Nov 16, 2012

You Don't Have To Die, a Retrospective of Work by John Edward Welch

(Newport News, Va.) - Work by Edward WelchSelf-taught sign painter-turned-folk artist John Edward Welch worked in obscurity until 2010 when his work was exhibited in the Ricco / Maresca Gallery in New York City. A critic wrote, “One of the most exciting new discoveries in the field of self-taught art, Welch’s vibrant work is sure to attract both admirers of contemporary folk art and aficionados of unexpected — and completely unwitting — forms of postmodernist, pop-cultural expression, wherever they may arise. A true original, Welch is considered an important new find by folk art aficionados.”

Welch's art combined his interest in African-American history with his skills as a sign painter, creating poster-like works that become biographic portraits of some of the most important and influential figures in politics, entertainment, sports and events in history. A longtime resident of Newport News, Welch died in 2011 at age 90.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. This exhibition is free and open to the public and will be on display through Dec. 12, 2012. For more information, visit

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

Media Contact:
Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations

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