Back to art@hendrix! Exhibition

Studio Coffee

  • Katie Bell '20
  • Studio Coffee
  • 2020
  • Oil on board
  • 48 x 36 inches
  • Windgate Museum of Art Collection

Katie Bell grew up in Iowa but wanted to attend college elsewhere. After visiting Hendrix at the recommendation of a family friend, she fell in love with the school and with Arkansas’s natural beauty. While at Hendrix, she served as the Aonian’s visual arts editor and helped restart the college’s Art Club. She also worked as a Museum Associate for the Windgate Museum of Art, where she assisted with visiting artist events and website design.

Bell created Studio Coffee in a Figure Painting class during her senior year. In this piece, Bell reflects on her everyday activities, her physical body, and the spaces she fills. She imbues the painting with an intimate, romantic quality to demonstrate that every moment – no matter how exciting or mundane – contributes to her sense of self. Bell’s work allows her to explore her own experiences, and she thus considers it autobiographical.

Rather than creating a perfectly rendered self-portrait, she instead created large, abstract shapes which coalesce and create a wholistic image. Her work highlights the lively messiness of oil paint, which she suggests mirrors her life, and the beauty of saturated color. Abandoning realism and exactitude for vitality and abstraction, Bell created what she considers a “breakthrough painting.”

Bell graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting. She suggests Studio Coffee is the composite of what she learned while earning this degree. Bell currently lives in Montana, where she works in the Glacier National Park. She continues to develop her body of work and explore the intimacy inherent in everyday life.

© Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College