Noted Gainesville artist Lennie Kesl, whose distinctive and colorful work has been displayed in many shows and public places, died Friday night after falling on stairs in his home, friends and family said.
Kesl, 86, was a former art professor at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, and was a friend, mentor and partner to other local artists.
“He certainly was one of a kind. Yesterday he was at the studio … and he was just so incredibly energetic. He was in great spirits and was really, really happy about everything,” said ceramic artist John Tilton, who has collaborated with Kesl for decades. “He lived every day as if it was his last. He was an amazing person. I’m still in absolute shock. I’m just trying to absorb the whole thing.”