This year, Forest Avenue Library's online celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will feature artist Jill Wells as our speaker. In 2021, she painted the mural 'Future' at the Evelyn K. Davis Center. Please register in advance to get the Zoom link for the program.
Iowa based artist Jill Wells is best known for her dynamic and colorful narrative paintings investigating race, history, stereotypes, accessibility and human experiences. Born 1980, in Des Moines, Iowa, Wells was raised in Indianola, Iowa. She studied at Drake University (BFA 2005). An award-winning artist, Wells has been in practice for more than 20 years, with public and private works in Iowa, California, Mississippi, Arizona and New Orleans. Her artwork is represented in the permanent collections of: The Center of Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One, The City of Iowa City and The University of Iowa, Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, Disability Rights Iowa, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, The Annette Nature Center, Blank Park Zoo, Polk County Jail (west wing) and Creative Visions Human Development Center. In 2021 Wells was the recipient of the Iowa Arts & Culture Resilience Grant for the development of her mentorship program, Artist X Advocacy [A.X.A]. Additionally in 2021, Wells was selected for ARTIST Inc. Fellowship and was a TEDx speaker on the powerful impact of public works of art. In 2020, Lavender and Lime profiled Wells in an online published portrait manifesto series, Black Lives Matter Portrait Manifesto and gained a fellowship in the Iowa Creative Incubator at Mainframe Studios. Currently Jill Wells serves on the Board of Directors for The After School Arts Program and works as a full-time Artist.