Jeffry Cantu lives, volunteers, and is a University of Arkansas student in Fort Smith, AR. He is a United States Navy veteran who was stationed in Japan and traveled throughout Asia and the Pacific in 2000. Cantu has been influenced by the busy, high speed culture in Tokyo. He met his supportive husband eight years ago and gradually his ambitions have become reality. He is curator at Bastion Gallery in Fort Smith and was the scenic artist for the UAFS Theater production “Mist and Shadows.” The traveling show has gone to the Arkansas State Festival and Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and received the Excellence in New Play Development award.
Cantu specializes in three-dimensional design and mixed media abstract works but creates in all mediums in all scale ranges. He says “art helps me to overcome PTSD and gives me the freedom to break imposed labels and rules to create a more vibrant life.” In 2018, Cantu was nominated by CAE to showcase in artworks at the Van Buren adult Education Center. He is currently featured in ARTalk Magazine, 2019 Jan-April.
About the Work
My sculpture addresses the use of repetition, movement, form, unity, with variety, organic shapes and abstraction using cornhusk, transforming it into a new, different object. From a technical standpoint, this piece is created by hand-manipulating cornhusk to stretch the expressive capabilities combined with other “non-traditional” sculptural materials: bamboo, twin, rope, and clay to create this installation. It is an expression of my contemporary, cultural search-of-self, using materials that are mainstays of my ancestry.- J.C.