1101 Williamson St.  Madison, WI
"Coffee makes me nice"

Art Archive - 2006

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Show Dates: 2006-11-01 - 2006-11-30
Title: Magic Theater
Artist: randy e welch
Artist's Statement:
A little over ten years it has been since I first laid eyes on Upper Madisonia. Ten years since the first time I parallel parked my breezy blue '68 VeeDubya microbus out on Willy Street and decided right then and there that this was most assuredly the place I was destined to habitate. Indeed. I wasn't a painter back then although I must have had it in me. I just didn't know it yet. I didn't know it ‘til I set my bleary road weary eyes on one of the most amazing houses I have ever seen… 1334 Williamson Street, Mona's House – The Wayhouse of Light… At that point everything changed. It was different back then, the house and the street. The house was a living, breathing museum of everything real, bonafide, unpretentious and non-glitzified about art. The house practically SCREAMED out to me that if I really wanted to make art, Live Art, I could, and should, proceed to just do it - using whatever material I might find in a dumpster, on the curbside, on the street, in the local thriftstore, etcetera… and pretty soon after that, that's exactly what I did. I am doing it still.

A little less than ten years have passed since I had my first art show at Mother Fools… It was my first exhibition ever – the place I got my first serious feedback, and some of my first sales, as an artiste. Mo' Fools was pretty new at that point too – and one of the most exciting, funky, little cafés I had frequented in all my travels and travails across the planet. It was, and still is, a great place to hang-out, drink some exquisite life-giving, fresh-brewed joe, listen to wild-bohemian hipster music, and argue the philosophically inane. It is a little reminiscent of some displaced J.P. Sartre Parisian existential haunt – with a Ken Keysey-an Merry-Prankster twist. Serious Fun - kinda silly-sophical, one might say. Anyway, my paintings took on a whole new life of their own hanging on those yellow walls – walls so full of light and magic - the show was a defining moment for me and went a long way in encouraging me the continuation of my craft. I had finished a canvas, right before the show - a birdseye view inside the coffee house. At the end of the month-long engagement, I bartered the painting to Jon and Steph for a lifetime of Mother brew. Cool deal – the painting hangs there to this day. And the coffee is still really good.

Ten years ago, at Mother Fools, I had my first date with the Gypsy Woman - Leigh, the extraordinary woman who is soon to become my wife. Yep, on Halloween we're going to finish tying the knot - on our tenth anniversary - togetherly walkin' the path. She read my Tarot cards that first date at Mother Fools, and I guess she was in them. We lived together on Willy Street for six years before we bought our own house downtown. We don't get down to Mo' Fools nearly as frequently as we would like – but it will continue to forever be supernaturally significant in both of our lives. The place our love was born.

And now it's ten years later and I have another show at Mother Fools. I am very excited about showing my collection there again. I am honored to be among the first artists to be repeated for an exhibition. It's kind of like going home.

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