Bela Suresh Roongta is a Milwaukee-based visual artist, writer and storyteller. Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to East Indian parents, Bela became a United States citizen more than 20 years after immigrating with her family, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and practicing law for 10 years before becoming an artist. As a solo and group exhibitionist as well as the recipient of the Governor’s Special Recognition Trailblazer Award for Women in Business, Bela has been recognized for innovation and success in art and storytelling. Her art is guided by her immigrant experience and work as a lawyer and advocate for those impacted by domestic violence. As a lawyer, it was her job to listen, capture, and give voice to her clients’ often intimate stories. Listening to and capturing these stories left her in awe of the human experience and our capacity to endure. It is this insight, understanding and sensitivity that Bela brings to her art practice. She makes art, writes stories and curates experiences that explore and capture the complexity and beauty of the human spirit.
Bela is a published author, featured speaker & poet, writer, community activist and volunteer lawyer. Her art has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and Canada and she is the creator and facilitator of journaling, henna and chai work-shops & events for mission-driven individuals, communities and organizations working for and on behalf of arts & culture, community building, human rights and wellness.