Many times since Lyndsay’s award was announced, people have remarked to me that they are drawn to her infectious, joyful fascination with the world.
We wouldn’t find this characteristic unusual in a child, but we do in adults. Somewhere along the way we grownups lose our true wisdom and become frightened and guarded. We take up the notion that only material things provide success or happiness, and cease feeling free to express the joy and love we naturally displayed as children.
But Lyndsay has hung on to, and injected her joy into her gallery, along with her innate capacity to GIVE. She’s splashed it on the walls, put it up on pedestals, and thrown it into her work. She’s curious, hopeful, philanthropic, creative, and an explorer. Just as we delight in a child’s newest discovery, so do we delight in seeing what Lyndsay will do next.
We are all connected here, and it seemed natural and organic to ask those of you who admire Lyndsay to contribute your own thoughts for this occasion.
How she moves us. How she influences, brightens and enriches our lives.
So, what follows are excerpts from your letters—somewhat edited for time—that speak to Lyndsay’s contributions to our whole community, by way of her contributions to the arts.
Because that’s what it’s all about, right?
I’d like each person whose story I read to raise his or her hand and be acknowledged.
So here, in your own words, is Lyndsay:
“Lyndsay is a multi-faceted phenomenon of apparently boundless energy, excellent taste, a well of courage and determination, a gift to Jackson– to art initiates and “new-comers” alike–a genuine pro with a ready, honest welcome. That’s been my experience for as long as I’ve known her.”
“Lyndsay has created an amazing forum for artists and audiences; for myself, as a contemporary artist, she is always supportive and willing to embrace my visual and performance ideas. This definitely comes from her heart.”
“It is rare to find entrepreneurial skills, creative genius, and a heart beating fast for social justice all in the same person; however, that is Lyndsay McCandless to the core. We are extremely fortunate to have her be a part of our community.”
–Mickey Babcock, Equipoise
“She is the first gallery owner I know of to hang a show—the writer and artist Robert Shetterly’s “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” — where no works were for sale; Lyndsay simply liked and believed in what the paintings were about. Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams brought Robert out to The Murie Center to teach, and his show was up at Lyndsay’s during this time. She is not afraid to take a chance or openly celebrate a political cause. She is a great example to the rest of us.”
“The function of art is not to decorate our homes and museums with pretty pictures.
Its function, and the obligation of artists in society, is to struggle to understand the nature of our humanity and purpose.
Artists can’t do that by themselves. They need gallery owners who have the courage to show the art that most searchingly investigates our sensibilities and souls. Without that we avoid knowing who we are and, more importantly, how we must change to live responsible, honest, moral lives.
Lyndsay McCandless is one of the very few gallery owners that I have known with that courage & willingness. She gives courage to artists to tell the truth in their art.
Hope for the future, unless it is merely sentimental, depends on that courage and commitment.
My congratulations to Jackson and to Wyoming for honoring her. ”
“Lyndsay McCandless events rate 4 stars on the redneck scale of gallery openings. I give her a ‘4’, because her openings lack hors d’oeuvres with red meat.
Also, nude portraits at Lyndsay’s are too abstract to show any of that subject matter’s critical detail!
She does supply beer, though.
Since Lyndsay specializes in contemporary art (paint splattered on canvas) it’s easy for the art novice to feign cultural superiority, and impress chardonnay-sipping, sophisticated-disorder, bohemian art chicks.
Simply say, about a particular painting, “I’m glad
someone is willing to reinterpret metaphor as it relates to post-modern minimalism!”
“This work is disappointingly predictable, yet I find its unabashed ideological confrontation refreshing.”
Contemporary art is subjective, so if someone disagrees with your comments, you need only assume a sardonic pose, and, rather than sneer pretentiously at their pretentiousness, just give a wink, chuckle softly, ….. and mention your condo in Chelsea.”
–Mike Bressler, aka ‘Clyde Thornhill’
“Within moments of meeting her, one realizes that Lyndsay intuits art’s spiritual essence, and that it is her own magnetic energy attracting others into her sphere.
Lyndsay is known for her habit of pushing boundaries, a hallmark of innovative people. When asked to supply sculpture for the Western Governors’ Conference, she elected to stretch the envelope. She led with pieces of strong sexual connotation, and instead of scattering the pieces and diluting the message, she created a powerful grouping with inescapable impact.
Convention? What convention?
At the Women’s Sustainability Conference, Lyndsay spoke about art’s role in our intricate, human kaleidoscope. She gave an impassioned, personal account of her interaction with an outdoor spiral jetty that embraces air, water, and space; her spiritual exhilaration became part of that installation.
We are lucky to dance with her on this planet. ”
Thank you all, for taking the time to write these wonderful testimonies; thank you to the Cultural Council for honoring Lyndsay McCandless.
Lyndsay, you strengthen us immeasurably. Congratulations and THANK YOU.