Alumnus Artwork on Display in Gannett-Tripp Library

October 26 2017
Category: Alumni

Poster advertising alumnus artwork

On exhibit at the Gannett-Tripp Library, now through November 17, are original illustrations drawn by Elmira College alumnus and local artist, Chris Bell '00.

The illustrations provide an inside view of how Chris creates artwork for his Ashes, Gears, Earthbound, and other serial comic books that he has published in collaboration with writer and EC alumnus, Bill Giancoli '98. More information on their ongoing cooperative endeavor can be found at their Zero Comics Facebook page. 

Image of Alumnus Chris Bell  Artwork by alumnus Chris Bell

Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Master’s degree in Education from Elmira College. During his time at EC, the digital world was just beginning to overtake publishing, forcing Chris to teach himself how to use image-editing programs to enhance his career. Chris reveals that one of his graduate school projects, an online children’s book called Casey at Bat, is still available for digital download.

Although Chris made a successful professional illustration career working in journalism and public relations, he found himself sitting alone in front of a computer screen for hours, and soon realized this was not the way he wanted to spend his working life. He missed the element of human interaction, and eventually used his graduate degree to garner teaching jobs in the Horseheads Central School District. Today he teaches fifth and sixth graders, who each receive an original drawing from Chris on their birthday. 

When asked if he had any advice for current art majors at Elmira College, Chris said he wished he had taken more courses outside of the drawing and illustration areas and he believes students should try areas that they may not be comfortable with, or feel they aren't particularly interested in.

Recently Chris caught up with digital courses in graduate school, but he wished he had done more as an undergraduate. It is true that he refined his illustration skills by devoting himself to that concentration, but in retrospect, a broader experience in all the arts seems more logical to him now.  

Chris currently lives in Horseheads, N.Y. with his wife, Beth, and their sons, Dexter and Charlie. He continues to do freelance graphic design through, Bell Graphics. When not creating art, Chris spends his spare time with his family and still plays lacrosse for fun, the sport he played while an undergraduate at Elmira College.