Anne Bell ~ the artist and friend


Anne Bell Woods is a prominent, award-winning painter who has been involved in Southwest Virginia arts for 37 years. Bell, who currently resides in Raleigh, N.C., attended of the University of Georgia and studied at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. When she was a young girl she lived here in Vinton. Then Roanoke and became friends with Debbie Reynolds (she called her “Annie”) and traveled with Debbie on a lot of her performances like shows at Trump Hotel, Denver, Unsinkable Molly Brown Tour, Academy Awards, and her home in Hollywood, etc. When Debbie bought the hotel in Vegas,  Anne pitched in to help out with doing over 200 portraits of classic movie stars to add to the decor. They were so realistic they looked like they could speak to you. Anne was there for the opening and could be seen running the vacuum an hour before opening, LOL. Yes, she was a true friend. I feel honored to call both friends.

Her work, characterized by representational imagery and effective use of collage, is featured in numerous private, corporate and public collections. Her national and international recognition includes many “best of shows.” Bell’s public art works include portraits of politicians, sports figures, classic Hollywood stars and museum murals.

Her bronze statue of General Andrew Lewis of Virginia, hero of the American Revolutionary War, can be seen at the Salem Civic Center in Salem; her bust of General Lewis is in the Old Hall of the House of Delegates in Richmond and the portrait of Mayor Noel Taylor and many judges in the courthouse. Her work can be seen all over Roanoke.

Many more recent murals, portraits and sculpture are permanently housed in the Orlando, Fla., area in the campus buildings of the Arnold Palmer and the Winnie Palmer Hospitals, many corporations and church walls and private installations.

Bell’s service to the community and volunteerism includes service on the original board for the National D-day Memorial Foundation, Lewis-Gale Medical Center and the Orlando Regional Health Foundation. I’m surprised the TV didn’t interview her after Debbie passed, she has lots of stories to tell. I just hope one of these days the Taubman will have her do an exhibit for everyone to see here in Roanoke. I know people would love to see her work. Thanks Anne for all you have done! Love you! Belated Happy Birthday to Anne!

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Billy Belcher, Haylee Elmore, Suni Heflin, Jason Turner, Harold Hand, Richard Russell, Debbie Pitts, Bill Tyree, Tanya Santana, Cindy Hill, Ron Smith, Robert Dingus, Derek Watson, Bobbi I. Humphrey, Carol Cole, Bonnie Blake, Michelle Hanna, Angie Haldren, Amanda McCoy (and anniversary), Kerry Liles, Kellie Sue Moore, Callie Foutz, Randy Stanley, Pat Stanley, Raymond Stanley (big anniversary coming up February 15), Jodi Overstreet, Melanie Lane, Delesia Watson, Sarah Janney, Jessica Dedrick, Jonelle  McKoy, Robin Glass, Jan M. Failes, Joe Overfelt, Kathy Firebaugh, Barry Wiseman, Norma  Peters, Tina Stewart, Amy L. Whitaker, Emily G. Basham, and Duke Edsall. Hope all had a great one!

Congrats and Happy Anniversary to Lori and Glenn Waldron, 28 years. May you have many more together!

Get Well wishes and prayers go out to Debbie Grose (Vinton’s First Lady, sinus surgery), Pete Kelly (surgery on toe), Pete Dooley (pacemaker, doing good), Dwain Craddock (appendicitis), Kenneth “Skinny ” Journell (home recuperating), Loretta L. Saunders (recuperating), Kaylee Thompson Bowling (at home, still hurting from stones), Grover Craft, Deedie Kagey (knee replacement), Marissa Brewer (still in Tennessee hospital, improving some, hoping to bring her home ASAP. All the kids at school miss her, as do the teachers). Hope all get better soon.

Don’t forget The Tams Friday night, Cabin Fever – Vinton War Memorial!




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