‘Black history is not just February’: Art & Soul in Sacramento offers healing and education through painting

Article ABC 10Kandace Redd

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Carla Wells uses art to heal. She’s the founder of Art & Soul in Sacramento. Art & Soul holds all types of interactive art events like paint and sips, paint and plays, and paint and healing retreats.

“We can process pain through paint,” Wells said. “It’s creative expression in its fullness. It’s coming from the inside and it’s put onto canvas. Art & Soul serves men, women, children and families through creative process and creative play.”

The theme this year for Black History Month is “African Americans and the Arts.” For years, African American artists have used art to preserve history, strengthen communities and educate all on the Black experience. Wells explains art can also be used to teach self-love. For her, the mission is personal.

“I was at the end of my rope in relationships,” she said. “I just needed to heal myself before I could get into a relationship with somebody else, so I dove into art in an immersive experience with myself. Now, my art is on my walls and I see the beauty, even in the imperfections.”

Art & Soul also empowers the youth through painting events at schools and throughout the community. It’s all about providing the youth with access to art education with a focus on Black culture, too.

“The students can learn how to express themselves differently,” Wells said. “It may not be just writing, reading and math but they can express and do something through art.”

St. Hope Public Schools recently partnered with Art & Soul to give students hands-on experience with painting in celebration of Black History Month. Students got a chance to learn more about painting, creativity and cultural expression.

“Black History Month is a time where we can reflect on our past, assess our present, and really dream and strive towards our future,” said St. Hope CEO Cassandra Jennings. “In education, art is important because it helps to bring out the innermost of the individual, which makes us so unique and so wonderful.”

Through Art & Soul, Wells is helping to heal, connect and educate all communities. She says every day is an opportunity to learn about Black people, history and culture.

“Black history is not just February,” Wells said. “Black history is 365 days a year.”