From the age of three, Allison Cantrell had begun to exhibit a strong flair for the arts. She spent her childhood beneath her mother’s drawing desk, filling scrap papers with drawings of dinosaurs, killer whales and horses. Her passion for drawing continued as she grew up in Arkansas. At eighteen, Allison entered her first juried show in Harrison, Arkansas, and took home the Best in Show ribbon. That was the kick-start she needed. Many competitive shows followed.
Now at the age of twenty-six, her resume of shows includes the Bosque Conservatory Art Classic, the American Academy of Equine Art Juried Show, the Western Art show at the Grand National Rodeo and the American Plains Annual Juried show.
Although Allison credits her mother with artistic encouragement and guidance, she says her love for her subject matter was inherited from her father. “My father loves the west,” she states “I grew up seeing all the western décor of his office and the antique six-shooters he collects and knew that my Daddy was a cowboy in his heart.” Allison’s parents gave her a horse as a Christmas gift when she was thirteen and she began competing in the Arkansas Chuckwagon Racing Association. The races had a resemblance to the old west culture that once flooded all states west of the Mississippi.
Allison states that a goal of hers is to show people that the western culture is still very much alive and strong. Her drawings range from depictions of rodeos and racing action to that of gentle portraits of the cowboys and their equine companions. “I’ll always be a part of this western world and strive to depict its simple but elegant beauty in my work.”