Jennifer Bell’s introduction into the world of fine arts is a story of fate. She left Vancouver in her 20s to study at New York City's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. An introduction to the ‘volcanic expressionist’ Gustav Rehberger forged not only a close friendship, but a whole new career. Jennifer worked for Rehberger as a studio artist for five years while studying at the Art Students League in New York.
“Once Rehberger introduced me to the nude figure, which is basically all that I drew for five years, I just saw the beauty in the lines of the human body. And after that you start to see lines everywhere in landscapes and everything else. He just brought to me another way of seeing the world and a passion for art.”
“Since summer 2004, I have lived in southern Italy, in the region of Puglia, the province of Bari, in a town called Altamura. A two-week restoration project of the Jesce Masseria brought me here. My plan after that was to set up an atelier in Paris and spend my days painting the pretty and elongated noses of the Parisians. Two weeks was all I planned to be in Altamura.”
In 2007, Jennifer Bell married an Italian man and now calls Altamura home.
Commenting on the evolution of her work in Italy, Jennifer recalls, "The early paintings were that of a traveler soaking up the ambiance of locale. Informal portraits described the faces I saw and the somber tones of a land unscathed by modern life. Now, I am no longer an observer, but a participant — a transplant who is experiencing the richness of life in Puglia”.