ABOUT the ARTIST
"For me art has always been
something of a means of travel
a way to go places, see things and indulge the
vagabond in me. As a child we never had the resources to travel much or very often so I
frequently hit the open road in my mind. As a kid I found I could sail the high
seas, battle fire-breathing dragons, fly jet planes, engage in countless shoot-outs with
desperados or invading armies
all on a sheet of paper. In my early teens I began to
work toward a career in commercial art --ideally as an illustrator. I never knew anyone
could make a living as a fine art painter so I thought a commercial career would be as
close as I could get.
However, all that seemed
lost when, at age 17, a paralyzing spinal cord injury instantly changed my life forever.
At first all I could do (literally) was shrug my shoulders. During my months in hospital I
was forced to adapt and find new ways to do virtually everything imaginable. Even though I
have never regained the ability to move my fingers, I eventually recovered to the point
where I could move my left arm enough to write, draw and paint once again. The ability to
express myself artistically was indispensable to my recovery and every day thereafter.
Despite being in a wheelchair since 1972, I can still go anywhere I like by jumping
into one of my magic windows. I might wander down a country road toward a forgotten
bridge or country store. The next I may be exploring an abandoned Victorian house, a
church or an imaginary castle. Art continues to be my all access" passport to
places I visit are sometimes real, often imaginary or a combination of both. Regardless, I hope youll feel youve
been there before!
Randy Souders is a graduate of the University of Texas at
Arlington and has been a full-time artist since 1978. As owner of SOUDERS FINE ART he has
published over 100 editions which are collected by thousands of people worldwide. For 40
years, Randy has created artworks for both individual collectors, charities and
· Walt Disney Company
Since 1990, the Disney company has commissioned Randy to create paintings featuring their
world famous landmarks and characters. Disney reproduces his paintings as limited
edition prints and other collectible merchandise which they feature in various locations
throughout their theme parks, resorts, and galleries. His works --when available-- also
appear on the Disney.com
website. His paintings have been transformed by Disney into limited edition prints and
posters as well as such things as greeting cards, Bulova carriage clocks and watches,
limited edition pin sets, expensive Limoges (fine china) dinnerware and other collectible
items. He also the only artist commissioned to create the limited edition poster for each
and every Official Disneyana Convention. That was an annual gathering of
approximately 2,000 Disney enthusiasts from around the world. Collector demand at this
event was so strong that his posters typically sold-out within 48 hours or less.
· Kraft/ General Foods Randy created two
paintings that were featured on over 3 million Maxwell House collectible
coffee cans. Each featured a special label and color insert offering a coffee mug with the
same painting. Proceeds benefited Very Special Arts. A congressional reception was hosted
in the LBJ room at the US Capitol building.
· State Farm Insurance Beginning in 1993
Randy was commissioned to create a series of "Good Neighbor" paintings featuring
nostalgic scenes of Americas heartland. One entitled Main Street Memories was created
their annual agency sales program. He provided them with approximately 10,000
framed and boxed prints (10 semi-trailer loads) which were awarded to agents who achieved
performance goals set for the year. State Farm featured the image on the home page of
their website. They also created various other collectible and promotional products.
Notably, they engaged the Department 56
company to create a reported 50,000 3-D lighted versions of Randy's painting which were
made available to their agents --slightly above cost we were told-- as premium
gifts to clients. The series reportedly sold out rapidly and a second version of
"Fire Engine No. 1" was also created based on that one painting.
· MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
(in partnership with Turner Entertainment) Randy entered
into a joint venture to create entertainment themed works based on imagery from the
classic MGM movie library. His first assignment was to create a definitive view of the
Emerald City from
the "Wizard of OZ" starring Judy Garland. Randy is the only artist known to have
been granted artistic license to paint the Emerald City from a side view. His painting was
used to produce in a limited edition of 300 lithographs which were sold through "The
Art of Entertainment Gallery" at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. His
painting "formally approved" by author Roger S. Baum, the great grandson of
OZ creator, Frank L. Baum.
Community Service and Advocacy
· The John F. Kennedy Center's "Very Special Arts" From
1990 thru 2005 Randy served on the national board of directors of VSA Arts (formerly
known as "Very Special Arts"). VSA it is an
educational affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington,
DC. VSA was founded in 1974 by JFK's sister, Ambassador Jean Kennedy
Smith, with the purpose to provide arts and education programming for youth and adults
with disabilities around the world. During his time he helped oversee their organizations
across America and in as many as 90 countries worldwide. VSA annually serves over 7
million people of all ages and abilities who, through VSA programs, participate in every
aspect of the arts from visual arts, performing arts, to the literary
arts. Randy's fellow board members included a "who's who" of some of
the best known people in the arts, politics and corporate America. VSA won an Emmy Award
for its production entitled "From the Heart." Randy was featured in two
nationally televised programs VSA documentaries produced by Kara Kennedy Allen. She filmed Randy
in Washington DC, New York, at Disneyland and in his Fort Worth studio. The films were
entitled "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION I & II." The first was hosted by Academy
Award winning nominee and Golden Globe winning actress Marsha Mason. The second film
was hosted and narrated by Faith
Daniels --former talk show host and anchor of the "CBS Moprning News."
