates on portraying humankind's journey through life and how we handle or adapt the cards dealt to us. In his artist's statement, Cantrell states:

"Sometimes, we have high expectations when we start the journey. _ Sometimes those expectations are fulfilled, but many times we just get through.  We work at various jobs to pay bills and are sometimes pushed into professions we don't necessarily want but have little choice.  As we struggle to achieve our goals, we sometimes fight each other in the process.  We look for escape in the arts to heal the wounds life hands us as well as to escape the boredom of everyday work and insignificant routines.  Through these paintings, viewers can relieve these struggles, victories, dreams, and fantasies."

A native of Oklahoma and raised in eastern Nebraska, Cantrell earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1958 and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1965 with a double emphasis in ceramics and painting.  He began his distinguished career as a teacher.  In 1971, he established himself as an independent studio artist in Bardstown, Kentucky where he continues to work.

Education: University of Northern Colorado,Greeley, CO, MA/Painting & Ceramics 1965
Pennsylvania State University, Post-Graduate study 1959
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, BFA/Fine Art & Education 1958

Background: 1971-present Independent studio artist
1958-1971 Associate Professor of Fine Art

Selected Exhibitions(Paintings only) Participated in over 150 exhibitions
April 14-16, 2011, 12th Annual “First Brush of Spring” Plein Air Event in New Harmony, IN, 1st Place Award in Watercolor

"Language of the Land", Contemporary Landscape Paintings of Kentucky & Ecuador, (Juror: Irwin Pickett), Loudon House Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky (Travels for one year in Kentucky & Ecuador)
"64th National Midyear Exhibition", (Juror: Keith Sonnier, artist), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngtown, Ohio

"Food for Thought", Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Statewide Traveling Exhibition)
"Jim Cantrell" Solo Exhibition, Michener Gallery, Greeley, Colorado

"The Nude/12th Annual Exhibition", Loudoun House Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky
"Distinguished Artists 1968-1998", Invitational, Living Arts & Science Center, Lexington, KY

"Jim Cantrell" Solo Exhibition, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
"280 Exhibition",(Jurors:James Yood, Art Theory & Criticism Prof, Northwestern University, Il, Dr Harriet Fowler, Director,University of Kentucky Art Museum, Ky), Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia

"Masters at MONA", Invitational, Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska
"Jim Cantrell", Actor's Theater Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky

"Jim Cantrell: What You See", Solo Exhibition, Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska
"Body & Soul", Solo Exhibition, Capital Gallery, Frankfort, Kentucky
Group Exhibition, Invitational, Galerie Hertz, Louisville, Kentucky
"Portrait/Self-Portrait", Invitational, Heike Pickett Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky

"Southern Arts Federation Fellowship Winners" Exhibition, SECCA, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
"280 Exhibition" (Jurors: Trudy Hansen, Curator, NJ; Steven Maklansky, Curator, LA; Kit White, Painter, New York, NY), Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia
"Realism '94" (Jurors: Steven Doherty, Editor, American Artist Magazine; Mary Alice Wimmer Painter, WI; Margaret Hutzel, Sculptor, OH), Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, West Virginia

"The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism" Invitational, Babcock Galleries, New York, New York, (Travels for two years)
"The Figure/10 Southern Artists" Invitational, Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, Georgia
Solo Exhibition, Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington, Kentucky
"Select Images/Kentucky Arts Council Fellowships", Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro,Kentucky
"The Savannah National 1993", City Market Art Center, Savannah, Georgia

Solo Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Evansville, Indiana
"Watercolor USA", (Juror: Harold Gregor), Springfield Art Museum,Springfield, Missouri
"Exhibition 280",(Jurors: Julia Boyd, Associate Curator, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Keith Davis, Chief Curator, Hallmark Cards,Inc, Missouri; Jon Meyer, Univ of Dayton, Ohio), Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia

Solo Exhibition, Albrecht Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri
"Twinrocker: A Twenty Year Tradition", Invitational, Greater Lafayette Museum of Art
Lafayette, Indiana
"The Fragmented Image", Invitational, Arts in the Academy, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
"Realism Today" (Juror: Gary Hugh Brown, Art Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara), Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Evansville, Indiana

"54th National Midyear Exhibition" (Juror: Nancy Hoffman, Director, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio (Exhibition traveled)

"Realism Today" (Juror: Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief, American Artist magazine), Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Evansville, Indiana
"Watercolor U.S.A." (Juror: Rob Erdle, artist), Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri

"Cincinnati Reflections", Solo Exhibition, Malton Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio
"Mid-America Biennial" (Juror:John Walsh, Director, J.Paul Getty Museum), Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky

"Realism Today" (Juror: George Deem, artist), Evansville Museum of Arts & Science,
Evansville, Indiana
"The Kentuckians", National Arts Club, New York, New York (Exhibition traveled)
"Watercolor U.S.A." (Juror: M.Stephen Doherty, editor, American Artist magazine),
Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri

"Christianity & the Visual Arts: Kentucky Collections" Owensboro Museum of Fine Art,
Owensboro, Kentucky

1985 "Capital Art From Kentucky", Washington Design Center, Washington, D.C., (Exhibition traveled)
Solo Exhibition,"Kentucky Reflected: A Study in Character & Setting", J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

"Mid-America Biennial" (Juror: Thomas Messer,Jr., Director, Guggenheim), Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky
"Aqueous '84", University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington

Solo Exhibition, Austin Peay State University /Trahern Gallery, Clarksville, Tennessee

"Mid-America Biennial" (Juror: Abram Lerner, Director, Hirshhorn Museum), Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky

1981 Solo Exhibition, Lockerbie Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana

1980 "Viewpoints by 4 Artists", Sunne Savage Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts

1979 "Southern Realism", Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi

1978 Solo Exhibition, Distelheim Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1977 "3rd Annual Fine Arts Exhibition", Greater Birmingham Arts Alliance, Birmingham, Alabama

1974 "J.B.Speed Art Museum Eight State Annual: Painting", J.B.Speed Art Museum, LouisvilleKentucky

Solo Exhibition, Hunter Museum of Fine Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
"Mid-States Art Exhibition", Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Evansville, Indiana

"12th Hunter Gallery Annual", Hunter Museum of Fine Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee

1970 Solo Exhibition, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

Selected Awards/Honors: Over 50 since 1961
2010 1st Place in Watercolor Award for Barn near Murphy's Park, “First Brush of Spring” Plein Air Event in New Harmony, Indiana,  April 15-17th sponsored by the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association.
2000 Alumna of the Year for Creative Achievement, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley
1999 Professional Development Grant ($1000.00), Kentucky Arts Council
1998 Merit Award ($500.00), "Nude 99"
1997 Merit Award ($500.00), "Nude 98"
1995 New American Paintings Open Studio Competition Exhibition
1994 Southern Arts Federation Fellowship ($5000.00)
1991 Al Smith Fellowship ($5000.00), Kentucky Arts Council
1988 Mid-America Biennial" $5000.00 PURCHASE AWARD
1988 Professional Development Grant, Kentucky Arts Council
1987 Lecture/Seminar Speaker, Peter & Viola Dolle Endowed Lectures
in Church Art & Architecture, St. Meinrad School of Theology
1985 JIM CANTRELL DAY proclaimed on April 21, 1985 by the Mayor of the City of Bardstown, Kentucky in recognition of artistic honors, community involvement and commitment.
1984 "Aqueous '84", MERIT AWARD
1982 "Mid-America Biennial", PURCHASE AWARD
1981 "Aqueous '81", PURCHASE AWARD
1979 Elected to Board of Trustees, Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen, (Also 1973-1976)
1974 "J.B.Speed Art Museum Eight State Annual", PURCHASE AWARD
1972 "12th Hunter Gallery Annual",PURCHASE AWARD
1969 Potter-in-Residence, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky,(1969-70)
1967 Professor of the Year, John F. Kennedy College
1964 Vice-President, Nebraska Art Teachers Association,(1964-65)

