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Larry Cole does it all! A multi-talented painter, illustrator, sculptor, musician, song writer and worship leader, many of Cole’s originals hang in homes, churches and businesses in the U.S. and South America.
He was recently named Tampa Bay’s “Artist of the Week” by Examiner.com. “Coles subject of choice,” wrote critic Terry Mulligan, “is often spiritual – creating many images of Jesus Christ. These are not your run-of-the-mill pictures of Christ. His paintings are earthy, striking and they portray Jesus in a way that renders Him approachable, kind and full of love,” she added.
A native of St. Louis and now residing on Florida’s west coast, Cole’s work has been featured from the Waterloo Art Festival in northern Indiana to the Gulf Coast Art Center in south Florida. A graduate of Anderson College (Indiana), he studied painting under Swander and sculpture with Youngman. He taught art in Indiana until interrupted by a tour of duty in the Air Force during the Viet Nam war.
After leaving the Air Force, Cole began a 30-year career teaching art in the Pinellas County (FL) School System, along with a stint teaching at the University of South Florida.
As his portfolios reflect, his paintings range from wildlife to deeply spiritual. In the latter case, Cole appears at church services, Christian schools and community events where he paints 60 inch by 80 inch face of Jesus while sharing testimony and a message of encouragement with congregations and students, often to background music he has written and recorded. A video sample of his “live” painting can be found on YouTube at (www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDsy-Dl75lc). In addition, many of his Christian works have been sold in local Christian book stores.
Cole is currently devoting full-time to his art. He is married and has two grown children and lives in St. Petersburg.