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Paintings on Display in Ashford University Art Gallery
Reception planned for artist Leslie Bell on March 3

Ashford University’s Cortona Art Gallery will feature “Of One's Own,” a collection of paintings by Davenport, Iowa artist Leslie Bell from February 5 through March 3. An artist’s reception will be held at the gallery on Tuesday, March 3 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

“It’s been said that a husband is a man with his nerve extracted. My characters (creations of my imagination) retain and contain nerve, style, sex, opinion, and power. Girls and women are the ‘heroes,’” Bell said. “The female protagonists of my paintings go about their business of maturing, learning, sharing, philosophizing, goofing up, and being awkward without the off-putting presence of male energy. Minus testosterone, this re-apportioned world is free of war, undue competition, blood sport, muscle cars, and other forms of manly garbage and disruption.”

“These paintings are meant to remind us that there are more important things in life than political advertising, fame, ownership, and power,” he added. “The women here actively pursue a natural model for their own behavior. Professor Henry Higgins exclaimed, ‘Why can’t a woman…be like a man?’ This show asks what a world might be like if governed by a tradition of female-chosen values.”

Bell was born in 1947 in Washington, D.C. and came to the Midwest in 1965 to study art with Father Edward Catich, the world-renowned calligrapher, epigrapher and graphic designer, at St. Ambrose University. Bell received his BA in art in 1972. His MA and MFA in painting are from Northern Illinois University.

Bell’s artwork has been displayed in one-person shows at many universities and galleries from coast to coast and has been represented in galleries in Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Des Moines, and the Quad Cities.

His awards include a fellowship in painting from Arts Midwest/NEA, the Special Recognition Award, best in painting, from the Des Moines Art Center in their Iowa Artists show, two first prize and purchase awards from the Davenport Museum of Art, and grants from the Iowa Arts Council and Quad City Arts.

Bell is a founding member of Open Cities Film Society, the Photo Image League, and Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts. He served as the initial chair of the Artist’s Advisory Council to the Figge Art Museum. He is art professor emeritus at St. Ambrose University.


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs, while the Clinton, Iowa campus offers bachelor’s programs. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit,,, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513. The views expressed in this release do not represent the views of Ashford University.