Artist House Tour: Dorothy Tanner Illuminates Westminster Home With Transcendent Artwork
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.
Westword: What is your artist medium?
Where can we find your artwork?
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.
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.
Best local creative resource:
Various items from hardware and fabric stores, along with local packing material, have been incorporated into the art.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.