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In the workshop carving a head circa 1978

Carving an original in soap



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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 the work."
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."

excepts from
The Eye of an Artist:
By Beverly Gage