PROSPECT, Ky. (Sept. 2003) Like most children, Josh
Bell would sit quietly and draw while his mother worked nearby. He also
drew pictures while his mother practiced with the church choir. He would
rush to finish his small masterpieces so that as soon as the practice
was over, he could begin his real work.
My mom used to direct choir at church, Bell said. While
it was going on, I would draw pictures and when they let out I would
sell them for a nickel.
Bell said that was the beginning to his artistic career. Both his parents
were music majors and encouraged art appreciation throughout his formative
stages. Bell followed their guidance and decided to not only paint,
but to study art in school
He studied the craft at Oldham County High School, graphic design
at Murray State University for a year and commercial art at Jefferson
Ive always wanted to be into art, Bell said. Graphic
art is where the money is, but its not really challenging enough
or hands on enough for me.
Bell will feature his colorful works this month at the Prospect Art
and Craft Show. The annual event is scheduled for Sept. 27-28 at the
William Belknap Community Center, 12414 Hwy. 42. It is sponsored by
the North Oldham Lions Club, with show hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Bell got his start in freestyle painting five years ago and began
painting furniture six months ago. He said his mother got him his
first big job painting a 15-foot tall mural of Where the Wild
Things Are at St. Edwards, where she was the librarian.
I didnt think I would be able to do this, Bell said.
Everything I do is free hand, and it took a while.
He grew up reading this classic book and it was a favorite of his
mother. Bell said she not only influenced the direction his life would
take, but she was and is still his biggest supporter.
My mother wouldnt let children touch the wall because
she didnt want any greasy handprints on it, Bell said.
She was very proud of it. Shes always been very encouraging.
Hopefully, it will all pay off one day.
Since that time, Bell has painted several other walls. All of the
murals at Prospect Pediatrics are his. He has done several residential
works, and he just recently finished a piece including Muhammad Ali
in the boxing corner of Louisville Athletic Clubs childrens
Bell began painting furniture six month ago after being encouraged
by his fiancé.
I try to go find bargains on old furniture and just try to re-furbish
and repaint it, Bell said. I like drawing all of the characters;
Im just a big kid, anyway.
He said he paints childrens furniture mostly and pieces with
a pickled or crackled effect, but is always looking for new concepts
to try. Bell said he wants to become known and established through
I just want to be renowned, Bell said. Hire me,
Im good. Im not terribly expensive and I can do anything
Bells work can be viewed at his Internet website: www.Muralsbyjoshbell.com.
He will join more than 150 other artists and craftspeople at the Prospect
Art and Craft Show.
In the first several years, the show was held at Prospect Point, but
parking became tight, so the North Oldham Lions Club took over
the sponsorship and moved it to a new location, said Edwin Young,
the clubs president.
The main purpose of the Lions Clubs involvement is to
raise money for those with vision and hearing impairments. In addition
to exhibitors, the show offers food booths and a silent auction. The
auction will feature donated products from some of the artists. Most
of the proceeds from the booth rental and auction go towards funding
the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundations.
Our money goes to that and also to operate and maintain our
community center, Young said. Its held in the country,
on a slightly sloping hillside, among the trees and is surrounded
by horse farms. We have a playground for kids who dont want
to wander around.
Young said the show has something for everyone face painting,
cotton candy and caramel corn for the younger ones.
This year the Lions Club will offer free screening for early
detection of glaucoma for those interested, show director Charles
Murphy said. He added that this event is a great excuse to have a
day outside in the community, in a family environment and help a good
Proceeds from last year bought glasses for children who needed them,
computers for blind children, sponsored lead dogs for those in need
and gave to habitat for humanity.
We fund so many of the community charities that its really
hard to say where all of the money goes, Murphy said. Its
a community activity on a community park. All of the money raised
goes back into the community through some type of charity.
For more information on the event, call Young at (502) 228-4330.
Back to September 2003