BIOGRAPHY

Michael Bell is a renowned American artist, best known for his cinematic, narrative series works and for his infamous portrait clientele, which includes reputed Mob Boss John Gotti and numerous actors from hit crime shows and mob movies such as the Sopranos, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale and more.

Michael Bell wins 1st Prize in Art Show at Age 5  Michael Bell wins Art Show in 1977  Michael Bell drawing a crowd in 1978  Violet Vallery surrounded by her award winning artworks in the 1970's  Michael Bell with his brother, Will, circa 1992  Michael Bell marries in 1996 and receives a special wedding gift from singer Tony Bennett  Michael Bell and Violet circa 2007  Michael Bell in Studio with one of his Carnevale Italiano paintings

Bell has always been naturally gifted in art, winning 1st Place in the first art show he ever entered at the age of 5. As an emerging artist he spent a lot of his time in and around New York City studying art with his maternal grandmother, Violet Vallery, a self-taught artist from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. This is where Bell began to explore life's psychological issues through his paintings. His most recent epic portrait that made the cover of the New York Daily News was painted for John A. Gotti for the cover of his best-selling novel "Shadow of my Father."

The Sopranos John Fiore and James Gandolfini support artist Michael Bell  Sopranos actors support artist Michael Bell  Michael Bell with Clem Caserta of A Bronx Tale and Georgia Durante in Chicago at the Gangsters Convention  Michael Bell with John Fiore and Joe Gannascoli doing autographed prints at Soup as Art in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn  Michael Bell unveils CSI:Miami Sofia Milos portrait for her at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills  Sopranos star Tony Sirico endorses a Michael Bell portrait created for him  Two Bad Boys of the art world Michael Bell and Eric Fischl at the NAEA Convention in New York City  Book Cover Portrait for John A Gotti 

As a domestic violence and anti-bullying activist, Bell received the Los Angeles Good Shepherd Domestic Violence Community Service Award in 2005 and champions his activism in schools, teaching students how to create hundreds of handmade sketchbooks for the women and children’s shelter annually, just in time for Christmas. Bell has done numerous talk shows on the topic with longtime friend Denise Brown, sister to Nicole Brown Simpson, slain ex-wife of O.J. Simpson. Bell also created the notable collaborative portrait of Amanda Todd, the Port Coquitlam, B.C. teen that committed suicide after documenting her years of bullying on YouTube. This portrait made international headlines in the Huffington Post and forged a lifelong partnership to end bullying between Bell and Carol Todd, mother of the fallen teen. In 2012, Bell's activism also led to a collaboration with world renowned artist friend Eric Fischl, contributing projects based on our “30 Human Rights” for Fischl's AMERICA: NOW AND HERE movement. This sparked an impressive Super Session of Bell's “31Nights” project at the NAEA Convention in New York City, and has prompted numerous keynotes ever since.

In addition to Bell's incredible accomplishments to the art world, Bell has donated his time and thousands of dollars through the sale of his paintings for numerous charities at auctions in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Bell has also written a screenplay based on the real-life events surrounding his famous "TICKET TO RIDE" painting series, which was first launched at a Solo Exhibition in New York. The show was attended by some of Bell’s celebrity portrait clientele, which led to Bell's partnership with HBO’s Sopranos star Joseph R. Gannascoli and the creation of artwork for Gannascoli's CUGINE Cigar Line and a celebrity portrait unveiling with other Sopranos stars Dominic Chianese and Frank Vincent to benefit Bright Steps Forward to help fund their Educational Academy for Autism.

Michael Bell creates artwork for Cugine Cigar Line  Michael Bell unveils a Red Carpet portrait for the Sopranos Joe Gannascoli, Frank Vincent, Dominic Chianese, donated to Bright Steps Forward  Michael Bell with Sopranos pals Vito, Joe Gannascoli and Uncle Junior, Dominic Chianese in New York  Michael Bell TICKET TO RIDE Launch Party at the Plumm, NYC Postcard  Michael Bell at his Star Studded Launch Party thrown for him by Noel Ashman at The Plumm, New York City, 2008  Michael Bell in Studio with Cameraman filming TICKET TO RIDE Paintings for the Launch Party at the Plumm, NYC  Michael Bell with his portrait for Carol Todd in memory of her daughter, Amanda Todd  Michael Bell in Studio creating one of his Seven Scars narrative paintings

