Valencia M. Goodwin, a native of Hopkins, SC, believes that "like life, in Art, there are no mistakes, only magic." This is the motto she lives by as a mother, Creative Visual Artist, Art Instructor, model and owner of her own creative arts company, SoulSweet Avenue.
Since the age of three, Valencia has been drawing. She can recall in elementary school completing a "When I Grow Up" form. Her top five options were to be the most famous artist in the world, become a fashion model, have her own art school, make art for the rest of her life and have lots of children.
It was during her years as a student at Lower Richland High School, under the instruction of Mr. John Johnson Jr. that she realized the uniqueness of her gift. He influenced her to further her education and pursue a career in the arts. In 2001 she won the Black History Poster Contest with an illustration titled, 'My History', which is one of her most popular pieces to this day. Once her name was called as the winner she knew what was her life's purpose...to tell her truth, her history, OUR story, share our beauty and culture with the world and leave a legacy.
Valencia's drawing and illustration skills were further enhanced with one-on-one instruction from the late Mr. Larry Lebby for a few years after high school. Through Mr. Lebby, she learned how to draw realistically, life skills, and the importance of patience and family.
It was in 2003 that she found a new passion for painting at Benedict College, a Historically Black College and University in Columbia, SC. Tyrone Geter, John Wright, Gina Moore heavily guided Valencia to impact the masses as a visual storyteller. There she had an opportunity to design and paint a mural for the Renaissance Foundation's Windows Project. One of the murals can still be seen when driving Downtown Columbia on the corner of Taylor and Sumter Street.
In 2006 she began her internship with the Auntie Karen Foundation as a graphics designer and grant writer. The position afforded her the opportunity to illustrate the 'Olivia Gave A Hug' book written by Karen Alexander. In 2007 Valencia obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
For years, your favorite artist has used her work experience at various creative arts and design companies, as a customer service representative and a bartender as a learning experience to fine tune her business operating skills. Valencia currently balances being a mother to two young creative geniuses, Soul Shakur and Pharoh Heru, teaching Art through the Auntie Karen Foundation, modeling with Locostrut Runway, and operating her own business. SoulSweet Avenue provides a variety of creative art services.
As the sole creative artist and art instructor, Valencia offers painting workshops, hosts private paint parties, produces murals, original works of art and designs for personal and professional environments. She has murals all around Richland County, SC, especially the Lower Richland Community at The Cottle Strawberry Farm, The Smooth Quick Convenience Store, Hopkins Middle School, Hopkins Elementary, The Old Bethel A.M.E. Church, and many more to come.
"I know and understand how vital it is the keep the arts strong in our communities", Valencia says.
Art is Valencia's first love. She is Art! Art was once her escape but is now her freedom to express herself visually and teach her children and art babies to express themselves as truthfully and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
For more information, contact Valencia Goodwin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at SoulSweet Avenue, on Instagram at Valencia M. Goodwin, and on Twitter @SoulSweetV.
Since 2003, The Auntie Karen Foundation has presented the annual Young Entrepreneurs Conference. This innovated conference brings youth from across the region together to foster economic empowerment. Valencia Goodwin was a featured as a young entrepreneur 2006. She recently returned to serve as an instructor at the 2019 Conference. The Auntie Karen Foundation is a global, 501(c) 3 charitable corporation based in Columbia, SC. To learn more about the Auntie Karen Foundation, visit www.auntiekaren.org. #thinkbigknowbigger ###