Lydia Randolph will be back at Boom Days for the 10th year in a row, this time with new, figurative pieces in tow.
If her name doesn’t ring a bell, her artwork will. Randolph’s bright, colorful pieces hang in galleries and stores in Mentone and Fort Payne; she’s also painted thousands of square feet of murals all over Fort Payne, Rainsville and Crossville.
Her work can be found in places like Williams Avenue Elementary, Wills Valley Elementary, DeKalb Animal Hospital, Pediatrics Dental Village in Rainsville and Mi Casita in Fort Payne, to name a few.
She’s designed the Boom Days commemorative posters for several years now as well; this year’s will be available from the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce.
“Woodstock had a different, cool poster every year so people could collect them as memorabilia,” said Randolph. “So every year I design a special, commemorative art poster for Boom Days.”
Randolph said the 2015 poster was Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce director Carol Beddingfield’s idea.
“It’s our Confederate memorial and the American flag and the confederate flag and a million people converging there in the center,” she described. “We try to make it relevant to the times every year. I don’t have a stand either way with the monument, but today people are trying to rewrite history instead of learn from it. The flags, the monuments, the controversy — let’s just quit fighting and move forward.”
Randolph said she liked this year’s poster, but she’s most excited about her newest work — what she calls figurative pieces.
She said she moved away from that style for several years to paint animals and nature, but it’s piqued her interest again.
“They’re narrative. They bring back ghosts of the past and tell their stories,” she explained. She uses old photos, most from Landmarks of DeKalb, a historical preservation group. The painting she is currently working on is based off a photo of the Fort Payne Women’s Club in 1952, “the matriarchs of the town.”
“I feel like I see something in those people’s faces,” she said. “It’s like they’re wanting to say something, to bring back a piece of the past. I feel like that’s what Boom Days is about — a piece of our past returns.”