Prospect Art & Craft Show

Muralist Bell to show talent at the
Lion’s Club fundraising event

By Kelley F. Sears
Contributing Writer

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

Josh Bell with some of his art work.

Photo by Don Ward

Josh Bell with some of his art work.

He studied the craft at Oldham County High School, graphic design at Murray State University for a year and commercial art at Jefferson Community College.
“I’ve always wanted to be into art,” Bell said. “Graphic art is where the money is, but it’s 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 didn’t 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 wouldn’t let children touch the wall because she didn’t want any greasy handprints on it,” Bell said. “She was very proud of it. She’s 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 Club’s children’s playroom.
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; I’m just a big kid, anyway.”
He said he paints children’s 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 his art.
“I just want to be renowned,” Bell said. “Hire me, I’m good. I’m not terribly expensive and I can do anything anyone wants.”
Bell’s 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 Lion’s Club took over the sponsorship and moved it to a new location, said Edwin Young, the club’s president.
The main purpose of the Lion’s Club’s 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 Lion’s Eye Foundations.
“Our money goes to that and also to operate and maintain our community center,” Young said. “It’s 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 don’t 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 Lion’s 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 cause.
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 it’s really hard to say where all of the money goes,” Murphy said. “It’s 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 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta