An exhibit of artworks by the late, beloved portrait artist and illustrator Jim Schell opens Thursday, March 6, at the Ventulett Gallery in Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church. The wine-and- cheese reception for the opening of “A Retrospective" begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the pubic.
A native of Atlanta, Jim Schell was a self-taught painter whose first job as an artist was drawing for the old Atlanta Georgian newspaper when he was 12 years old. At 14, Schell studied at the Detroit Art Academy under muralist Carlos Lopez. He later became an illustrator for the Pacific Stars and Stripes in World War II, and then moved on to a career in advertising, during which he received numerous national and regional awards for illustration and design.
In 1982, Schell retired to devote his time to oil portraits, many of which appeared on the covers of publications such as American Artist Magazine. And many Atlantans remember him as a respected portrait instructor at the Abernathy Arts Center, where he taught for almost 30 years.
Schell's art has been described as a combination of masterful drawing and expert sense of color and design. A confident painter, he was able to capture the essence of a model's likeness on canvas with a light sketching of charcoal and sure use of color in his brushwork.
Schell died on Jan. 6, 2013, but his extraordinary talent and spirit live on in his artworks. And the "A Retrospective" exhibit is somewhat of a homecoming: Schell and his wife, Noemie Schell, were one of the founding families of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church when the mission moved from downtown.
Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church is located at 805 Mt. Vernon Hwy. N.W. in the Sandy Springs area of Metro Atlanta. The Ventulett Gallery is open to the public during regular office hours.