Artist Bios

Kitty Cantrell

Award-winning artist Kitty Cantrell is best known for her striking sculpture of North American wildlife. Intricately designed and detailed her sculptures capture the true expressions of animals that have never known human touch.

Wolves, eagles and humpback whales are just a few subjects this native Californian has chosen to sculpt since beginning her professional career. Cantrell believes that the art she creates is a tool for spreading a deeper understanding of the earth’s creatures. “If my sculptures can make people think about wildlife,” Kitty says, “then maybe they will feel compelled to help protect it.”

As a native of Southern California, Kitty Cantrell attributes her respect for all living things to a childhood spent in the Mojave Desert. It was in this arid environment that she became acutely aware of the rhythms of nature and she constantly challenges herself to incorporate this understanding into her artwork.

Kitty Cantrell has had a lifelong fascination with everything wild. She has studied the behaviors of animals with an artist’s eye and imagination. Her driving passion has been to capture the essence of the animals she chooses to depict in her artwork. As a self-taught sculptor, she has refined her skills as an artist for nearly a quarter of a century. It is her unique ability to capture the emotion of how we as the viewer feel about the animals she chooses to create, which has won her countless awards and critical acclaim. Her identification with the subject matter has led her to be one of the most widely collected wildlife artists working in the United States today.

Click here to learn more about Kitty and take a visit to her studio.

Dan Medina

Dan Medina’s award-winning artistic genius has proven that he possesses genuine God-given talents. A self-taught illustrator, painter, and sculptor, Dan has earned numerous awards in a variety of acclaimed state competitions, including the prestigious City of Los Angeles Bicentennial Award.

Strongly influenced by artists of the Renaissance period, such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Dan also attributes some of his artistic influence to his close association with artist Christopher Pardell. “I envision sculpting as an exciting three-dimensional extension of my illustrations. The ability to create overpowers me, whether it pertains to science or the arts.”

Before creating any new work, Dan thoroughly researches his subject. Dan takes this often overlooked step in order to ensure the authenticity and undeniable sense of motion that is found in each of his magnificent sculptures. “To portray emotion and form in metal-that is the essence of art,” says Medina, “it all starts in the mind.”

Dan’s work reflects the fact that his purpose in art is to express the human experience. “I want to incorporate the feeling of hope, and search the other side of our physical existence.”

Christopher A. Pardell

Christopher A. Pardell, one of the first artists to join the Starlite Studio Family, began sculpting at the tender age of four, and cites his family as one of his first major influences. By his teenage years, Pardell had come to the realization that sculpting was to become his life’s work. Influenced by the work of renowned sculptors Russell, Remington and Rodin, Pardell wanted to pursue his passion for realism. His formal education was laid aside in favor of an apprentice mold maker position with a commercial statuary company, and it was there that he received what he considers to be his “real education in art.”

As an apprentice to the Italian master artisans who ran the statuary, Christopher rapidly learned the skills that would enable him to excel as an artist and earn the stature that has come with his success. Christopher’s exceptional style and special talent have served to impress even the most discriminating collector.

Upon reflecting on what his art means to him, he states, “I try to express myself through sculpture. It’s all I’ve ever done. It’s all I know how to do.” Respected and admired by fellow artists, craftsmen and collectors of fine art, Pardell tells us that he will always do sculpture because it allows him to live. “Sculpture is very meditative and cleansing for my soul. In the concrete slab that lies by my studio I have engraved the phrase life is a performance artwork, make yours beautiful. That’s the principle I live by.”

Thomas Blackshear

Starlite Studio® is proud to introduce artwork by acclaimed artist Thomas Blackshear. His Starlite Studio® sculptures will explore the relationships and dynamics of the family structure.

Widely known for his dignified and uniquely powerful depictions of African Americans, Thomas Blackshear is one of the hottest contemporary collectible artists in the world. His imaginative portrayals are full of lifelike details that transcend stereotypes and resonate with universal truths.

John Cuevas

John Cuevas was an eager young artist fresh out of art school when he joined Starlite Originals in the summer of 2005. His story is an inspirational one, demonstrating that
success is the result of diligence and determination.

John was a seasoned painter, but a newcomer to the world of clay sculpting. It was through drawing and painting, that he discovered the world around him. Cuevas comments, “It was how I made sense of the world. I do not remember a time that I did not draw. The talent developed and evolved as I used it. I spent many hours drawing as a child, and still do. Through art I am able to realize a sense of belonging, and satisfaction; I create objects of beauty that will survive beyond my physical presence on the earth. Art for me is a conversation with humanity about beauty.”