LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If you’ve ever stopped by the Comfy Cow on Bardstown Road in the Highlands, you’ve likely seen Henry Gentry at work. The local artist is there most days, and he’s become well known for his quick cartoons.
"I probably give away more caricatures than I sell here and other places,” Gentry said. "It takes about 10 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes."
He's a caricature king with the sweetest of studios.
"No, I don't eat ice cream,” Gentry said.
However, his doctor-dictated diet can't keep Gentry from sharing his skills.
"I've had kids and adults say 'awesome.' On occasion, I've had somebody be so overwhelmed that they've cried,” Gentry said. "I've learned over the years to be able to talk and draw at the same time."
Paper pictures aren't his only passion, though.
"For me, art is a language,” Gentry said. "I think I personally communicate better through art than I do verbally."
Before Comfy Cow, Gentry worked as a trauma therapist for Seven Counties. He retired in 2015, but his service only strengthened. He now teaches art at a library, a school, and the youth detention center downtown.
"I think we all have one purpose, and that is to make our world a better place in which to live. So whatever our talents are, whatever our skills are, or our passions are, I think it's important that we use that to the max,” Gentry said.
Gentry makes it his mission to do just that.
"There are rules to art, but I can violate those rules without getting in trouble,” Gentry said.
They are rules he breaks to bring awareness. Many of Gentry’s paintings portray the problems of his past professions.
"A number of kids that I worked with when they were youth grew up to be adults and died in the streets from gun violence, and that has impacted me tremendously,” Gentry said.
He’s hopeful his art can help heal.
"It's about creating from within. It's about the process of creating,” Gentry said.
From social justice to social gatherings, this artist appreciates it all. His craft is his calling, and creates something special with every stroke.
"I think there is the eternal beauty in all of us, and I paint about the beauty that lies within us,” Gentry said.
If you'd like a caricature from Henry, you can, of course, check him out at the Comfy Cow or book him for your own event.
If you're interested in booking Gentry for an event you can contact him by phone at (502) 797-3950, by email at email@example.com and follow him on Instagram @jeffersonhenrygen.