SEATTLE — The Wonder of Women Gallery (W.O.W.) is under construction in Seattle's Pacific Place Mall, with an intention to educate, heal and inspire.
Very's program centers on the power of storytelling and art to help heal and liberate Black women from emotional pain and trauma.
The gallery is a merging of their two passions, but the goal is the same.
"Hiawatha's art is unapologetically vibrant. It speaks with the energy of color. A lot of us don't understand the power of color to be therapeutic and healing," shared Very. "The experience will be created in such a way that it invites you to breathe."
Set to go on display in the W.O.W. gallery is Hiawatha D.'s Iconic Black Women series, which honors trailblazers and history makers, as well as his Black Love Collection.
And the paintings just happen to fit perfectly into the old Victoria's Secret displays.
Even The dressing rooms in this former Victoria's Secret have a purpose in the new space.
"Each room will have its own theme and give each patron an opportunity to sit down and write a love letter and to learn in a space that is literally created for you to reflect, meditate or be educated," said Very.
"This is going to be different than just an art gallery. We're focusing on black people and the healing of black people. Before my gallery was about me and whatever I painted, this has a mission, a purpose," shared Hiawatha D.
COVID-19 has forced the closure of several retailers in the mall and it's a lot quieter than before the pandemic. But Veronica and Hiawatha are hopeful that the W.O.W gallery will be among the main draws to the reimagined space.
"My hope is that we have not only individuals coming here, but schools, companies, organizations, doing healing work and engaging in some of our projects. So I have high hopes for a great presence here in Downtown Seattle in this mall," said Hiawatha D.
The WOW Gallery is set to debut June 18th and 19th, to coincide with the celebration of Juneteenth.