The Home Page can link to some articles included on this page.
See the Then and Now Retrospective Page for many reviews
of the Museum of Outdoor Arts Exhibit.
100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Dorothy Tanner
Dorothy Tanner poses with her Lumonics sculpture “Logo.”
photo by Candace Hill
100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Dorothy Tanner
Bronx-born nonagenarian Dorothy Tanner and her late husband, Mel Tanner, began building Plexiglas light sculptures in the hip ’60s, but the two were always more than sculptors. Rather, their life’s work was a spiritually driven multimedia gestalt of music, motion and mind-blowing visuals they dubbed Lumonics. Since Mel’s death in 1993, Dorothy has continued to carry the Lumonics torch, relocating her studio to Denver in 2008. As a preview to the first comprehensive retrospective of their work, opening on January 13 at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, we invited Dorothy Tanner to enlighten our readers with her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Review: Lumonics Then & Now Shines at Museum of Outdoor Arts
by Michael Paglia, Denver Westword
Feb. 15, 2017
The eye-dazzling yet somehow relaxing Lumonics Then & Now: A Retrospective of Light-Based Sculpture by Dorothy & Mel Tanner transforms the interior galleries of the Museum of Outdoor Arts into a world of their own. The spotlights have been dimmed so that the exhibit’s internally lighted transparent acrylic sculptures and wall panels, as well as its projected videos, can glow gently in the near-darkness. A soft electronic soundtrack composed by Dorothy Tanner and her longtime collaborator, Marc Billard, adds yet another soothing aspect to the exhibit.
link to article
Plugging in, turning out and turning up the story of Dorothy and Mel Tanner at the MOA
by Ray Mark Rinaldi, Special to the Denver Post
Jan. 19, 2017
“I’m a long story,” Dorothy Tanner says of herself. And she tells it, in bits and pieces….read more
Seeing the Light
A 93-year-old artist looks back on decades of unconventional work.
BY ABBEY WHITE, JANUARY 2017
Photo by Paul Miller of Dorothy Tanner in front of Shazam at the Museum of Outdoor Arts
While Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Who were all busy playing with their lasers, Westminster artist Dorothy Tanner was inventing a different kind of light show. In the ’60s, together with her late husband, Mel, the now 93-year-old created an artistic style known as Lumonics, a technique that involves LED-lit abstract sculptures backed by soundtracks that add to the display’s mood. Lumonics soon took off, and the Tanners brought the art form with them, often collaborating with theater troupes and musicians, when they moved to places as far-flung as Miami and Maine. Several years after Mel died, Dorothy moved to Colorado, where she opened Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery at Tanner Studio. “Palm trees and flatlands become boring after a while,” she says. By that point, Dorothy had been diagnosed with glaucoma and macular degeneration. But even though her vision is deteriorating, she hasn’t stopped creating. In fact, you can still see her immersive installations in Then and Now: A Retrospective Exhibition of Light-Based Sculptures by Dorothy & Mel Tanner, debuting January 13 at the Museum of Outdoor Arts.
Destination: Art! – The Scarlet Venue – Music – Visual Arts – Healing Arts
What happens when you combine the healing arts with the visual arts and live music? An introduction into beauty, empowerment and contemplation begins. Saturday, September 17th, 2016, 8pm-4am, The Scarlet Venue, 131 Main Street in downtown Central City, Colorado will open its doors to a holistic level of healing and artistic expression that offers something for everyone, brought to you by 7 Healing Stars, Feyline and Colorado Concerts. The line-up includes:Random Rab and Templo just to name a few. Joining the expressive team for this event is Dorothy Tanner; light sculptor, installation artist and director of Tanner Studio/Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery of Denver
continue reading in ArtBeat Magazine
Enigma by Dorothy Tanner
Worth the Wait – A Journey of Light with Dorothy Tanner
Quiet your mind. That’s the precedent when entering into the showroom of Dorothy Tanner, where the setting means everything. We all know what it is like to prepare your home or dining room for a special occasion. The seating, placement of flowers, the arrangement of everything is so important. This is entirely true of the configuration of creations within her studio.
Dorothy Tanner – Installation
It took two years before our life’s schedules would align for this interview. It was as if the stars knew that the setting wasn’t right until now. Her showroom is dark upon entry from the bright outdoors. It takes a few moments to begin seeing the colorful lighting around you as your eyes adjust. It takes a few moments more to grasp the beauty that surrounds you. Leave everything that you carry with you at the door; your uncertainty, your day of working that 9 to 5 job, because you have now entered into the serenity and positive light that is the artwork of a true legend.
When asked where she finds her inspiration, “I don’t find it… it finds me.”
Read the Full article
Colleen Smith’s Interview with Dorothy Tanner
Colorado Expression Magazine
Sandcastle (detail) by Dorothy Tanner
The Lumonics Light Brigade
by GREGORY DAURER
Nonagenarian Denver artist Dorothy Tanner marches to the beat of her own drummer. The sculptures at her Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery defy convention, fusing light and sound.
