Best Art Gallery - 2004
Lumonics - CLOSED
To call Lumonics an art gallery is to do this one-of-a-kind place something of a disservice. Yes, there is plenty of art on hand, mainly in the form of "light sculptures" -- industrial plastic pieces that range from small to monumental, all illuminated either from within or from outside sources. Some of these date back to the days of co-founder Mel Tanner, who died in 1993; others were made by his wife, Dorothy, who has carried on the work she began with Mel when they first started creating their light-based art in the late 1960s. But these pieces, as extraordinary as many of them are, are just the tip of the iceberg at Lumonics. The Tanners have always called their space a "specialized sensory environment," and that environment stimulates all the senses: subtle incense to tickle the nose, fragrant teas to stimulate both nose and palate, gently pulsing lights to engage the eyes, softly glowing fountains to soothe eyes and ears, and cushiony furniture to encourage relaxation. Did we mention the light show? A visit to Lumonics isn't complete without Dorothy and creative partner Marc Billard's spectacular show, which pairs music (including original compositions) with multimedia and digital video projections and a dazzling array of light effects projected onto a huge wall in the gallery's big main room.