Della Wells was born in 1951 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a self-taught artist. As a child, she made up stories and characters, many based on her mother’s recollections of growing up in North Carolina during the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s. Wells used these stories to escape the madness of her mother’s mental illness and her father’s rage and eventually used them to inspire the collage art she creates today.
Wells feels strongly that “being a master of your spiritual self does not come until you understand from where you came from.” She incorporates her own folklore in her work which often has subtle symbols from the civil rights struggle. Wells’ work has appeared in various publications including Self Taught, Outsider and Folk art Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources by Betty-Carol Sellen and Cynthia J. Johnanson.
In 2010 “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly” written by Y York and commissioned by First Stage Children’s Theater was selected to be workshopped and read at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Productions of the play have been done in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Nashville Tennessee and Charlotte North Carolina. Her work was also included as an illustration for a book published by National Geographic. Wells’ work is exhibited in Europe, British Columbia and throughout the United States in folk art and outsider galleries from coast to coast.
Learn more about Della Wells by visiting the official artist website below. Read More.