Shatter the Status Quo by Candace A. Hill
I first met Dorothy Tanner about ten years ago, dancing among a crowd of sweaty bodies. I didn’t know I was looking for a petite elderly woman, I just knew I wanted to meet the extraordinary artist I’d heard so much about. Dorothy Tanner is the founder of Lumonics; an unusual gallery in Denver, Colorado, featuring the LED lit Plexiglas sculptures she creates. Lumonics hosts workshops, school field trips, yoga classes, meditations, and music events of all kinds. So, when a DJ friend of mine landed a gig there, I went with great anticipation.
As I wandered into the darkened gallery dream space filled with the soft glow of whimsical sculptures that looked like abstract life forms and alien space ships, I knew I’d found something special. The outside world seemed to disappear, and I suddenly realized that I had just entered a gateway into a new dimension where…
Jan, 26, 2016
Dorothy’s 93rd/Open House
By Brad Weismann
Dorothy Tanner will be 93 soon. Tanner is still making art, and her birthday has been merged with an open house on January 30 at her Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery. Friends and well-wishers, including several musicians, will be there to celebrate her long and productive life.
Tanner and her late husband, Mel, pioneered ideas in environmental/installation art, using synesthetic, multi-modal concepts that incorporate light, sculpture, water, music, projections, electronics and more. Tanner continues to craft pieces with collaborator Marc Billard, despite recent struggles with glaucoma and macular degeneration.
“Norman Broomhall and John Gonzales will be getting together and playing again as hi frontier,” says organizer Barry Raphael, describing their work as ambient; Jordan Baumgardner will be there as well, singing and playing guitar. And there will be face painting.
Surrounded by her works, including a slew from last year’s Creatures From Left Field show at the Lakewood Cultural Center, Tanner should light up the night. The party runs from 8 to 11 p.m., at Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, 800 East 73rd Avenue, Unit 11. For more information, go to www.lumonics.net.
Rebroadcast of Interview with Dorothy Tanner
Works By 92-Year-Old Sculptor Illuminate Denver Gallery Through Holidays
BY STEPHANIE WOLF ON 12/15/2015 – 7:30AM – CPR.org
Driving around Denver this time of year, there’s no shortage of holiday lights. At Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, the space is lit up brighter than a Christmas tree nearly all year round. The Denver studio is dedicated to the work of sculptor Dorothy Tanner. The 92-year-old artist works with light, using materials like Plexiglas to bend and blend vibrant rays of color.
A new exhibition of her work is now on display at Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery through Dec. 30.
Tanner, who lives in Westminster, has been making art for more than 60 years, and says she’s never seriously considered retiring.
“I like playing with stuff,” Tanner told CPR News last June. “So why would I stop?”
BY DALIAH SINGER, senior associate editor, 5280 Magazine
Creatures From Left Field Installation by Dorothy Tanner,
For the first time, acclaimed sculptor Dorothy Tanner’s [Creatures] light sculptures are being exhibited as an exclusive installation. (The artist moved her studio to Denver in 2008.) The free-standing sculptures and wall hangings are crafted from acrylic and LED lights.
Bonus: Tanner is collaborating with David Taylor, artistic director and choreographer of the Zikr Dance Ensemble, on a ballet entitled The Lady of the Lake, which will premiere on June 6; the dancers will carry hand-held light sculptures made by the artist.
Gallery Sketches: Five Shows in Denver
for the Weekend of September 5-7
by Susan Froyd, Arts & Culture Editor at Westword
New Light Sculptures by Dorothy Tanner
Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery
Opening reception: 7 to 10 p.m.
Remarkable nonagenarian Dorothy Tanner is still creating new illuminated works using acrylic, LED lights — and sometimes water. Says the 91-year-old Tanner: “The major challenge for me in art is to keep under control the tyranny of a logical mind. The spirit that moves me is capricious, unruly and irreverent. Most of my work grows out of intuitive impulse — the rest gets under way by just playing.” This is a perfect chance to get into Tanner’s work and visit her trippy Lumonics Studio.
Thanks to EPIC Colorado Magazine for featuring Dorothy Tanner in the Spring, 2013 issue. The article is called “Electricity at Play: An Illuminating Conversation with Sculptor Dorothy Tanner” by Kelsey McMaster.
Light Supply, Museum of Outdoor Arts
Light-focused exhibits are all the rage at galleries this summer, but the Museum of Outdoor Arts is mixing the theme up a bit for its 30th anniversary. Alongside light sculptures and projections by 13 local and national artists, the exhibit features an original soundscape created by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mickey Houlihan.
Light Supply Daily from Sat., June 25 until Sat., February 25
Let There Be Light
Artists from the metro area and across the nation will all be represented in Light Supply, a new offering opening today at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, which joins other local museums (the spring exhibit Blink! at the DAM and the MCA´s current show, Another Victory Over the Sun) in celebrating the use of light in art. Light Supply will naturally have its own personality, as does MOA director Cynthia Madden Leitner’s private labor of love in the Englewood City Center.
