By Erica Vilkus
Hernando county is home to an abundance of talent that never ceases to amaze.
Desiree Kantrim, 92, is a relatively new resident of Brooksville who has brought a life's worth of artwork with her. She relocated here from Jacksonville where she was very active in the local art scene, being part of multiple groups to celebrate and work with hometown artists.
Kantrim has since retired from creating art and coordinating events. Now settled in Hernando, she hopes her work can reach and inspire another community.
Some of her pieces are currently in Brooksville City Hall, but apart from that she hasn’t found permanent homes for any of the painted canvases currently taking up most of her work shed.
Kantrim has been exploring the arts since she was a child. It seems as though wherever she went she found inspiration for a new piece.
Her artist biography states, "Having lived and traveled all over the globe, from Canada to Costa Rica and from Capetown to Kathmandu my art has been influenced and gone through many changes."
She started with needle work, then went on to pottery, and finally ended with painting. The majority of her canvas works sit in a small shed, practically begging to be displayed.
Kantrim is fascinated by nature and it has been the main source of inspiration for her paintings since the beginning.
“In Costa Rica, when I started painting, I think for the first two months all I painted was the ocean,” She said, “Then when I came here all I painted was palm trees.”
Her paintings range from stunning coastal landscapes to mesmerizing abstracts, most of which tie back to her main inspiration.
Kantrim’s abstracts feature varying textures and finishes to create a three dimensional effect. Metallic paints glisten over thick layers of acrylic giving the light something to play off of at any angle. These elements are used to depict the flow of water or the rush of wind through the bare branches of a tree. Each time you look at her work you see something new.
Kantrim’s lifetime of experience, her strength, beauty, and essence are all captured in these pieces and they are patiently waiting to be appreciated. It is unfortunate that Kantrim has been unable to find more locations to feature her work. Events like Art in the Park are too physically taxing for any 92 year old and are only a few days of exposure.
Kantrim worked with the Jacksonville art coalition and recalls how they were able to support local artists by reaching out to businesses in the community.
“In assisted living homes we were able to hang paintings and we sold quite a few. In banks and restaurants we were able to hang paintings,” She explains.
There are bare walls in every building that could feature local art and highlight the amazing talent that resides in our county. If you are interested in Kantrim’s art you may email her with inquiries [email protected].