Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beatles Sculpture Exhibit by Rande Kessler

Artist Rande Kessler
The topic of my blog this week is an exceptional person who is multi-talented and embodies an unmistakable spirit. Rande Kessler, among many other important things, is a gifted artist. He has displayed his art in a one-man show at the Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, Louisiana, and has shown his art at Louisiana's Melrose Arts Festival among others. 
Kessler's latest Beatles mixed-media sculptures will be on exhibition at the new Grammy(R) Mississippi Museum, April 1-2 in Cleveland, MS. It is a great honor to call this gentleman a friend and after reading about his life's work, you will agree that he is living a charmed life, though with much work and perseverance! Rande answered a few questions and I hope you enjoy learning about this accomplished man.

Rande, please give us a little background on yourself:

Like my new Beatles sculptures, I'm a bit of a mixed-media myself! I actually have two separate personal life-pursuit components; one as a "Navy Diver- Engineer- Business Professional," and the other as an "Artist - Musician -Song Writer." My undergrad degree is as an engineer -  BS (Ocean Engineering by degree but also mechanical, project and process by application). I graduated from the US Naval Academy and then qualified in Navy Special Operations, Deep-Sea Diving and Salvage, At-Sea Rescue and Surface Warfare. After that I worked for Michelin, starting as an engineer, then into production, logistics and HR management and then as a Plant Manager (we made aircraft tires at my plant) and picked up my MS degree while in Alabama. I retired from Michelin after 20 years. I've also flown jets and jumped out of perfectly good aircraft.
After Michelin I started and ran a company called Advanced Coastal Technologies - we did shoreline property protection and erosion control for several years with a patented product. I did a very short stint in Oil and Gas, and now I am the State Director for the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers network. Louisiana is my Oyster, or Crawfish, as it were. My wife Jude and I have moved over 30 times around the country, both coasts; and I have been all over Europe (Navy), in the UK (Navy and Beatles), Costa Rica (coastal project), and in UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai coastal projects). I was the coastal engineering consultant for a project in Turks and Caicos.

Tell us about your life in art:

In my other life, I have played the guitar since I was twelve, played in a few bands up into college, learned piano later on. I write and record songs - have done a CD called "Preferred Risk"; one of my songs I entered into an International Songwriting contest years ago and came in the top 10% of the entries! And I have a certificate to prove it!! But no cash. Bummer. Still waiting for that recording contract...

What do you enjoy the most?:

"She Loves You" by Jude Southerland Kessler
I have always loved art - I do mostly pen and ink; started drawing buildings/houses when I was at USNA and have done quite a few commissioned pieces since then. I have also painted in oils and water color and have done a lot of photography and some T-shirt designs. I also did a contemporary airbrush mural over about 2400 square feet of wall space using scaffolding (of which I almost fell off!) I am not really a portrait artist, but as you know I did the cover for She Loves You (done in charcoal and pencil). I took all the author photos of Jude for her three books.

"Dark Horse" - by Rande Kessler
I really enjoy oils but that takes a lot of time and have only done a few. Pen and Ink is my specialty (very much a form of engineering-art drawing) but unlike oil painting, it is very unforgiving. One time I spent days drawing an architectural building for an attorney and then spilled my ink bottle on it! Had to start over - after all the swearing, screaming and crying died down...
I've also done a lot of "southern" drawings - houses, scenes, crawfish, etc.
"Our John" - by Rande Kessler
My latest endeavor is mixed-media sculpting. I've done "Our John," "Bass-ically Paul," "Dark Horse," and "StarRing." Each one depicts bits and pieces of the fab four singularly and including their Beatles after-life as well. I tried to touch on many of their individual traits and pursuits and be subtle sometimes for fun. I used paper clippings and mache', drawing, painting, woodworking, photos, antique scraps, wire, plastic, various instrument and object parts, and seat-of-the-pants engineering. When observing each sculpture, if you know the "Beatle," you'll see the clues. If you don't know the "Beatle," you'll think I must have been smoking something strange and stumbled into a landfill....
"Bass-ically Paul" - by Rande Kessler
I am not doing a formal presentation at the GRAMMY symposium, I will just be drifting about, basking in the fame, signing autographs, and wearing comfortable shoes.
I get to combine all my traits (except SCUBA diving) and love working with Jude Southerland Kessler, Lennon Biographer and cat-lover, on her book edits, presentations and sales, and I hang out at the Beatles' festivals. I get to be marketer-advertiser, business manager, presentation technician and roadie all at the same time. I have an occasional beer, and most importantly get to be at hotels on a date with a hot Beatle biographer. 
Rande & Jude Kessler

Our motto? "Have you heard about the book?" 
My motto for the sculptures?  "Give Pieces A Chance."

Don't miss Kessler's exhibits at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, Mississippi - a short drive from anywhere!

APRIL 1 - 2, 2016
Cleveland, Mississippi

The Grammy Museum in Cleveland Mississippi and Delta State University are presenting "GRAMMY Beatles 2016: From Cavern to Candlestick" 
Grammy Museum - Cleveland, Mississippi
Musician Cameron Hicks
Headlining the event are distinguished Beatles authors: Jude Southerland Kessler and Ivor Davis. Artists Rande Kessler and Enoch Doyle Jeter, Ken Orth, authors Dr. Kit O'Toole, Dr. Candy Leonard, Anthony Robustelli and Bruce Spizer. My presentation will include teen musician Cameron Hicks, who will play "Savoy Truffle"! Former Beatles Fan Club President, Freda Kelly, will appear as well along with viewing of the documentary about her experience in that role"Good Ol' Freda."
It is going to be a Beatles lover's dream -- right in the Mississippi Delta where the blues originated and we all know how much The Beatles were influenced by the blues. 
The Grammy Museum is brand new and it is spectacular! Check out their pics on their website & Twitter. Get tickets now, they are going fast!

Follow on Twitter:   @GRAMMYMuseumMS
On Facebook:   GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Hurry now & order your tickets here:


Enjoy "Hey Jude," a terrific Beatles tribute band. I had the opportunity to meet musician Rick Bedrosian (George Harrison) in New York City on a John Lennon Tour given by Susan Ryan. He is a huge Beatles fan and will be sponsoring tours to Ireland and Greenwich Village very soon. He is also the leader of a world renowned Irish rock band: Hair Of The Dog (and they are awesome!) Check out Rick's website and the delicious videos of "Hey Jude."



Rick Bedrosian
October Eve Music
PO Box 2
Delmar, NY 12054

Hey Jude
Hair Of The Dog

Don't forget to check the Recipe Records Store! 

Lanea Stagg
blog:  www.rockblocks3.blogspot.com
radio:  www.blogtalkradio.com/reciperecords


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