BIOGRAPHY

Michael Bell is a renowned American artist, best known for his cinematic, narrative series paintings and for his infamous portrait clientele, which includes John Gotti, Dominic Capone 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 commissioned portrait for John A. Gotti made the cover of the New York Daily News and became the cover art for Gotti's best-selling novel "Shadow of my Father." This led to Bell writing his own #1 best-selling education memoir published June 10, 2017 by MBELLART Productions, LLC about his art and life, "DUAL LIVES: from the Streets to the Studio."

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 for DUAL LIVES 

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 in L.A. annually, just in time for Christmas. Bell has done numerous interviews on the topic with longtime friend, painting client and former mob wheel woman Georgia Durante, along with Denise Brown, sister to Nicole Brown Simpson, slain ex-wife of O.J. Simpson. Bell also created the notable portrait of Amanda Todd, the Port Coquitlam, B.C. teen that tragically 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 innovative "31Nights" project at the NAEA Convention in New York City, and has prompted numerous keynotes and workshops across the nation 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 Maryland, 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, years before Bell's own son's diagnosis with 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 with his portrait for Carol Todd in memory of her daughter, Amanda Todd  Michael Bell in Studio painting Gotti  Book Cover Portrait for John A Gotti

Bell has also excelled in the field of education, pioneering the Visual Journaling movement, giving workshops and keynotes across the country, in addition to numerous webinars and podcasts for the NAEA, theArtofEd, in addition to a TED talk on "Drawing a line from your life to your art" to help artists, teachers and students find their voice artistically.

Other achievements include founding and sponsoring "ArtQuest," which has become one of the largest and most community inclusive student art exhibitions K-12 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, then 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 in 2013 Bell was awarded numerous national teacher of the year awards, including the CollegeBoard's William U. Harris National Award of Excellence, the NAEA's National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year for the Nation the Washington Post's Agnes Meyer Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year award recipient and the Dr. James Douthit Outstanding Achievement Award from his alma matter, Lycoming College.

Great stories like these keep emerging time and time again, with Michael Bell helping art students earn over ten million in scholarship offers the past five years alone! $2,047,000 in 2011; $2,255,000 in 2012; $2,124,688 in 2013; $1,336,676 in 2014; $2,445,342 in 2015 and $2,120,720 in 2016. And this is just their financial impact on his students' lives. Mr. Bell has also produced seven National Art Education Association (NAEA) Rising Star Award Winners seven years in a row; eight Scholastic Art & Writing National Gold and Silver Medalists in Painting and Photography the past three years in a row; and back-to-back Scholarship for Scholars winners in Art for his county. Bell's accomplishments in the field of Art and 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 with his son Carmen and wife Lisa at his October 6, 2017 art exhibition opening at Converge Gallery in Williamsport, PA

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; in 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 a prominent Chicago art gallery for pal Dominic Capone. 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, and in June, 2017 Bell released his own best-selling memoir DUAL LIVES: from the Streets to the Studio and had a powerfully moving two-man exhibition at Converge Gallery from October 6 - 28, 2017 featuring works from Bell's "31 nights" collection and his "Carnevale series".

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 speaker or guest artist lecturer and to provide quality professional development workshops on numerous inspiring topics.

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