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    Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody


Artist Della Wells to be honored at the Milwaukee Art Museum

todayMarch 11, 2024 2

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The African American Art Alliance (AAAA) is set to honor renowned Milwaukee native and self-taught artist Della Wells in a celebratory evening at the Milwaukee Art Museum on March 20. The event will feature the unveiling of Wells’s 2022 collage, “Together,” which the Museum recently acquired with support from AAAA.

Della Wells’s artistic journey is a testament to the power of creativity and self-expression. Born in 1951, Wells discovered her passion for storytelling at a young age, crafting characters and narratives that drew inspiration from her life experiences. Her unique style, which seamlessly blends folk art, expressionism, and surrealism elements, has become a hallmark of her work, setting her apart as a visionary in mixed media art.

Wells invites viewers to explore the depths of her imagination through her collages, often transporting them to a realm known as “Mambo Land.” In this fantastical world, Black women take center stage, wielding agency and authority as they navigate the complexities of life. Each intricate piece, meticulously crafted from magazine cutouts, serves as a powerful commentary on themes of family, gender, race, and spirituality while also addressing the broader cultural and social issues that have shaped Wells’s life and the lives of those in her community.

In “Mambo Land,” women come together in sisterhood, facing the harsh realities of violence and oppression head-on. By confronting the past, Wells’s protagonists pave the way for a brighter future in which they can thrive and create a better world for themselves and future generations.

Wells’s work has garnered international acclaim, with exhibitions spanning Europe and the United States. Her pieces can be found in private and public collections, a testament to her art’s universal appeal and impact. Institutions such as the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee have recognized Wells’s contributions, cementing her status as an influential figure in the art community.

The AAAA’s support in acquiring “Together” for the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection underscores the significance of Wells’s work and her ability to capture the essence of family unity. This powerful collage serves as a reminder of the strength in togetherness, a message that resonates now more than ever.

On March 20, the unforgettable celebration of Della Wells’s artistry begins with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by remarks and the highly anticipated unveiling of “Together” at 6:30 p.m. This event honors Wells’s remarkable achievements and supports AAAA’s mission to foster education, discussion, and appreciation of African American art at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Della Wells, a visionary artist whose work inspires, challenges, and enriches our understanding of the human experience. Mark your calendars and prepare to be captivated by the magic of her collages as we come together to celebrate the power of art and the resilience of the human spirit.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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