Meet Ashley Bella
Ashley Bella (Daramola) was born and raised on the south side of Atlanta, GA. She is the Founder of ArtzyBella Studio + Shop, a socially responsible art studio providing commissioned art services, art classes+parties, and art-based products inspired by Therapeutic Art Practice.
Ashley’s passion for using art, design thinking, and creative problem solving to advocate for improvements in mental health services, has helped her develop partnerships with schools and government agencies nationwide.
Ashley is a self funded independent visual artist, using her work to create immersive experiences through the manipulation of interesting 2D and 3D materials that tell stories visually.
Ashley is currently working with the ArtzyBella team, her network of Mental Health Professionals, and Technologists to explore innovative ways to fuse the arts (visual art, music, and film), psychological research, and technology to solve complex mental health problems in our communities.
In the News
“MY WORK IS INSPIRED BY THE AFRO FUTURISM MOVEMENT, EXPLORING MY EXPERIENCE AS A WOMAN OF AFRICAN DESCENT LIVING IN A COUNTRY FOUNDED EUROPEANS, STOLEN FROM NATIVE PEOPLE, AND DEVELOPED BY MY ENSLAVED ANCESTORS. THE WORK IS A DEPICTION OF THE PHYSICAL IMPLICATIONS ADOPTING A STANDARD OF BEAUTY THAT BY NATURE I CAN NEVER LIFE UP TO. IN THE MIDST OF THE CHAOTIC MENTAL FORTITUDE NEEDED TO EXIST IN A COUNTRY THAT CONSTANTLY REMINDS ME I DON’T BELONG, I MUST FIGHT FOR TRUE INNER PEACE AND AN INNATE WILLINGNESS TO GO-EXIST AND LOVE HONESTLY. IT CAN ONLY COME BY REJECTING WHAT WAS FORCED ON ME, INTROSPECTING AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE WAY I WAS MADE.
IN TRYING TO DISCOVER HOW TO BUILD A BRIDGE BETWEEN BLACK AMERICANS HERE AND AFRICAN PEOPLE IN AFRICA, I FOUND THAT THE BRIDGE IS AN INTERNAL ONE, STARTING WITH A MINDSET SHIFT. MY WORK EXPLORES THAT SHIFT. MY WORK IN MENTAL HEALTH AND BY STUDY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT INSPIRES THE COLOR PALETTE AND MATERIALS I USE. THEY ARE MEAN TO ENGAGE AND INVOKE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE, TESTING THE LIMITS OF HOW FAR ART CAN CONNECT WITH US INTERNALLY.
MY INSTALLATIONS AND THREE DIMENSIONAL WORK IS MEAN TO BE A DISRUPTIVELY INTRUSIVE AND IMMERSE MAGNET FOR THE AUDIENCE TO EXPERIENCE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BLACK IN AMERICA AND HAVE AN UNWANTED AND UNNATURAL IDENTITY FORCED ON YOU WHILE ATTEMPTING TO STILL LOVE AND LIVE IN HARMONY WITH OTHERS.
SELF DISCOVERY AND INTROSPECTION LAY THE FIRST STONES IN THE BRIDGE BACK HOME.