On Tuesday, December 6th an exhibit of paintings by artist Joan Stiles Bell opens in the Kendal Gallery. The show, titled “Moments of Clarity”, runs through January 30, 2017. The show of thirty works includes oil paintings of ‘Oberlin People’ and landscapes of scenes from England and Italy.
Joan’s use of color in her acrylic and oil landscapes to describe light and shadow transforms her everyday subjects into extraordinary pictures, which capture and hold the viewer’s attention and imagination. Joan explains, “My choice of subject matter can be very broad, but is linked by qualities of light and color. It is always the influence of light on the subject and the challenges posed, to capture those fleeting effects that compels me to paint it.”
Joan Stiles Bell studied at Oberlin College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art History in 1974. Early on she also studied at East Carolina University, the Corcoran School of Art and the Penland School of Crafts.
In 1976 Joan moved to Palo Alto, California and married Michael Bell, an Oberlin classmate. They moved to the N.W. North Carolina mountains in 1980, and two years later opened the Greenhouse Crafts Shop in Glendale Springs. Their two children are fifth generation Oberlin College graduates. Kristen Bell Travis, class of 2001 is a conservation biologist and Peter Bell, class of 2004 is a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Through the years, Joan has participated and won awards in numerous local and regional art exhibits. She enjoys her involvement with the Ashe County Arts Council, the Florence Thomas Art School and has painted many large backdrops for the Ashe County Little Theater In 2005 she opened Original Only Gallery in West Jefferson. The gallery showcases Joan’s work and includes studio space where visitors can watch her at work.
The Kendal Gallery is located at Kendal at Oberlin ~ 600 Kendal Drive ~ Oberlin. The gallery is open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.