Treasuring the tension between what is and what could be
Meet some of the artists behind Hot Springs' thriving art scene.
A town needs many things to survive, but I don’t think it can’t thrive without artists like Kimbo Dryden.
Dryden is the second generation owner of Dryden Pottery, one of the oldest family-run pottery studios in the county. His dad, Jim, started the company in Kansas in the 1940s, just after finishing a stint in the military. Papa Dryden used his GI Bill to study ceramics, and after a decade of making pottery using Kansas clay, he moved his young family to Hot Springs, where there was more tourism traffic and equally suitable clay.
Kimbo was three years old at the time, and by the time he was in middle school, he was throwing clay just like his dad.
Kimbo’s son, Zack, is now the third generation potter at the helm of the business housed in Whittington Park, not far from the alligator farm that caught Babe Ruth’s famous home run.
Even though Kimbo is mostly retired these days, he was at the studio the day we visited, ready to get his hands in some clay and talk about cashews.
Kimbo Dryden has talked about pottery for so long, at this point, he’s just as likely to talk about food. His new diet, specifically. No nightshades or potatoes. Definitely no cashews. Says he feels better than he has in a long time.
Dryden is a living treasure in Hot Spring, and this year, he’s *the* Arkansas Living Treasure, an honor bestowed each year to an Arkansasan whose contributions to the state stand out among all the others.
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