Bell has also excelled in the field of education, pioneering the Visual Journaling movement, giving workshops and keynotes throughout the country. Other achievements include founding and sponsoring "ArtQuest," which is one of the largest and most community inclusive student art exhibitions in the United States. Bell was the Maryland Art Education Association Teacher of the Year (2002); Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year (2004). In 2005, Bell was commissioned to paint the official portrait of Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland's first female State Superintendent of Schools. In 2008 Bell was chosen as one of just two Secondary National Presenters selected by Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education (2009) to give a national presentation on "Arts, Innovation & Design." In 2010 Bell joined the ranks of just 3% of the nation's educators to earn National Board Certification and he's since produced six national NAEA Rising Star Award Winners (an award presented to just one student artist in the entire nation) six years in a row. In 2013 Bell was awarded the CollegeBoard's William U. Harris National Award of Excellence, the NAEA's National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year and the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award recipient. In 2014, he has helped produce 67 Scholastic Arts Northeast Regional Award Winners and 5 National Medalists in Photography. In 2015 he helped produce 84 Scholastic Arts Northeast Regional Award Winners and another Gold & Silver National Medalist in Painting. This year alone his art students earned a total of $2,445,342.00 in Scholarship Offers. Three of the past four years his student artists broke the 2 million dollar mark. These accomplishments in the field of Art Education are unprecedented - ANYWHERE.

Michael Bell awarded Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2004  Michael Bell Unveiling a Portrait for first woman State Superintendent Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick  Michael Bell with Monet Monico and Georgia Durante receiving the Los Angeles Good Shepherd Domestic Violence Shelter Community Service Award  Michael Bell speaking to the crowd in Los Angeles as he accepts his National Community Service Award for his Domestic Violence Activism.  Michael Bell Awarded the nation's 2013 NAEA National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year in Fort Worth, TX  Michael Bell awarded the nation's William U Harris Award of Excellence in Brooklyn, NY  Michael Bell awarded the Washington Post 2013 Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in Washington D.C.  Michael Bell celebrating the Washington Post 2013 Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in Washington D.C.

Bell has also made several television cameos, appearing with his Sopranos pals in Brooklyn and in Chicago at the World’s First Golden Age of Gangsters Convention doing print signings; doing live radio shows with the Sopranos John Fiore and Dominic Capone III (Al Capone’s Great Nephew); acting as a Spy on Season 22 of CBS's The Amazing Race; playing the role of a Pizza Guy on Season 1 of NetFlix hit series House of Cards; doing a portrait unveiling on Season 3 of VH1's Mob Wives; and another cameo in Season 1 of The Capones, where Bell was filmed at his Solo Art Exhibition in Chicago and unveiling a new commissioned portrait at the gallery for pal Dominic Capone III. In 2015 Bell received another major commission to create an epic portrait for John A. Gotti for the cover of his best-selling novel "Shadow of my Father," portraying him and his iconic father, John Gotti, Sr. as colossuses over Manhattan. On January 18th Bell’s portrait made the cover of the New York Daily News.

“Bell’s works are often the mirror to a tragic world, but they deepen our humanity through psychology, ghostly brushwork and a personal color palette that draws on memories and silent echoes from the artist’s own dark, turbulent past.” – Martin Cid, Editor in Chief, Yareah International Arts Magazine

Michael Bell on location with the Sopranos Joseph R. Gannascoli, John Fiore, Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini autographing fine art prints for fans in Brooklyn, NY  Michael Bell on location with the Sopranos autographing fine art prints for fans in Brooklyn, NY  Michael Bell as a spy filming the Season 22 Finale on set of CBS's Amazing Race  Michael Bell on VH1's Mob Wives Season 3 doing a portrait unveiling for Toni Marie Ricci  Michael Bell and Dominic Capone III filming at gallery exhibition on set of The Capones in Chicago, IL.  Michael Bell filming a painting unveiling on set of The Capones in Chicago, IL.  Michael Bell and Dominic Capone III Portrait Unveiling at the Mansion on set of The Capones in Chicago, IL.  Michael Bell giving an inspiring Artist Talk on Drawing a Line from your Art to your Life that is straight and clear.

Bell holds a BFA from Lycoming College, a M.Ed. in Art Education from Towson University and wrote his Masters Thesis on "Visual Journaling." He currently spends his time traveling throughout the country giving inspiring Artist Talks on how to "Draw a Line from your Life to your Art...that is straight and clear." Book Michael Bell to be your next keynote or guest artist lecturer.

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