About the artist Joanne Bell Harrill

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Deep down in the southern countryside of Mississippi on a pond full of huge fish and hungry alligators, is my home studio. This is where,  I celebrate the moments of wonderment and unexpected beauty in our lives, stories, and nature.  I have a responsibility to live fully.  How do you live life fully? By finding and appreciating the beauty in others and the world.  By listening intently and being present.  By acknowlegeing the pains and joys we encounter in life.  By taking time to let others know they are appreciated.  By appreciating the flaws, the imperfections, that bring unique beauty to our lives.  Like nature we are all imperfectly perfect. Isn't that beautiful? 

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Not long after moving to Mississippi, I was at the local Lowes loading several bags of compost into my car when two teenage boys walking to their car stopped to help.  It seemed so natural, like this was something they always did, and it was a reminder of why I decided to settle my family down here in Mississippi.  Being raised in the Deep South, I was immersed in the humid, rich culture full of paradoxes and eccentricities.  The rhythm of a slower, southern way of life and thinking was infused in my blood.  During college, printmaking, drawing, and painting were my areas of focus and my primary mediums for making art.  After receiving a bachelor of fine art from Auburn University, I left the hot June Bug nights and traveled the country for 20 years with my Marine, raising a family and mastering the art of stained glass, sterling silver metalsmithing, and the craft of leather.  With each move came a new artistic expression, but my first love was drawing.  I returned to this first love when I settled back where the June Bugs sing and once again found a pencil stuck to my fingers (maybe because of the sugared pecans).  I feel thankful for the variety of skills,  I have attained along my journey, that help me to express and celebrate the unexpected beauty in our lives, stories and nature.  With southern hospitality, I invite y’all to grab a glass of sweet tea, slow down, and visit my studio blog, where we can get lost in nature and celebrate moments of wonderment and unexpected beauty that fuel our joy.  

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Scratch all that here is...The True Story About How JoJoBell Hatched From An Egg-Corn

Did you hear the story about the turtle and the oak tree that fell in love?  No? Well they did and from that beautiful friendship the oak tree dropped a 6 ½ pound egg-corn.  (That’s right I said egg-corn.)  It fell to the earth with a boom-thud, landed on top of the turtle and cracked open its shell.  Needless to say the romance was over.  When the egg-corn hit, a small ripple radiated out and across the land, summoning a squirrel-crow named Rodger to investigate.  Rodger could not believe his eyes when he saw the giant treasure.  He rolled it off the dead turtle and into a hole that took him 3 days and 3 packs of cigarettes to dig for his monumental cash.  However, when he got home his wife did not believe this story, she thought he was cheating on her and fed him poison ivy for dinner.  The egg-corn incubated in the earth for 9 years until a storm with a vengeance, threw a lightning bolt straight into the ground where the egg-corn was incubating.  A small ripple radiated out and across the land, summoning the egg-corn to crack open and push out a brown headed, half turtle, half oak tree girl.  Like a mushroom, she emerged from the moist electrified dirt with the song “Glorious” by Macklemore  playing over and over in her head.  The oak tree looked down and declared her his little JoJoBell.  He knew she would be a great artist one day so she needed a simple catchy name. 

Stay tuned for...The True Story How JoJoBell Survived The Flood and Went to Art School.