Meet the Artist: Della Wells

Della is a self-taught artist, whose work is in more than 100 private and public collections, including exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Charles Allis Museum. She has been a guest artist at the Kentuck Arts Festival of the Arts, the largest art festival featuring folk, self-taught and outsider art in the United States. In 2017, Della’s work was included in the exhibition 21st Century Folk Art at the Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, N.C. Her solo exhibition will debut in 2018 at the Loyola Museum of Art in Chicago, Ill.

City Year Milwaukee: One of the things that struck me about City Year was young people helping other young people reach their potential and believe in themselves. The red jacket represents that ideal for both City Year members and the students they mentor. Their mission to inspire belief also hit home personally for me. Like so many youth today, I came from a difficult childhood. What helped me were those who believed in and encouraged me.

Feeding America Southeastern Wisconsin: In America, hunger exists in both rural and urban areas as well as in the suburbs. It isn’t limited to any race, gender, age or ethnic group. In my artwork Together, I wanted to remind the viewer that when we work together in our communities, the seeds that Feeding America plants can grow throughout our nation to help end hunger in America.

What does this project mean to you?
There are so many problems in the world that we tend to forget there are people and organizations working to solve these problems and issues that we face. This project shines a light on those organizations, which to me is incredibly important. We need to know about the people who are working to make our world a better place.

Where is your favorite place to go for inspiration?
I don’t have a favorite place in particular. I get most of my inspiration from everyday life and experiences.

What have you done or are you thinking of doing to help the community based on your involvement with this project?
I’d like to continue to be involved in helping young people as well as encouraging others to pay it forward.