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The Glowing Girl and Her Cats


Silence and Song are two ways of attending to the passage of time. My subjects, girls, are being observed and noted at moments of personal growth and discovery. Growing up female has never been more complicated than it is today, and my work paints a positive image of girls at a time of vulnerability and potential.

Silence can be a time of creative realization and productive thought, just as song can be an effective means of self-definition. I use both time-based endeavors—within the single-frame reality of a painting—to pay attention and homage to the universally important process of growing up, discovering one’s unique gifts, and shouldering the burdens of a complex society. 


Leslie Bell ('72) was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in the museums there. In high school, he ran track and cross-country and watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. He came to St. Ambrose in 1965, receiving a BA , then an MFA from Northern Illinois University. He also has been a recipient of the NEA Fellowship in painting.

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