Reading & Introduction to the Art of Henna with Bela Suresh Roongta

Sunday, June 4, 2017, 3:30 pm-6 pm


Free to members or with admission to the sculpture garden. (Henna will be applied on a first come, first served basis.)

Meet Bela Suresh Roongta, the founder and designer of belabela and author of …fill in the beauty, a book for the storyteller and artist in all of us. Born to parents of Indian descent but raised in the West, she wanted to know more about the India from which her family came. So she left her legal career, family, and friends to travel to India where she lived with her extended family, worked for a human rights organization, and learned the art of henna. Back in Milwaukee, she began a business that featured her original henna-inspired designs on clothes: “Just as the hands and feet provide a canvas for the art of henna, I want my art to live through the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the stories we write.”

…fill in the beauty contains Bela’s hand-drawn designs, each one telling a story inspired by her life experiences as a woman, mother, friend, advocate, and artist. More than a reading and book signing, this event places Bela’s stories and drawings in the context of a participatory introduction to Indian culture. Stop in from 3:30-4:30 pm to have intricate geometric and floral designs applied to your hands by a henna artist, and sample some Indian treats. Bela will begin her talk and slideshow at 4:30 pm.

Books and tee-shirts featuring Bela’s designs will be available for purchase.

About Bela Roongta

Bela Suresh Roongta, the daughter of parents of Indian descent, graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Philosophy and then went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. After graduating, she moved to Milwaukee where she practiced law for six years. Then, leaving her legal career, family and friends behind, Bela traveled to India where to learn more about her roots. Upon returning to America, she continued her advocacy work at the Task Force on Family Violence. But this left little time for henna, until late one night when she put pen to paper and drew her first design, after which she launched belabela. Bela Roongta is the recipient of the Governor’s 2016 Special Recognition Trailblazer Award for Women in Business and her designs can be found throughout North America and beyond.

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