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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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Bela Roongta

  • Art
  • Design
  • Literature
I am an Art Professional I am a Design Professional I am a Literary Professional

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Contact Info
belabela
2510 E Capitol Dr
Shorewood, WI 53211 Un

(414) 745-1575
belabela@mac.com

artist bio

I am a self-taught artist, storyteller, and business owner. In 2016, I was awarded the Governor’s Special Recognition Trailblazer award for Women in Business for my innovation and success in sharing my experiences as an immigrant woman through my art. Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to parents of east-indian descent, I spent my first 6 months in Dar es Salaam, the next 10 years in London and the rest of my life here in the United States.  We moved quite a bit with no real connection to my east-indian roots. I assimilated, eventually graduating with a Juris Doctorate.  I practiced law, began a family, and advocated on behalf of domestic violence victims until something deep inside demanded that I explore where I come from and who I am. That search led to my first illustration and story drawn, written and inspired by what is now the lens through which I see the world— my love for the east-indian art of henna. Just as the hands and feet provide a living canvas for the art of henna, my art lives through the clothes we wear, the blank pages on which we write and draw, and the homes we live in. My art is my East meets West.


artist statement

Drawing free-hand with pen on paper, each of my designs is inspired by my east-indian roots and love for the art of henna. Captivated as a young girl by this ancient art form, I bring it to life through detailed, original line drawings. I then play with words until they fall into place capturing the stories my designs tell--stories that capture the universal moments of hope, fear, disappointment and love that we all share. My designs and their stories are then captured digitally and printed onto stylish, easy-to-wear clothing, limited edition prints, greeting cards, and can now be found in my book, "...fill in the beauty, a book for the storyteller and artist in all of us". I draw and write for those who, like me, seek a deeper connection to themselves and the world that surrounds us.