About Chris Bell
A native of Western North Carolina, Chris Bell grew up on a farm surrounded by the land that had provided for his family since the early 1800s. The landscape and its rich history fascinated him and drawing various aspects of it quickly became a favorite pastime. After several years of private lessons, he formally began his studies as an apprentice to the painter Julyan Davis in Asheville, NC in 2008. Although he continued to draw and paint privately, a desire to attend college led him to Western Carolina University, where he would earn a B.S. in History and a B.S.E.D. in Social Sciences in 2013. Bell now works to encourage an appreciation of Appalachia within his classroom at a local middle school and to produce a body of work that honors this beautiful region.
"Art and history have always had a powerful hold on me. I consider the two to be intertwined and a strong component of my identity. When my ancestors settled in the Appalachian Mountains, they were looking for a land of their own. As they carved out an existence in the wilderness, their isolation and self-determination gave birth to an intimacy with the rugged hills. While their relationship with the land was a physical one, tempered by the plow and ax, I look to communicate my own connection with the landscape through painting. I find inspiration in the solidity of the rocks and mountains, the movement of cascading water, the texture of foliage, and the way that light interacts with these elements. It is my goal to compose paintings that invite the viewer to share in my perspective and envelop them with a sense of place."