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Loveland People: Crazy Talented Charlie Welch

July 14, 2015

Charlie is one of my favorite friends I’ve made in Provincetown. He’s crazy and he’s talented and he’s crazy talented. He’s a set builder and prop stylist, and has worked in visual merchandising for Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Ralph Lauren and more. He can build anything, paint anything, wire anything, make a quilt, upholster a chair, design graphics, bake a delicious cookie,bake a delicious pie. In fact my nickname for him is Pie, which I’m not certain he likes but I do anyway because that’s the way we are together. Charlie also produces a collaborative book/zine. He has a wild imagination and wicked sense of humor and is well tuned to popular culture in ways I am not, and likes most things – like 80s Pop – that I don’t. But that difference makes him more fun. This summer, Pie did a fantastic job re-fitting the shop with shelves made of scrap, and painting the floor the gray-and-black pinwheel pattern that everyone loves. Loveland wouldn’t be Loveland without him. Just don’t interrupt him when he’s focused and working. He hates it, but I do it anyway because I can’t help it even when I try. Oh Pie.

 


What and when was your first impression of Provincetown?

 

I first came to Provincetown in 1997 with some friends from my gay soccer team in NY. I did not really know anything of it before then but when I arrived I thought “this is where I want to die” – not in a morbid way but more like a “this feels like home” kind of way.
 

 

Tell us a bit about your earliest creative impulses and what you made as a boy

 

As long as I can remember I made stuff – toys, games, dolls – all out of garbage, old cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, anything I could get my hands on.

 

 

 

 

Tell us a bit about your career and your hobbies

 

I’ve spent the last 15 years working as a prop stylist and set designer for fashion and still life photographers. Before that I worked doing visual and window display at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Ralph Lauren. My work style has not changed that much from when I was a boy and feel I am most creative and successful when there is less to work with. Lately I have been focusing more on my own photography – and baking pies, cakes and cookies.
 

 

What have your favorite projects been and why (professional or personal)?

 

One of my favorite work projects was the very first one I did on my own around 2000, for Dazed and Confused magazine and shot by Yelena Yemchuk. It was very free and I created the sets on site in a studio with limited materials. A more recent project was something I did for the April 2015 Anthropologie catalog where I designed and made kites that we shot in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which was so incredibly inspiring.

 

I work on a collaborative book/zine project compiled of collages, paintings and photos with my good friend Paul Moreno, called KNOWSGAY.

 

I also have curated three book projects, two based on the sea and one based on love. I collected submissions form all around the world based on loose themes and then design and print small edition booklets of the images.
 

 

What do you dream of doing next?

 

Right now I am focusing on some personal photography projects, one based on stories from my childhood. Last summer I took a workshop at the Fine Arts Center here in Provincetown with David Hilliard and it really gave me a boost to think more about my personal work, which has been on hold for a while.

 

I dream about opening up a pie shop. I love baking, but I also love eating, and if I could get rid of some of the things I bake then I wouldn’t eat them all myself.

 

Someday I would like to open a community arts space that would serve as a gallery, shop and provide affordable workspace and workshops. This is a project that I have had in my head for over ten years now and I actually feel that soon it will start to come closer to a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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