A piece from the exhibit Another Happy Mambo Day: The Invented Worlds of Della Wells
Two exciting exhibitions are currently open at the Wright Museum of Art. Generously funded by George S. Parker II, Another Happy Mambo Day: The Invented Worlds of Della Wells and Rooftop: Second Nature will both run through Nov. 19.
Milwaukee-based artist Della Wells’ work addresses issues of race and gender and touches on truths that speak to us all. Della is sharing her colorful collages, drawings, and dolls which blend her personal experiences with explorations of culture. The exhibition traces her artistic evolution from early pastel drawings of mothers and children to her most recent densely composed collages that often feature “Mambo” characters, who she refers to as strong, female priestess guides. M. Shadee Malaklou, assistant professor of critical identity studies, wrote an insightful catalog essay on Della’s work through an Afro-pessimist lens. She focuses on life-worlds for the black family, and, especially, the fractured black psyche.
Another exhibition at the Wright this fall complements the environmental studies program at Beloit College. Rooftop: Second Nature photographs by Brad Temkin draws poetic attention to an important new movement to counter the heat island effect caused by city life. Green roofs reduce our carbon footprint and improve storm water control, but they do far more. They reflect the conflict of our existence, symbolizing the allure of nature in the face of our continuing urban sprawl. Brad says, “Rooftop suggests that through grace and ingenuity, we may be able to integrate booming urbanization with a healthier environment, and a more responsible infrastructure.” Come see landscape photography take on new meaning in Brad’s series about urban sustainability and the green roof movement. There will be a gallery talk by the photographer on Monday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 p.m. in the Hollensteiner Gallery.