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Dorothy Tanner's sculptures are at the Lakewood Community Center. (Provided by Lakewood Community Center)

Visual Art/Dance: Looking at—and dancing with—light sculptures
By Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post

Through June 30: Artist Dorothy Tanner is known for working in acrylic, a modern material that she imbues with timeless qualities through the addition of LED lights. Her sculptures, ranging from abstract shapes to, more recently, anthropomorphic figures, glow with a warm familiarity. Tanner's new works come together for the exhibit "Creatures from Left Field" at the Lakewood Cultural Center. They'll also serve as hand-held props for Zikr Dance Ensemble's "Lady of the Lake," which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the center. The exhibit, through June 30, is free. Tickets for the dance are $16-$28. Lakewood Cultural Center, 480 S. Allison Parkway, Lakewood. 303-987-7000 or

Staying Vital As Time Marches On: Art Can Hold The Key

Interview with Dorothy Tanner

Light artist Dorothy Tanner, 92, speaks with 5-year-old Kaya Naslund about one of the "creature-like" sculptures featured in her current exhibition, "Creatures From Left Field," at the Lakewood Cultural Center. (photo by Corey H. Jones/CPR News)

Sculptor Dorothy Tanner's work is best seen in the dark. That's because the 92-year-old works with light, using materials like plexiglass to bend and blend vibrant rays of color. Now 92, she's been making art for more than 60 years.



Ready to escape the summertime heat—or never-ending rain? These five indoor art exhibits can help.
BY DALIAH SINGER, senior associate editor, 5280 Magazine

JUNE 8 2015, 10:00 AM
Creatures From Left Field Installation by Dorothy Tanner,
June 4–30, Lakewood Cultural Center

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.



Arts District, Rocky Mountain PBS

The Rocky Mountain PBS program, Arts District, featuring Dorothy Tanner. Here is the YouTube clip of the segment.

Dorothy Tanner on Arts District


You can also view the video on the
Rocky Mountain PBS website




Sandcastle (detail) by Dorothy Tanner

"DOROTHY TANNER, an artist still creating past the age of 90, is featured in Colorado Expression Magazine (April/May). She's one of the most amazing people I've ever interviewed. Like her light sculptures, she's colorful and brilliant!"
Colleen Smith

Link to the whole article:

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.
First Friday

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.


" A Light Journey" at Denver Interantional Airport
Feb. 3, 2014 — May 3, 2014

DIA Exhibit



Sea Stars Video of performance at Lumonics

Best of Westword

Artist Dorothy Tanner uses light as her medium — along with water, plastic, fabric and her imagination. The sculptures adorning the walls and fountains on display at Lumonics are psychedelic and mesmerizing. When Tanner and her talented crew open up Lumonics for an event (which is at least every weekend), there's almost always a light show filling an entire wall, courtesy of guest videographers and designers or the Lumonics experts themselves. The space contains several rooms and display areas, with secure spots to stash coats, shoes and jaw-dropping art (don't miss the pyramid installation). Shows range from intimate world-music journeys to bass-heavy dubstep lineups to DJ workshops to ecstatic chant and dance. For an illuminating experience, there's no substitute for Lumonics.


Dorothy Tanner's light sculptures make Lumonics glow
by Amber Taufen, Mon., Nov. 7, 2011
Denver Westword Blogs

This is one in a series of posts in honor of Denver Arts Week that salute some of our favorite people and places on the arts scene.

If you've been by Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, then you already know it's unlike any other gallery in the city. Artist Dorothy Tanner sculpts amazing, impossible-to-describe works featuring light as a main component; the gallery also plays host to events that include music, weekly yoga classes, meditation, Chinese Qigong, and workshops on expanding your consciousness.
read more



Visual Arts
Light Supply, Museum of Outdoor Arts
Opens Saturday, June 25, 2011

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
Susan Froyd
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 venue’s 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 to or call 303-806-0444.




On June 25th MOA will open Light Supply, a multi-media exhibition incorporating the talents of 10 artists working with light and sound. Light Supply will feature local, and national artists and a variety of works ranging from light sculpture and projections, to immersive indoor and outdoor light environments. Light Supply will also include an outdoor installation in the Englewood sculpture garden corridor, which will run through the end of the year to usher in the third annual Hudson Holiday light show.

Light Supply is a synthesis of light and sound and will feature the work of artists Corwin Bell, Virginia Folkestad, Lonnie Hanzon, Ali Hossaini, Jen Lewin, Andy Miller, Collin Parson, Charles Ross, Daihei Shibata, and Dorothy Tanner. Grammy award winner, Mickey Houlihan of Wind over the Earth will create an original soundscape for the remastered Color of Sound exhibition in MOA´s sound gallery.

MOA has been exploring the use of light as an art medium for almost a decade, and will celebrate 30 years of art in process with this inventive show.

excerpted from news release



Photos from the Exhibit

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


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, Miami Herald
* Tracie Cone, Pulitzer Prize recepient, 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
©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)