Glenmark 'Mark' Bell is a prolific self-taught artist who resides in the parish of Portland, Jamaica. His artistic influences are from life's simplicity. He is known for capturing the simplicity of the Jamaican countryside lifestyle, people, and flora. Majority of his works pieces are inspired by the images he sees in his rural spaces, depicting country Jamaican life as he knows it. The creative process for Mr. Bell is driven by his strong intuition and bringing his environs to life through his many artistic expressions.
He is a recipient of The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Arts Award 2011 and 2017, the cultural machinery that drive arts within Jamaica. Currently, his pieces are displayed locally and internationally which includes a plethora of creative portraits, landscapes, fine arts, abstracts, realism, murals and more.
Bell is very active in promoting and developing young local artists in Portland, and as the owner and CEO of Portland Fine Arts, he has hosted many exhibitions to show off their talent and launch a mentorship program. During his tenure as an artist at the Portland Art Gallery in 2005-2012, he often volunteered as an art instructor in partnership. He furthered collaborated with the National Youth HEART/NSTA TRUST Programme, where he developed teaching materials that exposed students on how to produce, understand and appreciate visual art in all its forms.
As he strives to curate his brand and portfolios; he has sought mentorship and inspiration from other great Jamaican- based artists namely, Barrington Watson, Herbie Ross, and Ken Spencer. Mark believes in continuing the legacy of Jamaican artists. To contribute to this legacy, he takes great value in the need for self-investment, self-motivation, working through fears and hardships, and capitalizing on new opportunities. Over the years, the depth of his art speaks for itself through his detailed photo- like appearance painting techniques. His breadfruit pieces are great examples. He is known and labeled as the 'Breadfruit artist'. His audience is amazed by his consistency to always capturing these pieces in a real-life manner.
Bell garnered the attention of mainstream media, private and public sectors. His audience can find popular pieces at Saba Gallery, Portland Art Gallery, and Hi- Qo Art and Framing Gallery. His work has been commissioned by China Harbor Engineering Company, Portland Credit Union, Moon Palace Hotel, and several banks. His first solo exhibition was in partnership with Osmosis- Artbeat of the Caribbean. Recently, his work was featured in the HHG- Health, Home and Garden Jamaican Magazine vol 20 and broadcasted on TVJ’s Smile Jamaica and CVM at Sunrise, two powerhouse media platforms in the island. Mark also made his first music video debut in Pretty Melanin sung by recording artist Diel. Mark was introduced to arts at age five (5) by his dad, who drew a man on a donkey; he was fascinated, and since then, he has always had the urge to create. So, throughout his life, Bell has always been captivated and aroused by nature, the rich Jamaican culture; and needed a way to freeze time. Through some of his art pieces, he has been able to achieve this. His first solo exhibition, 'Life's Simple Pleasures’ in 2018 and his current 2021 collection, 'Country Lifestyle,' aimed to highlight the simplicity that we seem to have forgotten due to technological and digital era. The images he paints reflect on the days when our parents and grandparents were young and the social lifestyle of our childhood before the 2000s, such as reading by candlelight or lantern light, washing clothes in the river, roasting breadfruit over a wood fire, playing marble games. These paintings are time-pieces artwork aim at canvasing generational experiences. Children of this age and future can look at these paintings and be educated and exposed to the older generations' way of life.
His work also includes portraits of the Governor-General of Jamaica and Usain Bolt and those of many members of Parliament of Jamaica.
Bell continues to push towards achieving global recognition - locally, internationally, and in the Caribbean diaspora. Like many artists, he dreams of sustaining a household name brand, Mark Bell Arts.
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