Goodie’s work on display at Artiszen Cultural Center

02/03/17 by By Richard Freedman, Vallejo Times-Herald

Vallejo’s treasured artist Cleve “Goodie” Goudeau may be gone, but more than 100 pieces of his work remain — and many will be showcased through February as part of Black History Month at the Artiszen Cultural Center downtown.

Goudeau, a pioneer in developing greeting cards featuring African Americans, worked on his craft up to six months before he died at 83 on Jan. 15, 2015, said Jeannette McCree-Goudeau, his wife of 63 years.

Goudeau had the ability to do everything from fine art to advertising graphics and portraits. But it was his greeting cards he enjoyed most, his widow said.

“He really loved the greeting cards,” said McCree-Goudeau. “The girls in particular.”

She added that her late husband really enjoyed sketching, especially children.

“People who see his work, especially if they’re into art at all, are drawn to it,” McCree-Goudeau said. “They feel good about being around the work like they felt good about being around him.”

As much as McCree-Goudeau is thrilled that “Goodie’s” work is being displayed, it’s been a painful week after she broke two ribs in a fall.

“I curated the show, but won’t be able to do anything” at least for a few weeks, she said, eliciting the assistance of Sherrie Prewitt.

The famed greeting cards might be part of the exhibit, McCree-Goudeau said, “if I can coach them (people at Artiszen) over the phone the way I’d like them to be.”

McCree-Goudeau brought in some special guest artists to complement the showcase, including Earl Stevens, Bryan Keith Thomas, Nana Quame Enninful, Melanin Buford, and Derike Smith.

It might be good if some day there’s a permanent location for some of Goodie’s work, McCree-Goudeau said, but an art gallery or museum would prove expensive. Perhaps, she agreed, a bank, restaurant or another venue might put a few of Goodie’s pieces up. “There are some people saying there should be some sort of collection or shrine somewhere,” McCree-Goudeau said.

She added that made the right move in keeping so much of Goodie’s art.

“I look at it and enjoy and let some go,” she said.

Sure, there are some that she can’t part with.

Then again, “at the right price, everything’s for sale,” McCree-Goudeau said, managing to laugh through the pain of broken ribs.

The art of Goodie Goudeau is showcased through February at the Artiszen Cultural Center, 337 Georgia St., downtown Vallejo, as part of Black History Month. For more information, (707) 649-8984.