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Please touch the art: Iowa artist explores disability rights in her multi-sensory work

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

If you’ve spent much time in Des Moines or Iowa City, you're probably familiar with some of the work of artist Jill Wells.

She is the artist behind stunning and moving murals in both cities including "Future" on the walls of the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families in Des Moines and "The Oracles of Iowa City" on the Capitol Street Parking Ramp in Iowa City. She creates smaller works as well and has an exhibition called "Feel" on display at Plymouth Art Gallery at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines through July 3. Wells joined Charity Nebbe on Talk of Iowa to discuss her works, a series of multimedia-sensory artworks exhibited in Belfast, Ireland as a 2022 Harkin Institute Artist Fellow, and her advocacy and mentorship through the Artist X Advocacy program.

Later in this episode, Charity talks with 2022 Artist X Advocacy mentees Sabah Koko and Jack Marren.


  • Jill Wells, artistmentor, 2022 Harkin Institute Artist Fellow (Inaugural Artist Fellow) exhibiting a series of multimedia-multisensory artworks in Belfast, Ireland at the 2022 Harkin Summit. Funded by BRAVO Greater Des Moines.
  • Sabah Koko, Artist X Advocacy mentee 2022
  • Jack Marren, Artist X Advocacy mentee 2022

This program was originally produced on June 2, 2022.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.