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Elayne Goodman

Gallery at Hotel Indigo: January 23 - April 27

I was born in Lowndes County, MS in June 1940. There was already a sister and two brothers to welcome me. We lived on a small family farm from which came most of our living. My Dad owned and drove the school bus in the winter.

My education began in a four room neighborhood school. When I finished the third grade, the school was consolidated with a larger one in the county. I graduated high school in 1958.

My first job was in a factory doing production work. At age 19, I married Pete Goodman. We have two sons, Marty and Brian. I stayed home with my children until they began school. At age 32, I entered an LPN program at a community college. This opened the door to what had always been my dream job, surgical assistant. I undertook a year of self-study, took a national exam, and received a national certification in this field. I then began taking courses at Mississippi University for Women toward becoming an RN. This took three years to complete. All together I spent 10 years in the nursing field.

With teenagers, a heavy load of work and school, it isn’t surprising that I suffered a bad case of burnout. I began what I planned to be a three months leave of absence by enrolling in a ceramics class at MUW. This was something I had always wanted to do and was hooked immediately. I never returned to my nursing job, instead I sold craft projects to pay my way to continue art classes. After nine years, I received a BFA with emphasis on 3D design. I had no intentions of attempting to sell my artwork or even showing it outside my family and friends. Eugenia Summer and Mary Evelyn Stringer, two of my professors, took slides of my work and contacted a gallery on my behalf. When the gallery sold my first piece my fate was settled.

All my life I have tried every type of arts and crafts. For many years, I had purchased large quantities of used materials, beads, buttons, etc. I had no idea why I felt I had to have them. I finally discovered this was supposed to go into mixed media pieces which became my focus area in art.

Art has brought me friendships and opportunities I could never dreamed of having. Art has opened the doors to a satisfying and fulfilling career.

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