Michael Bell (artist)

Michael Bell (artist)
Celebrity Artist Michael Bell

Michael Bell (born April 10, 1971) is an American artist to the stars and a painter | muralist. He is famous for painting portraits for the likes of late alleged mob boss John Gotti and The Sopranos actors Joseph R. Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore) and Tony Sirico (Paulie Gualtieri). Bell's large-format, narrative oil paintings have been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Bell has done work with Denise Brown, sister to Nicole Brown Simpson, the slain ex-wife of O.J. Simpson and was featured regularly with New York actors and artists on a weekly talk radio show based in New York City. [1]



Early life and education

Bell was born in 1971 on April 10, on his mother's birthday. He is an avid domestic violence and human rights activist. He is best friends with Dominic Capone III, great nephew of Al Capone and is a longtime collaborator with fellow artist Michael Sprouse. Bell experienced success early in his artistic career by winning 1st Place in his first juried art exhibition at the age of five. As an emerging young artist Michael has spent a lot of his life in and around New York City, studying art with his grandmother, a self-taught artist from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. It was during this time period Bell began exploring life's very personal & psychological issues visually through his gritty, urban paintings and narrative thematic series works. [2]


As a “Celebrity Artist to the Stars” Michael Bell has painted, by commission, some of the most famous people of our time. Backed by an impressive list of solid credentials and celebrity clientele, Bell has steadily become just as famous as many of the celebrities he has portrayed on canvas. Bell is steadily becoming one of America's most important figurative painters working today. Bell has also played a vital role in pioneering the development of the Visual Journaling movement, giving workshops throughout the country, and donating his time and art to numerous charity benefits that have helped raise awareness and thousands of dollars from his painting sales. On October 1, 2005, Michael Bell received the Good Shepherd Community Service Award at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles along with Hollywood stuntlady, best-selling author and ex-mafia wife Georgia Durante. In February, 2007 Bell was the featured artist at the world’s second annual For the Love of Chocolate benefit at the South Shore Cultural Centerin Chicago. Bell continues to make numerous appearances with his famous clientele, most recently at a star-studded 2008 Red Carpet Portrait unveiling with The Sopranos Frank Vincent, Dominic Chianese and Joseph R. Gannascoli at the Stars & Cigars Gala at The Vanderbilt at South Beach on Staten Island, New York to benefit Bright Steps Forward. On April 18, 2008 Bell launched his famous TICKET TO RIDE Painting Series at The Plumm in New York City at a star-studded launch party thrown for him by club owner/promoter Noel Ashman. A major motion picture is in the works based on this narrative thematic painting series. Bell was also commissioned to paint another portrait for Joseph R. Gannascoli that would become the new "Cugine" Cigar Box Cover and Cigar Ring artwork for Gannascoli's new cigar line by Arganese premium cigars. In 2009 Bell returned to The Vanderbilt at South Beach to debut a short documentary film and 30 human rights artworks to benefit Project Meridian Foundation. [3] [4]

Presentations and keynote addresses

2010 Igniting Creativity within the Emerging Artist (NAEA Convention): National Presenter, Seattle, WA; Building Relationships: Full-Day Presentation to all AACPS New Teachers, Gambrills, MD; Mastering AP Drawing and AP 2D Design (MAEA Convention): Statewide Presenter, Adelphi, MD; Mastering the AP Drawing and AP 2D Design Portfolio: Presenter to all AACPS Art Teachers, Brooklyn Park, MD; Relationship Building through Art: Presentation to New Art Teachers of Anne Arundel County, MD; Collaboration Art: Hands-on Workshop to AACPS Art Teachers, Harwood, MD; Blue Ribbon Keynote Speaker Representing all Teachers at Southern High School, Harwood, MD 2009 National Blue Ribbon Presentation: One of just two Selected Secondary National Presenters for the USDE, Washington D.C.; Visual Journaling: Presentation to New Art Teachers of Anne Arundel County, MD; Visual Journaling Across the Curriculum: Professional Development Workshop for all Teachers at Southern High, MD 2008: Visual Journaling, Presenter to all Art Teachers, Anne Arundel County, MD; Building Relationships: Presenter to New Teachers, Anne Arundel County, MD; Keynote Graduation Speaker to the Class of 2008, Southern, MD 2005: Visual Journaling: NAEA Convention Presenter with Dr. Jane Bates & Dr. Ray Martens, Towson University Art Department at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA; Presenter for the AACPS Gifted Visual Arts Program to all AACPS Art Teachers, Annapolis, MD; Dioramas in Sculptural Form Workshop, Carver Center, Anne Arundel County, MD 2005: Expanding Vision through Art Presentation, MAEA Fall Convention, Montgomery County, MD; Presentation on: Visual Journaling, Towson University, Towson, MD; Keynote Address to 600 New Teachers at The Carver Center, MD

Awards and honors

2010: National Board Certification, OYEA National Teacher of the Year Finalist 2009: National Blue Ribbon Presenter Award, USDE, Washington D.C. 2005: Los Angeles Good Shepherd Community Service Award, Washington Post Agnes Meyer Award Finalist, Who's Who in America, Bedrock Media Excellence in Design Award, Leading Educators of the World Award 2004: One of 24 Maryland State Teachers of the Year, Excellence in Education Award, Anne Arundel County Public School's Teacher of the Year Award Recipient, Governor's Citation Award for Excellence in Education, Anne Arundel County Council Citation Award 2003: Who's Who Among America's Teachers 2002: Maryland Art Education Association's Most Outstanding Career Arts Educator Award 2001: State Superintendent Commendation for Post September 11 Relief Efforts, Arundel Mills People's Choice Award for Umbrellas for Art Exhibition (the Raven) 2000: Southern High School Teacher of the Year Award


  1. ^ Stephenson, M., "Harwood's celebrity artist" The Capital, 3 October, 2008, A6, Lifestyle Editorial.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Scanlon, M., "Stars & Cigars" Industry Magazine, November - December, 2008 p.67.
  4. ^ Benanti, Carol., "Glitzy fun for a good cause" Staten Island Advance, September 10 2008

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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