Johnny F. Bell was born in Wynona, Mississippi, in 1944 he began exhibiting a natural inclination toward the arts at an early age. By age six, Johnny F. Bell was a student of the arts, taking lessons from his father on a regular basis. When the younger Bell was able, he began spending his spare time working in the lettering and mural business founded by his father. When Bell graduated from high school in 1963, he had by his own rights reached a high level of accomplishment in the arts. He entered Louisiana State College in Pineville as an art major.
Although Johnny F. Bell studied new techniques and styles, and worked in various artistic media, he preferred to express himself through the art of mural painting and portraiture learned from his mentor and father. So expertly had he mastered the techniques shown to him that his work, on occasion, was mistaken for that of his father. Johnny F. Bell is highly regarded for his artistic abilities and has been commissioned throughout the United States to complete works of art for both the private and public sectors.
For his contribution to the state of Louisiana and in recognition of his exceptional artistic achievements, Johnny F. Bell was named State Artist Laureate by Governor Murphy J. “Mike” Foster in 1997.