Lynn Goldsmith is a conceptual artist, best known for her work photographing celebrities. For almost twenty years, she’s been a part-time resident in Old Snowmass, and she’s had her personal collection of rock photography on display at The Lynn Goldsmith Gallery in Basalt.
Next year, she’s packing it all in and heading to Nashville.
Goldsmith was on her way to City Market when she went out on a limb and bought her studio in Basalt’s Mid Valley Design Center.
“It had been a high-end tile store and the lighting and everything was here, so I said, 'Oh, it can be a gallery!'"
Looking back, Goldsmith calls the decision “mentally insane,” but insists the space has served her well over the years. She recalled the gallery’s second show, where Hunter S. Thompson showed up.
“And this place was packed," she said. "This girl took off her clothes, he put her underpants on his head, he burned the underpants, everyone was saying, 'Oh my God, this place is back like in the old days of Aspen,' and it was a really wild great party.”
The rock and roll photography was selling, so she kept the party going. The Lynn Goldsmith Gallery features her work and that of her contemporaries which she’s acquired over time.
Many pieces, she said, are hard for her to let go of.
“That’s a George Harrison’s album cover for 'All Things Must Pass,'"she said. "It’s signed by the photographer Barry Feinstein. And Barry was a friend of mine and Barry passed away. So I’m not that motivated to sell it.”
There are even pieces she’s regrets selling at all.
“One with David Bowie and this, like, ferocious dog," she recalled. "I sold it, and, to tell you the truth, I’m sorry I sold it. I want it back!”
But Goldsmith has met people who she can tell the work means more to than it does to her.
“I’m more apt to let it go," she said. "I do enjoy helping others to understand the value of what it is that they’re getting.”
Next year, Goldsmith plans to relocate to Nashville. She’ll keep the gallery online, but is ready for what she calls a pattern interrupt.
“I’m not someone who is desirous of having a career as a gallery owner," Goldsmith said. "I desire to have a career as an artist.”
She also said it’s easy to feel isolated in Basalt, due to the way the town is structured.
“I can have much less effort in other places and have more success," she said. "It takes more work for me here.”