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with della wells

This mixed media class will integrate visual storytelling into both sculpture and 2-dimensional collage. Students will create 2 dimensional pieces that relate a visual narrative. Artist Della Wells will share her techniques for making collages that tell a story using paper, fabric, ribbons, magazines cutouts etc. Participants will learn how to see beyond the materials to create a story-based collage.


Almost all supplies for this class are included, but each participant is welcome to bring any supplies/materials from home that they wish to include in their collage.


This class is limited to ages 18+. The minimum for this course is 4, and the maximum is 16. If the class does not meet the minimum, participants will be refunded. Tickets are non-refundable once the registration deadline ends.


Please email Mary Bell, Program Director,  at with any questions. 

Kentuck workshops are non-refundable after the registration closes. If you would like to cancel before the deadline passes, please email or call 205-758-1257. If the class does not meet the minimum by the registration deadline and the workshop is cancelled, all participants will be refunded their registration fees.

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Dates: August 2, 2024

Time: 1-4 PM

Location: Kentuck Art Center's Georgine Clarke Building classroom

Tuition: $125

Ages: 18+

Don't forget that Della's exhibition will open in our Museum Gallery on August 1, 2024 from 5-8 PM with an artist talk at 6:30. See you there!

This workshop is made possible in part by grants from Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


meet the instructor

Della Wells

Della Wells was born in 1951 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a self-taught artist. As a child, she invented stories and characters based on her mother’s recollections of growing up in North Carolina during the 1920s through the 1940s. Wells used these stories to escape the uncertain realities created by 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 works in various media, from collage to painting and folk art dolls. Della Wells was one of the two recipients of the City of Milwaukee’s Artist of the Year Award for 2016. Her work has appeared in various publications including “Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources “by Betty-Carol Sellen , “A Creative Place: the History of Wisconsin Art” by Thomas D Lidtke and Annemarie Sawkins, Black Collagists”by Teri Henderson, and the up coming book BEYOND 70: The Lives of Creative Women By Stacy Russo. The book is to be released at the end of February 2023. Her work has been exhibited in Europe and throughout the U.S. Portrait Society Gallery presents her work annually at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City and in 2021 introduced her work at Untitled (Art Basel) Miami. A play about her life, “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly” was by Y York and was commissioned by First Stage Children’s Theatre. The play was read at the Kennedy Center’ New Vision/New Voices Festival. The play had been performed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Birmingham, Alabama and Charoltte, North Carolina . An image of one of her artworks appears in the children ‘s book published by National Geographic “The Classic Treasure of Childhood Wonder: Favorite Adventures, Stories, Poems and Songs Making Lasting Memories” by Susan Magsamen. And she illustrated the Children’s book “Electric Train” by Nanci J Mortimer. Recent solo exhibitions include "Souls Bloom in This Garden," Andrew Edlin Gallery, NYC, in 2022; "Her Story, My Dreams: The Images of Della Wells,” 2018 at Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago; "Another Happy Mambo Day: The Invented Worlds of Della Wells,” Wright Museum, Beloit College, 2017. Wells is currently the Annette and Dale Schuh Visiting Artist at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Wells’ work is in over 100 private, museum and corporate collections, including the American Folk Art Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Hurn Museum of Contemporary Folk Art, Wright Museum of Art, The Penn Center, Northwestern Mutual Insurance and the Milwaukee Bucks.

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