GOLDEN BOY Dale Goode tackles urban issues in sculptures with a special glint

The wall reliefs Dale Anthony Goode turns out might well serve as altar pieces in Jimi Hendrix’s electric church. Fashioned from the detritus of his Hough neighborhood, they also evoke shrouds, embedding random urban cast-offs in large works that seem to want to break free.

Dale-Goode and Fork Over My Love-Carlo-Wolf-Photo

One of six Cleveland artists to be showcased in next year’s FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, the tall, wiry Goode scavenges his surroundings for whatever fits his vision. Once he feels the ingredients have reached the right proportion and weight, he puts them together. As icing, he sprays them with auto paint in shades of gold, copper and bronze. Goode has focused on these gleaming inner-city testimonials for 10 years.

Abandoned fences are a common starting point for his recent wall hangings.

“Once I take the fences, I rebuild them, replacing missing wood, like an armature,” said Goode. “Once I get these substrates built and they’re sturdy enough, I start applying the fabric and different materials—pitchforks, shovels, clothes, shoes, hats, old mop heads I use for hair, sailors’ caps, ice skates, roller skates. I first lay the pieces out before I make them permanent. I position them to where they’re going to look—it’s all spontaneous—and each piece takes on a life of its own.”

He said his “baroque ecclesiastical sculptures” express the faith he absorbed attending Elizabeth Baptist Church in his native Kinsman neighborhood. “They have this religious-type quality to them.”

Goode grew up as one of four boys and six girls. A graduate of East Tech High School and Hiram College, he took courses at the Cleveland Institute of Art and is finishing graduate studies at Kent State University. He has worked in a variety of media and once created a mural for boxing mogul Don King. On his Facebook page, he calls himself a professional artist and photographer, and his sculptures are of a piece with his photos of abandoned and vacant buildings in the Midwest. Goode cites Illinois artist David Hammons and German artist Anselm Kiefer as key influences.

His work has been collected by the Akron Art Museum, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, the NAACP of Cleveland and the Butler Institute of American Art.

Selection to participate in FRONT “could be a career-maker,” Goode said. International artists, art dealers and representatives, worldwide media, collectors, museum directors and curators will be exposed to local and regional talent represented right alongside work of national and international artists.

“They will have to recognize this,” Goode said. “They can’t ignore this.”