It just seems to be the theme of the year,” says the museum´s Tim Vacca of the exhibit, for which 90 percent of the venues lighting has been blocked to better showcase the glowing sculptures and wall pieces by such artists as Collin Parson, Jen Lewin, Andy Miller, Dorothy and Mel Tanner and others. But, he adds, the overall effect will be inviting: “You´ll see the glowing lights and be drawn into the gallery.” Or outdoors: MOA Wizard-in-Residence Lonnie Hanzon also created a gouache billboard installation with a video element that will light up the museum´s sculpture garden every evening.
Light Supply opens today at the MOA, 1000 Englewood Parkway, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m., and continues through next February. For details, go towww.moaonline.org or call 303-806-0444.
Dorothy Tanner’s luminous sculptures light up the night at Vertigo
by Ben Dayton, Denver Westword Blogs
Sat., Oct. 16 2010
It was third Friday-time again last night, and at Vertigo Art Space, that means artist reception time. Though not as crazy as the first Friday gallery openings on Sante Fe, third Friday receptions often provide a more intimate and focused evening for art fans. Last night, Dorothy Tanner hosted her solo show, The Light Fantastic from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 960 Santa Fe Drive.
Tanner’s free-standing sculptures and wall hangings use acrylic and LED lights as main ingredients to create luminous experiences for the viewer. Of her work she says, “I create environments that make people high, which I like since getting high has been one of my principle occupations in life.”
Of course, she’s right at home here in the Mile High City. Tanner recommends viewing the artworks in the evening so as to “experience the effect of light on the walls, people and the total space.”
The show will be on view through November 13th, and if you didn’t get a chance to make it out last night to say hi, make sure you at least cruise down Sante Fe drive, between 9th and 10th avenues one of these evening soon to catch a glimpse of the glowing sculptures through Vertigo’s large front windows. It will be a sight to see.
For more information, visit www.vertigoartspace.com
Photo: Lumonics Light and Sound Theatre,
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Excerpts from Pre-Colorado:
Lumonics Installations, Gallery and Museum Exhibits
“The key to so much of the art of Lumonics [is] light. The studio’s founders, Dorothy Tanner and her late husband, Mel, use light and acrylic the way painters use oil and canvas — as a primary medium for artistic expression.”
Michael Mills, New Times Broward Palm Beach
“If inner space is the last frontier, then Mel and Dorothy Tanner are its pioneers. They create an aesthetic experience unlike any other. A walk through the Lumonics Gallery is a bit like a tour of some futuristic spaceship. The plastic sculptures blink, drip, turn and glow. Like the Wizard of Oz behind a curtain, they create a separate reality.”
Barbara Marshall, Broward Close-up, Channel 2 (WPBT Public TV)
“Think of Dorothy and Mel Tanner as modern-day Timothy Learys. Their sound-and light-filled habitat, a Disneyland for the brain, is the only mind-altering substance they offer. Drop in, tune out, and turn on. The Tanners will take you to anywhere your brain desires.”
Tracie Cone, The Miami Herald
* Tracie Cone, Pulitzer Prize recipient, is now the publisher of The Pinnacle News in the San Jose, CA area.
“If you are stumped as to what to do Saturday night, consider spending a visually stimulating, thoroughly entertaining, mind-expanding evening at Lumonics. Art and technology meet to create a veritable shrine to the future’s possibility. It is a timely vision we should not fail to see.”
Alex Loret de Molac, New Miami Magazine
“As much as I relish the whole performance aspect of Lumonics, I welcome anything that expands the audience for the individual artworks in all their marvelous diversity.The art of Lumonics is first and foremost an experiential art. That’s only as it should be.”
Michael Mills, art writer, New Times Broward-Palm Beach
excerpted from introduction to Art of Lumonics (Coral Springs Museum), Coral Springs, FL
“Imagine walking into another ‘civilization’ where verbal communication is kept limited and visual and audio communications are allowed to roam freely. This idea has come to life at Lumonics.”
The Chariot, Taravella High School, Coral Springs, FL
“You’ve heard of Pop Art, Op Art, and Kinetic Art. Mel and Dorothy Tanner create what could be called ‘Wow Art’. In truth, the Tanners do have a better term for their acrylic sculptures: ‘Lumonics.’ ”
Skip Sheffield, Boca Raton Daily News
“Contemporary Art at its most up-to-date…”
Millie Wolff, Palm Beach Daily News
“So what is it like? Words are inadequate; it is, after all, a non-verbal experience. Suffice it to say that emotions and the imagination are exercised in ways rarely experienced in everyday life.”
Eric Furry, Sweet Potato, Bangor, Maine
article by Robin Shear, photos by Callie Zirkle
Eastsider, ©Forum Publishing Group
article by Michael Mills, photos by Lannis Waters
©Palm Beach Post
article by Tracie Cone, photos by Joe Rimkus, Jr.
©The Miami Herald
article by Jon Marlowe
©Miami News (1975)