Tim Goldsmith was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Following in his father and grandmother’s footsteps, in 2012 he received a BA in Art from Covenant College on top of Lookout Mountain in Georgia. He has maintained a diverse studio and community practice working on a variety of projects in and around the Chattanooga metropolitan area. Utilizing all manner of materials found at hand, Goldsmith is interested in the process of collaboration and forming partnerships as a means for producing work that may range from traditional techniques such as painting and sculpture to mixed media portraits, installations and murals. From 2013-2017, he teamed up with a group of artists residing in the East Lake neighborhood of Chattanooga to create and curate a collection of mixed media art installations dealing with relevant topics and concerns to the community, on rotating display. In 2017, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to pursue an MFA in Socially Engaged Studio Art at Moore College of Art & Design. After completing the degree in 2019, he returned to Chattanooga where he now teaches as an Adjunct Instructor in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Art Department and working on various projects.
There is a saying by Philadelphia-based activist and author Shane Claiborne: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” Dishes are practical things, eclectic vessels for sustenance passed across a table during a meal that pile up in the sink if left unchecked. Doing the dishes then is the collaborative work and the discipline of taking care of those vessels, maintaining relationships, keeping a roof over the head, food on the table, sitting down together to ask hard questions in conversation and remembering to clean up together after the meal is over; practical self-care and the care for the other. As such, I strive to be relational, collaborative and conversational in my practice. It is for and with the person in front of me (if they are willing), an expression of both established and developing relationships and practical use. It is working together on painting a mural on an unfinished wall in a house, sharing skills like baking bread to develop installations that are then consumed during a meal, or using materials at hand to create portraiture that tells a history. My work is about sharing daily life together. It is in this kind of small scale interpersonal dialogue amidst the grit of daily life that I find the working through of revolutionary ideas and actions to be most effective and not in the hypothetical rhetoric and grandiose scale of political and social discourse. I affirm the need for revolutionary ideas and actions but I do not want to overlook the growing piles of dishes that tend to accumulate in times of distress. If that is the case, then I want my contribution to be made by rolling up my sleeves, tackling the pile, and having a conversation with my neighbor in my art.