Racine-based artist, Kelly Witte, graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside, Somers, in 2010 with a BA in studio art with concentrations in printmaking and painting. Witte takes a maximalist approach—creating
kitschy and vividly colored pieces inspired by vintage clothing, classic television sitcoms, and frequent excursions to thrift shops and flea markets.
Witte has volunteered her talents to public art exhibitions and large-scale mural projects in the Racine and Kenosha communities. In addition to exhibiting extensively in Southeastern Wisconsin, she has exhibited across the United States and in international venues, including the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and Australia. Witte’s artwork is held in several private collections throughout the United States and she has had her artwork featured in publications such as Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and The Columbia Chronicle.
My series, Decade Daydreaming, is a vivid and excessive celebration of my interest in vintage clothing, hairstyles, décor, and sitcoms. In my work, I use various combinations of linocut and serigraph prints, watercolor, and transparent acrylic inks. Each piece consists of decorative patterns and sweet hues partnered to create kitschy compositions of glamorous women adorned in fashions of bygone eras.
The love I have for vintage items began early. I grew up in a 1963 ranch style home that had all of its original fixtures and décor. I adored wandering down to the basement to rummage through the collection of vinyl records, admiring their album covers. During these years I was enthralled with classic sitcoms such as I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. My repeated exposure to these throwbacks of a by-gone era had me yearning with nostalgia for what I was never able to experience firsthand.
Through my suite of prints, I am able to combine my favored media with my love of vintage attire.