Durango multimedia artist wants you to name her artwork

Tia Lorentzen eschews canvas in favor of found objects

Glass is just one of the unconventional surfaces favored by Tia Lorentzen for her paintings. She’ll show more than 30 this month as the featured artist for the Lost Dog Art Spectacle. Enlarge photo

DAVID BERGELAND/Durango Herald

Glass is just one of the unconventional surfaces favored by Tia Lorentzen for her paintings. She’ll show more than 30 this month as the featured artist for the Lost Dog Art Spectacle.

Tia Lorentzen is too busy making art to worry about what to call it.

“I have so many things I want to start, I have a hard time finishing anything,” the Durango artist said Thursday while putting the finishing touches on the 33 new pieces she’ll display this weekend as the star of the latest Lost Dog Art Spectacle.

However the finished products turn out, it will be up to the audience to name the pieces because that’s about the only constant to be found in Lorentzen’s process.

“I don’t name my artwork because I don’t want somebody to have a preconception. I want them to discover something or figure something out,” she said.

Lorentzen is professionally trained as a multimedia computer designer with a degree from the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver. But that experience has no place in her artwork, which she started pursuing as a part-time profession only about 18 months ago.

“As far as choosing this, it chose me. I didn’t create for about four years, and now I can’t stop. They just keep coming to me incredibly fast, and it consumes me,” she said.

She’s not picky about materials, either. Lorentzen’s creations are painted on wood, glass, metal – just about anything other than traditional canvas.

“I’m an alley shopper – when I find a rusty piece of metal or tin, any leftover work materials someone’s left around Durango, it’s likely to end up as a piece of my art,” she said.

The Albuquerque native has lived in Durango for about eight years, having followed her sister Bree to town after college.

The Lost Dog show will be her first major solo show. She participated in last fall’s Deliciously Weird show as a live artist and caught a case of artistic envy after seeing Dan Groth’s solo Spectacle earlier this year. So she asked McCarson Jones, who selects the artists for Lost Dog owner Ann Morse, if she could get in on the fun.

“I told Carson in December that I wanted April, and she said that was the next available opening, so it was perfect,” Lorentzen said.

To be accurate, this latest Art Spectacle isn’t exactly a solo show – at least it won’t be for the opening night. The show will feature several large installation pieces by Lorentzen’s friend Char Cole. Dubbed “eyethereal” art, Cole’s pieces include an earthbound piece that’s 6 feet in diameter and also several ceiling-mounted pieces that will require some effort on the part of viewers. The interaction is in keeping with Lorentzen’s general philosophy about her art andCole’s, whom she calls her muse.

“She’s a huge part of the show, and we want people to discover or figure something out when they see our art,” Lorentzen said.

“I want to hear the good, bad and ugly. What do you see? What do you feel? I love the feedback.”

ted@durangoherald.com

Tia Lorentzen found inspiration for a mountain motif when this piece of glass broke into two thick slabs. The untitled creation will go on display Saturday as part the Lost Dog Art Spectacle. Enlarge photo

DAVID BERGELAND/Durango Herald

Tia Lorentzen found inspiration for a mountain motif when this piece of glass broke into two thick slabs. The untitled creation will go on display Saturday as part the Lost Dog Art Spectacle.