Sign for Peter Monacelli's Artist Talk in conjunction with his "We Are One" show at Richard Margolis Studio
Sign for Peter Monacelli’s Artist Talk in conjunction with his “We Are One” show at Richard Margolis Studio

We were at the Anderson Arts Building an hour early for Pete Monacelli’s talk. Plenty of time for a walk down Atlantic Avenue, under the railroad bridge on Culver and back up University Avenue (UR was originally located on this street). We even had time for a cup of coffee at Scratch Bakeshop.

Pete started his talk by reminding us we are all matter that can only be rearranged. He referenced the Nebula for Walt Whitman and Joni Mitchell’s “Stardust” and then the caves in Altamira, Spain that GK Chesterton wrote about in Everlasting Man. Those ancient drawings were with Casin, the same milk based paint that Pete used in the pieces in his show, “We Are One.”

He recapped his Renaissance Man bio. He studied to be a Chemical engineer. He worked as one meat cutter, an insurance agent and then a carpenter, a career he found to be as fulfilling as being an artist. He taught art classes at night at MCC for thirty years. Of course he is also a musician and one of our best friends.

He missed last spring, the lilacs, the whole thing. He went in the hospital for what he thought would be three days and didn’t come out for five months. He had a near death experience, “went into a crack where everyone was content.” He looked around and decided not to stay. He filled three books with drawings in his hospital bed. Art took away the pain.

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