Lumonics Continues to Light Up Denver with its Immersive Art Experience

Re-immerse yourself in the arts with the original immersive art show in Denver, Lumonics Immersed. Tucked away from the city lights, just north of downtown Denver, the Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery is among the first and longest-running light art studios in the United States.

Lumonics Immersed is the creation of late artists Dorothy and Mel Tanner, who began this immersive light art experience in Miami in 1969. The Tanner’s vision and purpose of Lumonics expanded and made its way to Denver with the help of long-time admirers of their art — Barry Raphael and Marc and Barbara Billard, who now run the studio. Their first experience with the artists’ work was in 1972 and it had such a profound impact on each of them they offered their continued support for the project. 

Lumonics Immersed

The works of Dorothy and Mel Tanner are on display at Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery. Photo by Jessica Hughes

Lumonics Immersed is a transformative multi-sensory art experience that is intended to bring you into a state of comfort and expanded awareness. “The intention of Lumonics Immersed is to relax and energize people and stimulate their creativity through the sound and light immersion, says Barry Raphael, archivist, and publicist at Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery. 

“We hope that it encourages people to go further in their endeavors and gain fresh insights. The combination of the light sculptures, original music and projection can become a catalyst for mind expansion.” 

The essential elements of the show include light sculptures, music and video. Each performance is orchestrated live and never repeated. The music used in the show was created in collaboration with Marc and Dorothy when she was in her 70s and 80s. It contains elements of classical, jazz, spoken word, world music and rock. The video has been a part of Lumonics since the 1970s as well and is based on the original live performances of the Tanners which consisted of the projection of hand-painted slides, live painting by the artists and overhead slide projectors. 

As no performance is alike, Marc continues to create music and video for Lumonics Immersed to evolve the experience. “We are always making new episodes so the experience is always different,” says Raphael. 

Lumonics Immersed

Lumonics Immersed is enhanced with lights, video and music. Photo by Jessica Hughes

While the exhibit currently on display is a past representation and preservation showcasing the works of Dorothy and Mel Tanner, Raphael and the team at Lumonics also focus on furthering the experience with new additions to the immersive show and the School of Light Art — an art school dedicated to the continued learning of light sculpture creation.

Lumonics Immersed

Light art sculptures on display at Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery. Photo by Jessica Hughes

Beyond its walls, Lumonics makes an artful presence in the Mile High City with past installations and permanent displays. Lumonics was the first exhibitor in The Galleri at Meow Wolf when they opened in 2021. A permanent display of Mel Tanner’s Postscript is now on display on the third floor of Convergence Station. They also have a permanent light sculpture at Fiddlers’ Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village, courtesy of the Museum of Outdoor Arts.

Furthering their reach with public art in Denver, the Lumonics Mind Spa is a concept of Dorothy. “The intention with the Mind Spas is to foster a state of relaxation and creativity for temporary or permanent private and public spaces, including offices and residences,” says Raphael. 

Lumonics Mind Spas

Dorothy Tanner in one of her residential Mind Spas. Photo provided by Lumonics.

Dorothy created Lumonics Mind Spas for the exhibits at the McNichols Civic Center Building, the City of Thornton Arts Center and the Understudy Gallery in the Denver Theatre District. A Lumonics Mind Spa would consist of Lumonics light sculptures, soft seating, a sound system, and a video screen in which they would furnish a colorful abstract video. People can contact them if they are interested in installation. 

Attending one of their shows is the best way to understand the profound effect that Dorothy and Mel’s art had, not just on Denver’s art scene, but on all those who experienced it firsthand. See for yourself and attend Lumonics Immersed, held Saturday evenings at their studio. 

Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery is located at 800 E. 73 Ave., Denver. The show is from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:45 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased here.