Artist House Tour: Dorothy Tanner Illuminates Westminster Home With Transcendent Artwork

Photography collage of artist Dorothy Tanner at work.EXPAND
Photography collage of artist Dorothy Tanner at work.

Indie design blogger Jeanne Connolly loves to see how creative people put their houses together. In this series, she shares some of her favorite homes, taking us inside unique private spaces in Denver and beyond.

Dorothy Tanner harnesses light and sound to transport her audience into another realm of reality. Her transcendent artwork and sound create a surreal perspective that glows at her studio/event center, Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery. But her 2,800 square-foot home is also full of light and love, and that's where we caught up with Tanner to talk about her art.

Dorothy Tanner in media room at the house.
Dorothy Tanner in media room at the house.
"Golden Chalice" by Dorothy Tanner, one of a new series of tabletop limited-edition sculptures.EXPAND
"Golden Chalice" by Dorothy Tanner, one of a new series of tabletop limited-edition sculptures.
Creatures From Left Field , Lakewood Cultural Center. Pieces by Dorothy Tanner (left to right): "Messenger," "Alien Princess," "Lester" and "Jabberwocky."EXPAND
Creatures From Left Field , Lakewood Cultural Center. Pieces by Dorothy Tanner (left to right): "Messenger," "Alien Princess," "Lester" and "Jabberwocky."

Westword:  What is your artist medium?

Dorothy Tanner:  Plexiglas, light, video, music.

Where can we find your artwork?

Online at Dorothy Tanner or Lumonics, on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterTumblr and You TubeLumonics Light & Sound is located at 800 East 73rd Avenue #11; call 303-568-9406.

Photo collage of Dorothy Tanner with her work. Photo credits to Barry Raphael, Jeanne Connolly and Lumonics.EXPAND
Photo collage of Dorothy Tanner with her work. Photo credits to Barry Raphael, Jeanne Connolly and Lumonics.

What’s in your artist toolbox?

Sheets and cut-offs of clear and colored Plexiglas in various thicknesses, table saw, band saw, oven, router, sandblaster, acetylene torch, LED light modules and fabric.

Photo collage of neighborhood.EXPAND
Photo collage of neighborhood.

What’s your neighborhood?

Hyland Greens section of Westminster, a suburb north of Denver.

Favorite thing about that neighborhood:

Hills, lots of trees and flowers.

Is there a hidden gem in your neighborhood?

Paths for walking along streams, surrounded by foliage.

Dorothy Tanner took "Serendipitous" home to "live with" until she made final changes; it was in Creatures From Left Field at Lakewood Cultural Center.EXPAND
Dorothy Tanner took "Serendipitous" home to "live with" until she made final changes; it was in Creatures From Left Field at Lakewood Cultural Center.

Best local creative resource:

Various items from hardware and fabric stores, along with local packing material, have been incorporated into the art.

"Spires" light sculpture by Dorothy Tanner, "Galactic Trio" lighted wall sculpture by Mel Tanner, dining table by Dorothy Tanner, chairs and couches by Dorothy and Mel Tanner.EXPAND
"Spires" light sculpture by Dorothy Tanner, "Galactic Trio" lighted wall sculpture by Mel Tanner, dining table by Dorothy Tanner, chairs and couches by Dorothy and Mel Tanner.
There's illuminated wonder at every turn in Dorothy Tanner's home.EXPAND
There's illuminated wonder at every turn in Dorothy Tanner's home.

Do you rent or own your home?

I rent the home and live communally with friends who have been part of the team for many years: Marc Billard, Barbara Ungar and Barry Raphael.

Dorothy Tanner's bedroom.EXPAND
Dorothy Tanner's bedroom.
Bedroom sculpture by Dorothy Tanner.EXPAND
Bedroom sculpture by Dorothy Tanner.
Bedroom art by Dorothy Tanner.EXPAND
Bedroom art by Dorothy Tanner.

Do you create your art at home?

The light sculptures are created at the studio in Denver, but we use the house basement as a video and music studio. We create video and some of the music for the sound and light performances at Lumonics.

Define your home’s style:

The home is filled with lighted wall art and free-standing light sculptures that are the source of the illumination for the entire house in the evening. We also built the furniture: chairs, sofas, and tables.

What are your favorite artistic touches?

Many of the sculptures reflect light on the walls and ceilings, which creates a unique ambiance.

Ambient light created by Dorothy Tanner works.EXPAND
Ambient light created by Dorothy Tanner works.
Illuminated magic by Dorothy Tanner.EXPAND
Illuminated magic by Dorothy Tanner.

What inspires you about your home?

The view of the back yard and its very large trees, and observing the scurrying cats, rabbits, squirrels and the birds that visit.

What are your guest’s reactions?

They smile a lot.

Bedroom with work by the late Mel Tanner.EXPAND
Bedroom with work by the late Mel Tanner.
Home of Denver artist Dorothy Tanner.EXPAND
Home of Denver artist Dorothy Tanner.
Bedroom with art by Dorothy and Mel Tanner.EXPAND
Bedroom with art by Dorothy and Mel Tanner.

Did you indulge in any of your rooms?

I use the home to get another view of the pieces I have completed to further inform me of their effectiveness. I have mainly utilized the walls for my late husband Mel Tanner’s lighted works, which gives variation and adds to the effectiveness of the space.

Best design advice?

Keep it simple.

What’s your favorite time of day to create?

Late afternoon is when I find myself. Mornings are for contemplation and meditation.

Bedroom furniture by Dorothy Tanner.EXPAND
Bedroom furniture by Dorothy Tanner.

Any challenges designing your studio?

Because the studio at Lumonics is also used as a performance space, we have constructed a portable wall that blocks the space where the tools are used. We also make available the gallery and performance space for public and private events, which requires advance preparation.

What is your favorite studio feature?

Having the studio in the same building as the gallery and performance space.

Works by Mel Tanner.EXPAND
Works by Mel Tanner.

Join us at Lumonics for upcoming events:

November 7: Quantum Beings of the Miraculous (Denver Arts Week)
November 14: Dance for the Animals, to benefit homeless pets at the Dumb Friends League

When Jeanne isn't doing artist house tours, she is blogging on how to create bohemian style with both vintage and recycled materials.

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Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery

800 E. 73 Ave.
Denver, CO 80229

303-568-9406

www.lumonics.net


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