What do Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and the Georgia Museum of Art all have in common? They all love and own works by folk artist Elayne Goodman.
Goodman didn’t always have a base of celebrity followers. She came from humble beginnings, born in 1940 in Columbus, Mississippi. Growing up on a farm outside Columbus, Goodman always had a knack for creating unique object, but never considered her work “art” as she had never seen anything similar to compare it to. She spent much of her adult life supporting her family as a surgical nurse but soon returned to school to study her real passion: art.
Goodman credits some aspects of her work to having been born during the Great Depression. During this era, materials were limited, and people had to work with what they had, an influence that continued even after the US economy recovered. She continues to use anything available—wood, fabrics, paint, buttons and beads—to make her art. She can take even the simplest object and turn it into something colorful and intricate.
Today, she has created more than 3,000 works of art and continues to make more. The Georgia Museum of Art is fortunate to have one of her pieces, “American Flag,” detailed with buttons and beads and currently on display on the Patsy Dudley Pate Balcony.