The Old Print Shop

Larry Welo

b. 1951

A BA in Art and Biology from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in 1974. He is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA); Audubon Artists, New York, NY; Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, Milwaukee, WI; The Print Consortium, St. Joseph, MI. Welo’s work is in the collections of the New York Public Library, New York, NY; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Minnesota History Center (Minnesota Historical Society), St. Paul, MN; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; among others.

"Looking is something that I was born with.  Seeing, and communicating what is seen,is something that has been learned.” 

VIDEO: Interview with Larry Welo

Statement from the artist:

When my career began in 1974, I learned by doing.  Northeastern Iowa is a visually stimulating place, and, living there, I drew the things around me.  The places that I drew became the subjects of my etchings.  It became more than drawing places, however.  My survival was determined by what I made.  Evolving from looking at places came seeing.  Seeing meant that from daily observation and translation through drawing, I developed the skill of looking at  the world in terms of two-dimensional design.  Ideas are of great importance, and, as an artist, being able to communicate those ideas is of the greatest importance.  This is something that I have attempted throughout my career.  Looking is something that I was born with.  Seeing, and communicating what is seen, is something that has been learned.

My mother emigrated from Norway to the United States after the occupation of World War II.  Leaving the rest of her family behind, she eventually found employment in northern Minnesota.  There, she met and married my father, the son of Norwegian immigrants.  I was born in 1951 and grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota on the iron range.  I studied art and biology while a student at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Determined to work professionally as an artist, I decided to focus on etching, and, after graduating from Luther in 1974 began my art career.  Art fairs and galleries interested me as venues for my work.  After beginning my career in Decorah, I relocated to Minneapolis.  While living in Iowa, I met my future wife, Patricia, and we were married in 1978.  Minneapolis was our home for eighteen years.  It was an exciting time in an exciting city.  We were dedicated to raising our three children and pursuing our careers.

In 1994 we relocated to southern Wisconsin, attracted by a smaller community and an environment that was similar to the one we had grown up with.  My career has shifted away from participating in very many art fairs, and, at the present time, I am represented by and dedicated to working with several fine art galleries.