Arts and Entertainment

Art Focus: Beth Randles

By Denebola
Published: September 2008

By Erica Rose

For South senior Beth Randles, art is an integral part of life. Her medium is anything she can put her hands on, from oil paints to linoleum cuts. Her subjects include anything from her own reflection to a simple, yellow shoe.

“I have been interested in art as long as I remember. I always loved to draw in class and do silly craft projects at home. I also took art lessons and went to art camps every summer at the New Arts Center. It was always something I enjoyed and was interested in, Randles said.

Randles has come a long way from her summers at the New Arts Center, and now takes classes at the Museum of Fine Arts and the DeCordova Museum.

This past summer Randles even participated in the Rhode Island School of Design’s six-week summer program. Through the program Randles grew aware of her inherent connection to art.

This past year, Randles also went to the Art All State in Worcester, MA, a statewide program where two nominated high school students spend a weekend with professional artists.

Yet, even with all the nominations and honors, Randles’ real satisfaction comes through the process of creating art.

“Strangely enough, some of my favorite times have been staying up really late working on art. I love the stillness and satisfaction of working on art late at night. Especially over the summer, when I was at RISD, I would stay up late with a friend from my dorm and we would try to keep each other awake all night by running around the dorms, dancing to over-energetic music, and taking early morning walks at five or six in the morning, Randles recalled.

Besides her friends and family, Randles finds inspiration in two of her favorite artists, Frida Kahlo and Peter Doig.

“I think that Frida’s eccentric ways and self-portraits are wonderful. I have always wished that I dressed like Frida. I love Peter Doig’s style as well; he uses huge canvases to do beautiful oil paintings with strange characters and surreal situations. Both artists use a lot of symbolism to represent pieces of their lives, Randles said.

Randles does not yet have a major theme to her artwork. Currently, she describes her work as experimental, a process in which she strives to find her voice.

Although her art has become more than just a hobby, Randles still immerses herself in a wide variety of classes and programs.

A dedicated student, Randles currently takes AP Studio Art, AP Physics, Honors Neurobiology, AP Calculus AB, and Art History. She is also the Co-President of Newton Educational Workshops, and the vice-president of Water Aid International Club.

Despite Randles’ passion for art, she does not plan to attend formal art school.

“I used to toy with the idea of focusing only on art, but as I am finishing high school it is clear to me I need academics as well as art. I want to go to a liberal arts school which is strong in fine arts and science, especially biology, she said.

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