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St. Louis, MO, USA


Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Michelle Lee Rigell is a St. Louis-based contemporary realism artist who works in acrylics. Since 2015, Rigell has shown her work in several locations in the Greater St. Louis area including Angad Arts Hotel, Art Saint Louis and fundraising art events such as Wall Ball for Artscope and Art of PAWS presented by Purina. She has been featured on platforms such as The Jealous Curator, PxP Contemporary and Carve Out Time For Art and in publications such as PIKCHUR Magazine and AcrylicWorks7 by Artists Magazine. Rigell also volunteers as an instructor and is the assistant director of Arts As Healing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings the therapeutic benefits of art to cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses.


Since 2016, I have been working on a project called the "1000 Crane Project" because of my childhood love for origami. When I wasn't drawing or painting, I was constantly folding origami. Cranes are also a symbol of good fortune, happiness and longevity in Korean culture. I decided on the title because of the legend that 1000 cranes could grant a person one wish or even eternal happiness.

Cranes have been an apt subject matter in my life because rediscovering my passion for painting began as a way to cope with my miscarriages and difficulties with infertility. I am a firm believer that art can provide healing, and I want to be able to help others heal by providing a sense of sentimentality and humor through my art process and experiences.

This year, I started an art challenge on Instagram called the #1000cranepaintchallenge. I have been providing reference photos and inviting other artists to be guest hosts by providing their own reference photos. Artists are invited to use any medium of their choice. Continuing on with the theme of sharing and spreading happiness and good fortune to others, my goal is to create 1000 cranes with the IG artist community. The paintings in my current collection are from the challenge. It has been a wonderful experience meeting new artists and finding a fun and encouraging way to paint again after having my baby.

IG: @mabelle_rigell_art

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