Odella Welch is a painter residing in Columbus, Ohio. For all of her adult life she hasbeen a compulsive doodler. She doodled when talking on the telephone, when listening, thinking, and on anything available, be it a scratch pad, an important document, a tablecloth, all were targets for her doodling whenever and wherever there was time and space. She would doodle during public hearings about serious issues such as gun control, police brutality, and during the controversial debate over building a downtown mall. The final doodle represented the emotion of the moment.
Her doodling caught the eye of a fellow cabinet member, an architect, who was fascinated by the geometric design of her doodles. He secretly collected them, had them enlarged and framed, and persuaded her to exhibit them at the local community college.
Odella did not call herself an artist but explored several avenues for expression of her “art.” She screen printed on fabric for pillows, she took sculpting classes, a class in “observational” painting at the Columbus College of Art and Design and replicated her doodles in clay.
It would be many years later when an artist friend persuaded hertopaint her doodleson canvas and offered her use of space in his gallery to develop her first painting completed in 2004. He taught her the mechanics of selecting, stretching and priming canvas. He then handed her a brush and tubes of paint and said “ doodle.” It was under his coaching that she began to identify herself as an artist and it was at the KIACA gallery where she discovered her love for working with oil paint. Hergreatest joy comes from selecting and combining colors that represent her feelings at the time of the painting. Her art has been shown in Ohio and in Pennsylvania.
At the age of 9, Odellamigrated with herfamily from a small coal mining town in Eckman, West Virginia to Ohio where she later married and raised four daughters. Odella has a strong belief in continuing education and after her youngest daughter left for college, she returned to school herself, receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She was named a Littauer Fellow for academic and leadership excellence.
In addition to enjoying painting, Odella is known as a creative interior decorator and enjoys designing and making earrings. She served as the longest tenured board member of the King Arts Complex for Performing and Cultural Arts and was a founding member of the KIACA Gallery.