The trace of human intervention is common in the American landscape. Our view of nature thus cannot be wide-angle or unbroken, as it is crowded with discordant elements that often contradict and muddy our perceptions and expectations. We instead experience our surroundings selectively, filtering out what is not necessary, ignoring what is irrelevant. Through this process of filtering, we experience the landscape not as a whole, but as a collection of instances, fragments, specimens and objects.
Often what is noticed and selected is dependent on the presence of a man-made element. The curve of a hill or the texture of vegetation is most visible when it is marked, divided or plotted. Such markers also situate the viewer: they offer scale, location and context. Despite very different value and worth assigned to each, nature and human activity are oddly interdependent. Together, they form fragments floating through our view.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I earned a BA in history from Bowdoin College, studied for a master's degree in environmental studies at Evergreen State College. After living in Alaska for several years where I painted in the winters and worked as a park ranger and a sea kayak guide in the summers, I returned to Oregon to complete my MFA in painting.
My paintings are exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent shows in Houston, New York City, Shenzhen, China, Hamburg, Germany, Seoul, Korea and Vancouver B.C.. I am currently an Associate Professor at The University of Montana, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of FATE in Review, a national journal dedicated to college-level art pedagogy. I am represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver B.C .and Atti Contemporary in Toronto O.N.
born: Seattle, Washington
Bowdoin College, BA, 1989
University of Oregon, MFA, 2003
Editor, FATE in Review, the national, peer review journal of Foundations, Art, Theory and Education, 2012.
Sponsored International Residency, Da Wang Culture Highlands, Shenzhen, China, 2012.
Colorado Council on the Arts, 2009.
Specific Environments: The Landscape As Metaphor, Fort Collins, CO. LCG, 2012.
New American Paintings No 78, Boston MA, Open Studio Press, 2009.
selected solo or two-person exhibits
Rudolph Blume Fine Art: Kevin Bell, Houston, TX, 2010
La Industria/NEXT: Kevin Bell, Chicago IL, 2009
Gallery Jones: Kevin Bell, Vancouver B.C., 2007
selected group shows
Painting Center: Natural/Constructed Spaces, New York, NY, 2012
Claypool-Young Art Gallery: New Country: Ruralism in Contemporary Art, Morehead State University. Moorehead, KY, 2012
Da Wang, Shenzhen, China, 2012
Radar Curatorial: POINT, Brooklyn, NY, 2011.