In Memory of Carl E. Cordell

Artomatic 2012 is dedicated to the memory of Carl E. Cordell, a valued member of the Artomatic community, who died of cancer in July 2011 at the age of 60. Carl was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his father was stationed for a U.S. government job. He grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and in Bowie, MD, where he graduated in 1969 from Bowie High School. He studied commercial art at Prince George’s Community College.

By profession, Carl was an auto mechanic specializing in the care of classic Porsches. For Artomatic, Carl was a planner, a builder, a tinkerer and a phenomenally devoted volunteer, spending countless hours on site. In the words of Artomatic 2008 co-chair Tracy Lee, “Dedicated, driven, and stubborn as hell, Carl truly was a big reason Artomatic was able to happen.”


Described by another friend as “a combination of Yoda and Google,” Carl was notable for the thoroughness and perfectionism he brought to the tasks he took on. This applied to his artwork as well: Carl was known for his Peeps dioramas featuring marshmallow bunnies in meticulously reconstructed scenes from violent films. Two of his dioramas, 2007’s “Reservoir Peeps” and 2008’s “Full Sugar Coating”, were finalists in the Washington Post’s “Peep Show” competitions.

An enthusiastic fan of many art forms, including painting, music, dance and especially film, Carl was a champion and an exemplar of the open, democratic approach to the arts that Artomatic represents. For his skills, his dedication, his spirit and his kind heart, Carl will be greatly missed.