Publications/ Selected List:
2000 "Language of the Land" catalogue
1999 "Food for Thought", Selections from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden, 13th Annual Statewide Exhibition, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1999 Painting on cover of St Joseph School Cookbook
1999 "Jim Cantrell" film video On Location, PLG 13 TV, Kentucky
1995 New American Paintings, Number III/ Southeast book
1994 Review by Henry Adams (Thomas Hart Benton biographer)published in Nov issue of "New Art Examiner" magazine.
1993 The Artist as Native, Reinventing Regionalism / Book to accompany traveling exhibition sponsored by Babcock Galleries, New York, New York.
1992 Video Film Project/Huntington Museum of Art. One of two artists filmed for use in schools in Kentucky, Ohio, and WestVirginia.
1991 "Mark of the Maker" film, one of three featured artists using Twinrocker handmade paper (Film was nominated for an Oscar).
1989 American Painting Collection of Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery book.
1989 "Face in Form", Museum of History & Science Quarterly magazine.
1987 Feature story in American Artist magazine (July issue).
1986 Feature story in Kentucky Marquee magazine (October issue).
1983 ArtSpeak, review of Kentucky artists exhibition, New York, (Sept. 16 issue).
1983 Kentucky Tradition in American Landscape Painting/From Early 19th Century to Present catalogue,Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
1982 Art and Artists in Nebraska catalogue, Sheldon Memorial Art Museum, University of Nebraska.
1980 Art News magazine, review of Sunne Savage Gallery exhibition, Boston, (April issue).
1980 Beaux Arts magazine,"Watercolorists" feature story (Dec issue).
1976 Who's Who in American Art.

Collections/ Selected Public List:

Museums: (Paintings only)
Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee
Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Evansville, Indiana
J.B.Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
Mississippi Museum of Fine Art, Jackson, Mississippi
Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

Corporate: (Paintings only)
Alabama Power Company, Birmingham, Alabama
Arnold Rose Trina Company, Boston, Massachusetts
Bristol-Myers U.S. Pharmaceutical, Evansville, Indiana
Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky
Coca-Cola Corporation, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Capitol Holding Co, Louisville, Kentucky
Hilliard-Lyons, Louisville, Kentucky
Island Creek Coal Co., Lexington, Kentucky
Keating, Muthing, Klecamp, Cincinnati, Ohio
Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky
Life Insurance Company of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia
Louisville Gas & Electric Co., Louisville, Kentucky
McGraw Hill Publishing Co, New York, New York
National City Bank, Louisville, Kentucky
Pinkerton Tobacco, Owensboro, Kentucky
United Catalysts, Inc, Louisville, Kentucky

Other: (Paintings only)
Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky
Commonwealth of Kentucky (Portrait of Gov Julian Carroll)
St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, Bardstown, Kentucky
St. Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, Indiana
Private collections in France & Japan

Lectures/Seminars/Juries: Selected List
2000 Watercolor workshop/Nazareth Arts for Life, Kentucky
1998 Juror/ Fine Art/Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Indiana
1997 Juror/ Fine Art/Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, Indiana
1996 Juror/"The Nude '97", Lexington Art League, Lexington Kentucky
1995 Juror/"Prairie Light Showcase", Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney
1992 Artist-in-Residence, Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, IN
1992 Juror/"Aqueous "92",(national watercolor exhibition) Louisville Kentucky
1991 Panelist/"Nudity in Art: Several Perspectives", J.B.Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
1991 Lecture/Watercolor demonstration, Greater Lafayette Museum of Art, Lafayette, Indiana
1988 Visiting Artist,(Underwritten by Center for the Creative Arts), Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee
1988 Juror/"Totally Transparent IX", Louisville Visual Arts Assoc, KY
1987 Watercolor portrait demonstration/"Aqueous "87", Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Kentucky
1984 Juror/"Goldsboro's 5th Annual Juried Arts Exhibition", Goldsboro, North Carolina

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Sulpher, Oklahoma, Jim Cantrell is a painter in realist style of figurative subjects as well as still lives and buildings, and is also a potter who has been active with the American Craft Council and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.

He studied art at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Penn State University, and Colorado State College.  He was commissioned to do religious murals at the St. Joseph Proto Cathedral in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1985. 

He has served as a resident artist at Berea College in Kentucky and has been an instructor at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (1966) and associate professor at Kennedy College in Wahoo, Nebraska, 1966-99.  In 1971, he was potter-in-residence at Berea College in Kentucky.

He lives in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Peter Hastings Falk (editor), Who Was Who in American Art

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