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Lake Oswego artist awarded best of open show prize at FOTA

What was the difference in Mark Randall winning top prize in the open show at the 2013 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts?

Was it perhaps the giant finger pointing straight at the viewer? It is a true attention getter. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Mark Randall displays Photo Opp, his prize winner at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. He used common objects to make an uncommon work.

Whatever the reason, the judges found Randall’s “Photo Opp” the best of the open show at the 50th Festival of the Arts on June 21 to 23.

Randall was extremely pleased. And also relieved.

“I’ve been entering the open show for 20 years,” Randall said. “It was really fun to win. Also surprising.”

Randall pulled out all the stops in producing this piece. It is a mixed media work involving images, found objects (like a pair of women’s shoes) and recycled corrugated steel. He used varnishes to create the “old sign” look and used an old frame.

“I reflected back to the pop artists of the 60s and 70s,” Randall said. “It has a lot of collage items. It favors photographers like Roy Lichtenstein.”

In the artist’s statement about Randall, it concluded, “The vibe of the work reminds him of an old sign left crumpled and decaying by the side of the road.”

Randall used a lot of ordinary items to make this particular piece.

“It was exciting to see a Lake Oswego artist succeed like this,” said Jan Rimerman, who was curator of the open show for the 22nd consecutive year. “Mark missed last year’s show because he was out of town, so I was glad to see him back. It has been exciting to see him continue to grow as an artist.”

Now 57 years old, Randall fell in love with art when he was in junior high school and has been making artwork ever since. He was never really away from it due to his profession as a picture frame maker. However, at age 50 Randall began taking his art more seriously than ever, placing his work in shows and galleries.

A resident of Lake Oswego since 1982, Randall has been a strong supporter of the festival for years.

“I really like the festival,” Randall said. “It has introduced a lot of people to art and it has given a lot of artists a chance.”

Randall’s work can be viewed on the following web sites: elroyartspace.com, matteroly.com or on Facebook.

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