Bell’s Paintings Re-examine Everyday Images

Press Release -- August 6th, 2010

BRCC art professor John M. Bell will exhibit his works in oil and acrylic August 6 – 31 at the The Artful Dodger in downtown Harrisonburg. A reception will be held Friday, August 6 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Bell’s writes:

The works on exhibit are from two series of paintings, “Sign Language” and “Age/Old”. In the “Sign Language” paintings, I utilize common roadside sign imagery in layered and textural compositions that reference travel, the passing of time, and automobile-centered American culture. Some works in the series combine signs with fragments of landscape.

Turning Point by John Bell

Turning Point by John Bell

In these works, signs become symbols relating to the social and political times that we live in. In the “Age/Old” series, I depict mostly mundane subjects that show the effects of aging, weathering, and misuse. I see them as a part of the vanitas tradition in art which seeks to remind the viewer of the fleeting quality of life.

Bell lives in Augusta County and is a Professor of Art at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. He has exhibited his paintings throughout Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, and California. He was awarded an International Artist-in-Residency at the Cill Rialaig Project in County Kerry, Ireland in 2005.

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