Art is Everything! A Portrait of Elayne Goodman

Art is Everything! A Portrait of Elayne Goodman

Elayne Goodman is a visual artist from Columbus, Mississippi. While on leave from her job as a nurse many years ago, she decided to take a ceramics course at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. Her leave became permanent when she decided to pursue art as a full-time career. Her instructors at the University supported her decision, and encouraged her to to maintain her already well developed artistic style

 

 

Elayne incorporates bright colors applied with paint in beautiful and intricate designs on found materials. She also uses found objects and images to create collage works, drawing upon images of popular culture and childhood nostalgia. Neighbors and strangers alike send her objects from all over the country to incorporate in her art, including anything from jars of buttons, Elayne’s favorite material, to old dolls and cigar boxes. Elayne explains, “It kind of started in the family, and just grew out. When people would see what I was doing most people have some things that they really don’t want to throw away but don’t need for themselves. People started donating things very early on. I came home one time after being gone one day and there was a whole stack of stuff in my studio that I didn’t have any idea who had left. I found out later who had. But, even now, people send me packages in the mail. A lady in Texas sends me absolutely wonderful things and we’ve never met.”

"One woman told me that you cannot do art 'wrong,' and It was like opening a prison door."

Her studio, located at the far end of her home on property once farmed by her father, has become as much of a community gathering site as it is a work space. Like her beautiful artwork, her studio space is covered in bright colors and interesting materials. Before entering Elayne’s home, guests are struck by the large mosaic wall spanning the length of the house. The structure of the wall houses intricate sculptures, benches, and murals, all created and designed by Elayne. Elayne’s work, like the artist herself, never fail to leave viewers with a sense of whimsy and playful nostalgia.

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Amanda Malloy

Amanda Malloy

Amanda Malloy is the Visual Arts Editor at Mississippi Folklife. She is completing her M.A. in Southern Studies at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, studying visual arts of the South, and documentary filmmaking. Read more about Amanda under the Editors tab.