Opening reception Friday for multimedia exhibit
Newport resident Luke Randall is an artist who has learned to trust his ideas and honor his intuitive impulses. His newest work demonstrates an unrestrained flexibility with both materials and ideas, and his immersion in the classical arts give a sense of discipline to work created in an environment of experimentation.
Randall’s innovative ideas will be on display for the next month at the Jamestown Arts Center, beginning with an opening reception on Friday, March 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. His multimedia exhibition will feature fine art, crafts and inventive machinery without boundaries. The diversity demonstrates Randall’s versatility and his ability to work within many forms of expression with a wide range of materials.
“Artists tend to become known, or well known, for their work in one genre, but often work in many,” Randall said. “Throughout my career I have been primarily active as a fine art painter. I have learned that the disciplined nature of craft is integral to the successful making of anything. This realization has motivated me to take part in the ongoing history of traditional American craft as part of my continued involvement in the fine arts. The tendency is to think of craft and fine art as separate. However, the more I am involved in this work I realize how strongly they are connected. They continually inform each other in ways that are not always obvious. The presence of the artist is the force that binds them.”
Randall’s work is informed by 25 years working both as a fine art painter and a tradesman in the decorative arts. These new paintings, black-andwhite photographs and decorative tole work all evince classical technique. The exhibit will illustrate his reverence for traditional American craft. Even Randall’s pioneering machines are evidence of his appreciation of form and functionality in the age of industry.
“Growing up in an industrial society, I have been a witness to products constructed en masse,” said Randall. “I want to be a part of this industrial miracle. When we talk about Swiss watches or tools made with American steel, we, as humans, can be proud of our accomplishments. There is something amazing about things made well, whether they are made in a factory or in a small workshop. Without the devoted hand nothing gets finished.” The arts center has amassed a thoughtfully curated collection of Randall’s art and invention – from portraits to meticulously hand-dyed hooked rugs. Randall’s prowess in the world of decorative arts has provided a technical platform for him to launch his singular imagination into new multimedia work that is both curiously warm and wildly vibrant.
Along with his artwork, Randall will present a short audio and visual performance based on his ongoing involvement with electronics and music. The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on opening night.
“The performance aspect of my work is something that has grown out of my involvement with electronics,” he said. “Many of my inventions are designed with attitude and energy shifting as a primary intention. The impetus for sharing my work through presentations is driven by a need to illuminate certain concepts relating to transformation of attitudes and perceptions. These presentations are a necessary component of the work.”
Gallery hours for Randall’s exhibit are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through April 11.
“I am interested in making objects. I am part of a history of making. I amplify things I believe in,” he said.