Della Wells

Year inducted: 2014
1951-

Della Wells is a self-taught artist who began drawing and painting in earnest at the age of 42. Della's work is about story telling. Her work ranges from collage and pastels to quilting. She has exhibited all over the United States and aboard. Her creative process stems primarily from her personal experiences embellished through the art of storytelling into visual work. Wells' work has been written about and has appeared in several publications including Betty-Carol Sellen's and Cynthia J. Johnson's book, '' Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources, 2000 ed. and one of her images appears in a children's book published by National Geographic. In 2011, an award winning play which was inspired by her life, '' Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly'', debuted in Milwaukee. The play was commissioned by Milwaukee First Stage Children 's Theatre and written by Y York. In 2010, the play was selected to be read at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C., for its New Visions, New Voices Festival. Since its debut in Milwaukee, the player has been produced in Nashville, Tennessee and in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wells' work is in over one hundred private and public collections. She has exhibited in various galleries, museums and art festivals all over the United States, Italy and British Columbia. She has been a feature artist at the Kentuck Festival of Arts, the largest art festival which features folk, self-taught and outsider art in the United States. Wells is currently working on a documentary about the African American art scene in Milwaukee from 1967 to 1979 with filmmaker Rubin Whitmore Ill, artist Mutope J. Johnson, filmmaker and photographer Christopher McIntyre Perceptions and Stephanie Comer. Wells will also be illustrating a children's book which will be published next year.

Works by Della Wells