Dot Goodwin was born at home, in a rural farmhouse in Chatham County, North Carolina to a farming family. When times became too tight, her father left farming to join the military, only to return to it once WWII was over. After another unsuccessful attempt, he reenlisted in the military, and the family began to move to various bases around the country.
Dot recalls that some of her earliest interest in art was doodling endlessly on her schoolwork – much to the dismay of her teachers. She finally found her niche when the family was stationed in California during her high school years. The arts program was so advanced there, she was able to take two and three art courses a year, though out her high school career. The family moved back to North Carolina where Dot began to consider a career in the military as well. She had become familiar with the crafts shops on various bases and knew that there was an opportunity for a guaranteed duty station as an Arts and Crafts Specialist, so she pursued the option since military bases were a familiar and comfortable environment to her.
Dot served three years at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, returning to the Art Shop as a civilian for seven more years. There she became proficient in many media and techniques; ranging from lapidary and leather crafting to wood carving, embossing, and die-making and casting. She began her journey as a master framer throughout those years as well. Many of the GI’s were happy to share their knowledge of techniques learned from all over the world with her, and she was an eager and apt student.
As an active member in the arts community, Dot tirelessly volunteers her time to support others in their artistic pursuits. She has spoken to the local Artist Association on numerous occasions, conducts workshops at Springbank Retreat Center, and currently serves as Art Director for the Downtown Camden Guild, spearheading many efforts to bring local artists and their art to beautify the town. She has also sat on the Art Steering Committee for Pinckney Elementary School, an ABC Pilot School for the arts, at Fort Jackson, SC since 1995.
Dot calls the Artists’ Attic, a cooperative gallery/studio that she shares with other professional artists, her home away from home. There, she spends most of her waking hours creating her one-of-a-kind dies and carvings, preparing for the biannual Craftsman Classic show, which she has participated in for 27 years. Her work is often showcased in the co-op’s gallery area, and is also available through The Chameleon Art Gallery in Darlington, SC. R & J Designs in Spartanburg, SC also markets her work.
Today, Dot delights in noticing the symmetry and balance of her life coming full circle. She once again makes her home in the country on a farm with her horse. Here she is content to surround herself with the inspiration that nature daily brings to her, living the life she loves and loving the life she lives.
The Artist Statement
When I was a child, I wanted to draw. My grandmother would give me a large piece of paper and let me go. I remember getting in trouble for drawing in class instead of taking notes; but those symbols held the memory of what was spoken by the teacher. Even years later, I can look at those symbols and remember those words. They take me back to that moment in time.
My art today is very iconic and spiritual. There is a story to be told in every piece. The feeling of creating; the idea or image I feel form in my head, takes me to a place of being lost and found at the same time.
The artistry and orchestration of calling the piece forth from the unknown; the spirit of the process as it comes together forming my creation propels me to the completion of it. The movement when I perceive the work has breath – I know it has come to life. The feeling it also gives to the person that looks upon it, completes the circle.
I work in various media, using found objects, combining multiple originals I have designed and created of precisely sculpted pieces – resin cast in relief. I control the entire process from the artistic sculpting to the highly technical aspects of mold making and final castings by doing them entirely by myself. I feel that way, the attention given throughout the process and expertise required to complete my piece also plays a big part in the artistic and spiritual feel that is so important to my work.
930 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020
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Sat : 10am–1pm