Wells Fargo commissions original art depicting African American experience


Wells Fargo & Company recently commissioned Atlanta-based artist Keith Rosemond II to create six original illustrations depicting the African American experience. The personal stories were selected from #MyUntold℠, the company’s online-storytelling collection which provides the African American community an opportunity to share stories reflecting their cultural identity. Wells Fargo will surprise the six storytellers with Rosemond’s original illustrations, and feature additional designs from Rosemond on debit and credit card designs through Wells Fargo’s Card Design Studio® service.

“We’ve collected hundreds of stories through the #MyUntold campaign. People are genuinely moved by the opportunity to have their voices heard and become part of a movement that deepens cultural awareness,” said Lisa Frison, vice president, African American segment strategy leader, Wells Fargo. “We continue to explore new ways to connect with communities in meaningful ways— and in this case we’re excited to support local artists like Keith to help us bring these rich stories to life in other mediums.”

Rosemond has formal training as an illustrator and graphic designer from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has an appreciation for both traditional and contemporary art. According to the artist, he creates artwork that blends two great passions: spiritual growth and music. “I am honored to work with Wells Fargo to memorialize some of the inspirational #MyUntold stories,” said Rosemond. “The intersection of oral and visual storytelling is powerful and I’m proud that my artwork is associated with this program.”

One of the first featured storytellers is Ross Oscar Knight, who shared his struggles with overcoming cultural adversity and a speech disorder in grade school. “It was so embarrassing to explain my thoughts only to end up tripping over a pile of words,” said Knight in his #MyUntold story.

Rosemond depicted Knight’s story through a pen-and-ink illustration of how a teacher helped him overcome stuttering with the gift of a disposable camera and an assignment to chronicle his daily life. This was a turning point for Knight who noted: “As I referred to the images as visual cues I was able to speak clearly! That’s when I fell in love with the transformative power of photography.” Today, Knight works as an international photographer and speaker.

“I’ve always enjoyed drawing inspiration from poetry and abstract thoughts, so hearing stories like Ross’ and having the opportunity to dig deep and find the underlying meaning was great. Through this experience and the #MyUntold platform I have learned that history is being written now and so many people have so many stories to tell,” added Rosemond.

Wells Fargo also commissioned Rosemond to craft three original pieces for customized debit and credit card designs, inspired by the spirit of the stories on the #MyUntold platform.

Designs include:

• Look Up: mimics stained glass, with aspiration and optimism coming to life in a card design that represents an enduring will to live an inspired life and to inspire others.

•Family Bonds: symbolizes the strength and unity that holds the African American family together.

•Hip Hop Legacy: reflects the birth of a culture. The “boom-box” design celebrates the influence of hip-hop on all facets of American and global culture – from music, to dialect to fashion, and beyond.

In celebration of Black History Month, customers can now order customized debit and credit card designs featuring exclusive art from Rosemond through Wells Fargo’s Card Design Studio® service.

Customers with eligible debit and credit cards can simply sign on to wellsfargo.com to access Card Design Studio® (Untold Stories Collection category in the Image Library) and choose from one of three designs.

“Great care went into developing each design,” said Candace McCullom, vice president, marketing program manager, Wells Fargo. “Our team worked closely with Keith to ensure the imagery celebrated very important aspects of African American culture. We are beyond excited to release the designs to customers, and grateful to extend the #MyUntold experience in an innovative way as the nation honors Black History Month.”

For more information about the stories that influenced the art, or to share your story, visit www.wellsfargo.com/myuntold.