Black Arts Festival kicks off Friday

Posted at 6:46 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 19:46:48-05

A cultural celebration of art takes center stage this weekend in honor of Black History Month. The 2017 Black Arts Festival gets underway Friday.

Della Wells will exhibit some of her work. The folk artist often sells out of her pillow dolls. The whimsical figures come with a story.

"I started making dolls 17 years ago. I wanted to go back to my childhood. Being a young African-American girl I mostly had white dolls," explains Wells.

Fatima Laster is a mixed media and contemporary artist. She describes her piece, which hangs on the wall behind her. It depicts the price women pay when it comes to police brutality.

"It's not just about black men. You're victimized too, don't abandon yourself," explains Laster.

Evelyn Patricia Terry is a longtime Milwaukee gallery owner and artist.  She shares miniature art books she will feature at the event. Terry describes her journey into art as a profession.

"I was looking for what I could do in the world that I would like and enjoy. How could I fit someplace. Art helped me fit in my own private world," says Terry.

But the Wisconsin Black Arts Festival is not only about visual art. Event planner Sasha Parsons promises there will be something for everyone.

"We're bringing this to shine a light on all the talent in the community. We're going to have visual artists, spoken word artists, singers, dancers and musicians. We'll bring all facets of the arts together."

The Wisconsin Black Arts Festival is sponsored by the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce.  It takes place Friday February 17th thru Sunday February 19th at the Wisconsin African American Women's Center on West Vliet. For more information go to

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