Painter. Women. Activist. Artist. Provocateur. Teacher. Mother. Sister. Friend. These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of Jocelyn M. Goode. Her fiery and free spirit have lead her to push the boundaries of her life and live by her own code with bravery and conviction.
Jocelyn spent most of her formative years in St. Albans Queens. Which was when I met her in the halls of the Trinity School where we endured the rigorous academic program called Prep for Prep at the age of 12. Even then her artistic talent shined and at the conclusion of the program she was placed into St. Ann’s a famously artistic and prestigious private school in Brooklyn Heights. From there she attended Amherst College and majored in Fine Arts. On campus and especially within her major she was an isolated figure as one of the only black woman. Her work was often discussed and belittled as “Black Art” and she often had to argue and stand up for herself against a hostile white male dominated environment. That only further motivated her to represent herself and her community. “When you go into museums, you don’t see a lot of black nudes, you know. You don’t see a lot of huge portraits of smiling, young black men. So part of what I do is to take what is considered ‘high art,’ but put in the people who may have been forgotten or pushed to the margins.” But if Jocelyn is anything she is a hard working fighter and therefore she graduated Magna Cum Laude, one step down from the highest honor; which she clearly deserved, yet another racially motivated slight.
Still Not Free, oil on canvas, 2002, Amherst, MA by Artist Extraordinarie1
She often uses painting as a medium to represent and reflect on society and black people’s place within American culture. She says “I tend to operate from a desire to spark intellectual, visual debates on heady social topics.” Jocelyn never shirks from that message and uses the painting medium to capture a certain place and moment in time. In 2011 Jocelyn produce a series called “Concerning the Crack” which was a double entendre with crack meaning the Crack epidemic that took place within the black community in the 70s and 80s and also the resulting Crack within the fabric of the community between the generations due to this epidemic. “I was doing a lot of community work and I worked with elders, who had so much knowledge and wisdom and stories, but yet they weren’t connected to these young folks. It was surprising that there was a mutual longing for a relationship. So from my conversations and from my photographs, I made a series of eight large paintings and I used bits of their conversations in the form of typography as elements in the portraits themselves,” She organized a one women show and received some much deserve press from NY 1 who featured her during Black History Month.
Jocelyn expanded into other realms of visual expression when she attended San Francisco School of Art as a Graphic Design major. There she won a JC Penny Competition and had her bags produced by JC Penny.
After Graduating with her Graphic Design Degree she started her own branding company J.Goode Creative Branding. J.Goode Creative Branding was commissioned to recreate Adinkra symbols from Ghana in vector digital illustrations, and then to create the layouts for the cement tiles that now line the courtyard in the newly renovated San Francisco Bayview Public Library.
Jocelyn is still residing in Oakland California and focusing on portraiture and staying active within the extensive Oakland art world. She recently produced The NYC LUV tour, a juried art competition in which artist and performers put on collaborative art shows in order to exchange experience and support one another. As part of The NYC LUV Tour “blamour” which took place at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in downtown Oakland the Artist Danny Simmons was featured and artists who entered the competition where to derive inspiration from the concept of black love. During all of this activity and constant striving she has managed to be an amazing single mother to her two little boys ages 4 and 2. She often has her children in tow during her art shows and has home schooled her children for a majority of their life. I am often in wonder of how much she gets done while raising her children on her own. As we all know a mother can be a super hero and she definitely deserves that title.
Jocelyn is a prolific and fierce artist who is constantly expanding, reaching and supporting other artist. She is currently producing the Culture Cocoa Newsletter featuring work of several up and coming artist. She is a consumate professional and incredibly creative marketer who’s branding service I highly recommend as I am a client myself.
You can find Jocelyn on her website www.goodebranding.com
Other places to find Jocelyn’s work: