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RAM Exhibition Showcases the works of artist John Bell, Jr.

RAM Exhibition Showcases the works of artist John Bell, Jr.



As part of Fort Smith’s Bicentennial, the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum presents a retrospective exhibit of the work of John Bell Jr. (1937-2013).

Private collectors and the Fort Smith artist’s family will loan originals for the exhibit, which will survey Bell’s work over almost 50 years.

The artist’s personal memories and impressions of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma are subjects in many of his works. He denied depicting “history,” although many may have assumed so. 

“I am interested in history for pictorial reasons,” the artist explained in an interview with this magazine in 2004. “I have to know enough about a subject, historically, to paint it.” He referred to specific periods and depicted city scenes accurately. “But I’m not a literalist – I’m a romantic,” Bell said.

In the style of Impressionism, Bell’s work draws the eye into a painting with color, movement and emotional cues. His original paintings and fine art prints have maintained their popularity with the people of his hometown.

The John Bell Jr. exhibit will be open through April 22. Daily admission to RAM is free. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, 1601 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, Ark. 479-784-2787 fsram.org

This article appears in the Dec/Jan 2018 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine.

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