· Chronicles of Courage Randy was profiled in
the book "Chronicles
of Courage" published by Random
House. He was interviewed by his friend and patron Jean
Kennedy Smith (former US Ambassador to Ireland) and renowned journalist, author,
literary editor, the celebrated co-founder of The Paris Review, occasional
actor, movie star and television personality George Plimpton. Together they
co-authored the book. A full page excerpt from Randy's story was reprinted in PARADE
Magazine (which, at the time, boasted a weekly readership in excess of 80 million
nationwide). He was photographed in his studio by Pulitzer Prize winning
Adams. >Click here to read the
· "An American Collection" Randy was
commissioned to create a painting commemorating the 200th anniversary of Washington as the
United States Capitol. This painting is still touring the world as part of an exhibition
entitled "An American Collection" To date, it has been exhibited at the Royal
Museum in Tokyo, the Hanoke Museum in Japan, the Royal Museum in Brussels, as well as in
New York, San Francisco, Alabama, Connecticut and many other museums and venues.
· Art in Embassies Program Since 1992, Randy
was selected to participate in the US State Departments Art in Embassies
program. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith requested one of his paintings to be on exhibition
in the US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland. Randy received letters of appreciation from
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and others.
· Yamagata Fellows Institute Randy has been a 5 time juror
of the prestigious international Yamagata Fellows Institute for visual arts (a
collaboration with the Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC). Each year the three person jury
selected candidates from around the world to come to the United States for study and
· International VSA Festival Randy was a representative of
the United States delegation to the 1991International Very Special Arts Festival in
Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China). In addition to exhibiting his artwork, he was a
featured speaker and trainer to several hundred delegates in attendance.
· Call to Rise Randy was a co-founding member of
the Call to Rise exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida. The event
was sponsored by Humana Corporation and Very Special Arts and attended by VSA founder Jean
Kennedy Smith (seen here with Randy).
The jury included J. Carter Brown
(longtime director of the National
Gallery of Art), Barbara
Haskell (curator at the Whitney Museum of
American Art) and internationally known contemporary artist Frank Stella. Mr. Souders was
selected to have a painting included in this prestigious exhibition.
· Nestle´ Very Best in Youth
Program Randy served the juror for the Nestle´
Corporations Very Best in Youth
program. This national program was established by Nestle´ to award scholarships and
grants to young people and groups who had achieved excellence in arts, athletics, and
community service. Randy attended the
official ceremonies at the US Capitol as the guest of Nestle´. His fellow jurors
included Olympic gold medalists Bruce
Jenner and Bart Connor.
News and Interviews
Randy has been featured in dozens
of newspapers including USA TODAY Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many
other state, local, and national publications.
Randy has appeared in magazines
such as American Artist, Southwest Art, Art West, Art Business News, Collector's Mart,
Collector Editions, Collector's Showcase, Decor Magazine, Prints Magazine, Southern
Living, Texas Monthly, Texas Homes, Disney Magazines, Parade Magazine among others.
Randy has been the subject of many
television stories and news reports. In fact, two local news interviews were picked
up and broadcast globally several times on CNN and CNN "Headline News." The latter
ran his story every two hours for an entire day as their "Looking Up" feature.
Collectors across the nation reported seeing these. One even saw it in an airport in Hong
Kong. In the late 1990's Randy was an "on-air" vendor with the Home Shopping Network at their St. Petersburg, Florida
broadcast center. At the time HSN was available to 90% of the homes in America.
Commissions & Collections
Randys works are to be found
in the collections of the The Walt Disney Company, MGM Grand, State Farm Insurance,
Maxwell House, Maytag Corporation, Norman Rockwell Museum (Philadelphia), Humana
Corporation, Texaco, Texas Instruments, Southwestern Bell, Coca-Cola, Frito Lay, Harris
Medical Systems, Continental Medical Systems, Dallas Rehabilitation Center, Cooks/ Fort
Worth Childrens Medical Center, Texas Historic Foundation, Bank One, Justin
Industries, Shield Medical, Sheraton Hotels, and many more.
The White House, US Capitol, John
F. Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Texas State Capitol, Texas State Fair (3 million
visitors), Orlando Museum of Art, Very Special Arts Gallery (Washington, DC),
International VSA Festival- Taipei, Taiwan; University of Hawaii, University of Texas, at
every "Official Disneyana Conventions" (Florida & California), -- plus over
300 gallery events, public exhibitions, and one-man shows.
All names, titles, trademarks, images and likenesses are the
copyrighted property of their respective owners. They are used here for informational and
historical purposes only.