Life-long North Carolina resident Jerry Goodnight (pictured in 1984) was born in Hickory where he completed high school in 1959 before spending two years in the Navy. He was stationed in Cuba, and there he started painting as a way to pass time. Returning home, he earned a degree from Appalachian State University and taught art at the high school level for many years.
Goodnight credited Mickey Whitener Coe, HMA's second director, with encouraging him to continue with his art, beginning in college when he would get discouraged. “Mickey Coe is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me” he said in 1984. “She kept me up when I was down. She … would give me pep talks.” He both exhibited and taught at HMA, including a workshop on kite-making for children.
Goodnight first became known for his portraits, such as of U.S. Senator Sam Ervin, Jr., but said “My attitude toward art is that it is an experimental thing. I don’t see any reason for doing art if you are not experimenting.”
The aggressively mirroring Spoons is one of the works featured in the new HMA show (January 13 - March 11, 2018) "Playing with Light: Reflections from the Hickory Museum of Art Collection." The show illustrates how artists use many different surfaces to depict reflections: water, mirrors, windows, and even spoons. It is also a reminder that HMA has collected artwork since its inception and continues to collect.
Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since March 2015.