As an expressionist painter, Josie Bell is best known for the use of complex textural paint and for her spiritual approach to nature and ecological themes. The emotional impact of her material statement originates in the mingling of artistic marks and her history and early life in Brazil, which has impacted her deep connection with the land. It is in that compelling mix-from the relationship of primitive rhythms to European sophistication, from the dark mystical roots of Amazonia conjoining with the spirit of intellectual exploration and nostalgia-that her urge to paint and artist's voice are born. Touching these early life experiences, her transition from the tropics of Brazil to the quiet western desert of the United States emerges in her recent works. Bell's paintings have been exhibited in galleries, museums, and juried exhibitions. Bell has been the recipient of several awards, including one from the Utah Arts Council, and her work is included in private and public collections. Bell holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Utah Valley University (Orem, UT, United States), and a Bachelor of Education Administration from the Faculdade de Filosofia Ciencias e Letras de Maceio (Maceio, AL, Brazil).
Rooted in my early childhood in Brazil, I was born with a deep and intimate connection with the land. I didn't know these imprints would reawaken someday and bring me to subjects that relate to the earth's wounds-- depicting its beauty, as well as its scars and denudation. I believe this inspiration came to me as a spiritual responsibility on raising awareness about our own actions toward earth. So, it is both an inward and an outward interaction with the canvas and materials such as oil, sand, marble dust, sawdust and stone. I seek to raise questions about why this is happening to our earth. I strive to find new answers that can lead me personally, and us collectively to support on the regeneration process of this beautiful living being. In many ways, this quest is connected to my own artistic transition from the tropics of Brazil to the western desert of the United States. My work has shifted from the vivid hues of Amazonia, to reflecting the quiet yet powerful subtleties of the desert landscape, a place of spiritual meditation and personal introspection.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
AWARDS AND HONORS
Honorable Mention, The Woven Tale Press Magazine (for fine art), (premier online platform), Setauket NY, 2017
Award of Merit, Ave Maria: part of the series - The Loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), 86th Annual Utah Spring Salon, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah, 2010.
Award of Excellence, Maria -- A Spiritual Calling: parte of the series - The loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), BFA Exhibition, Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, Utah, 2009.
Utah Valley Graduates - Josie Bell -- acknowledged by Interim president Elizabeth Hitch, at the Utah Valley University commencement, The Salt Lake Tribune, May 1, 2009.
Ward of Excellence in Painting, The Loss of the Amazon ( A Perda da Amazonia # 2), Utah Valley University, Annual Group
Exhibition, Orem, Utah, 2008.
Director's Award, Loss of the Amazon (# 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, & 3.6), Utah Valley University Annual
Group Exhibition, Orem, Utah, 2007.
Award of Excellence in Drawing, Utah Valley University Annual Group Exhibition, Orem, Utah, 2007.
Award of Excellence in Painting/Drawing, Utah Valley University Annual Group Exhibition, Orem Utah, 2006.
Award of Merit, "Sugar Trade" Utah Valley University Group Art Exhibition, Orem, Utah, 2005.
Award of Merit in Painting, Utah Valley University Annual Group Exhibition, Orem, Utah, 2004.
Award of Merit in Painting, Amazon Giant Lily, Utah Arts Council Award, Utah Valley University Annual Group Art Exhibit,
Orem, Utah, 2004.
Altered Earth exhibition announcement (Altered Earth Features four area artists working in various mediums), Utah Arts Festival Gallery, 15 Bytes Magazine, SLC, UT, 2014
Full page reproduction of the paintings Denudation # 1 and # 2, oil-mixed media on canvas (page 12), printed in the 90th Annual Utah Spring Salon Catalogue, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT, April , 2014.
Half page reproduction of 2 pieces-ink and oil on paper (Untitled, from the Loss of the Amazonia series #1) and another page including bio, artist statement and other curatorial comments about the work, printed in the Arte Internazionale Catalogue, Palazzo Dell'Annunziata, Matera, Italy, 2013
Italian TV review-Group International Exhibition, Matera, Italy, (https://youtu.be/mvSGF-wPoXI), 2013
Struggle to be Free, printed in Intersections,
2010 Spring Salon award winners, Springville Museum of Art, Josie Maria Bell "Ave Maria", Deseret News, Salt Lake City Utah, May 2, 2010.
Full page reproduction of painting Ave Maria, oil on canvas (page 17), printed in the 86th Annual Utah Spring Salon Catalogue, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah, April 2010.
The Loss of the Amazon -- Breath and Blood of the Amazon, exhibit at Woodbury Art Museum, in Arts section, (article and reproduction of Maria - A Spiritual Calling) The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Utah, March 29, 2009.
Echoes of Brazil at Utah Valley University, The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Utah, Internet article discussing works on the BFA Exhibition - The Loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), Woodbury Art Museum, April 9, 2009.
The Loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), Woodbury Art Museum, Daily Herald, Orem, Utah, section Visual Arts, April 2, 2009.
The Loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), Woodbury Art Museum, Salt Lake City Weekly, Salt Lake City Utah, April 04, 2009.
Printed Catalogue featuring reproduction of the paintings: Maria - A Spiritual Calling, 2009, Untitled # 11, 2008 and Untitled # 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 & 3.6, 2006. Also featuring The Breath and Blood of the Amazon's Essays by Art Historian --Courtney R. Davis, Art Professors -- Catherine Downing and Marcus Vincent, The Loss of the Amazon (A Perda da Amazonia), Woodbury Art Museum, 2009.
The Loss of the Amazon No. 3 (A Perda da Amazonia) printed in Touchstones: A
Journal of Literature and Art, (pp. contents 15, 133), published by the Department of
English/Literature of Utah Valley University, 2008.
Cover reproduction of painting Struggle to be Free, printed in Intersections, A Journal of Interdisciplinary Voices, Vol. 6, is. 1, (pp. cover, back cover), Published by the Department of Integrated Studies, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, 2006.
Bachelor of Fine Arts,
Bachelor of Education Administration,