Bela Silva was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon; at the Norwich School of Fine Arts; and at The Art Institute of Chicago.
She has participated in group shows concentrating on tile art throughout Brazil, Spain, and France, and has had her own shows at the Ann Nathan and the Rhona Hoffman galleries in Chicago; at the Museu do Azulejo (the Tile Museum), the Museu Anastácio Gonçalves, the Palácio da Ajuda, and the Fundação Ricardo Espírito Santo in Lisbon; and at numerous galleries throughout China and Japan.
She has run ceramics workshops in Japan and Morocco, and been awarded residencies at the Kohler in Wisconsin, and at Fabrica Bordalo Pinheiro, Caldas da Rainha, in Portugal. She has created a number of notable public art pieces, namely tile panels for the Alvalade subway station in Lisbon, for the Sakai Cultural Center’s gardens in Japan; and for the João de Deus School in the Azores Islands.
She currently lives between Lisbon and Brussels, Belgium.