In the workshop carving a head circa 1978
Carving an original in soap
[9 of 10]
Kenny Goodman got
started as a silver sculptor because he hated the beach. Goodman
began carving in order to entertain himself as a visitor to Fire
Island more than 25 years ago. "I did this because I could."
His silver creations flowers, faces, symbols have
become known around the island as "Kennys." Countless
Fire Island teenagers and young adults wear them around their
ankles, necks, and wrists. Even Lynda Engstrom was wearing one.
"Everyone has one," she says. "All the kids discovered
Goodman believes that the popularity comes from the "strong
sense of individuality" he puts into each piece. "I
intend them as nurturing. It's a way to find yourself, figure
out who you are," he explains. "Hopefully your parents
will like them also."
"Keep an Open Mind," a side profile of a head with a
curved, open brain and a question mark for an ear, is one of the
most popular Kennys. But while Goodman attaches specific messages
to some of his pieces, he emphasizes that the message can and
should change from individual to individual. "They can change
names, call it whatever they want," he says.
A special-education art teacher during the year, Goodman hopes
that his summer work encourages the youth to follow their own
creative dreams. " Hopefully I've influenced them to do what
they can do," he says. "I like touching their lives."
The Eye of an Artist:
By Beverly Gage