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Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Nancy Tieken Lopez: The Art of Nature

Posted on August 4, 2016
Filed Under Tahoe-Truckee Profiles

Nancy Tieken Lopez started art hikes when receiving her Masters of Fine Arts from San Jose State University over fifteen years ago. Nancy studies included an emphasis in bronze sculpture and installation art and lead to more ephemeral materials of earth installations with music, dance and poetry.

Nancy moved to Truckee over a dozen years ago and founded the Trails and Vistas art hike in 2004 collaborating with local non-profits InnerRhythms Dance Theatre, Truckee Donner Land Trust, and Arts For the Schools.

“My art is about connection – to a place, to the earth, to people’s lives.”

For the past decade collaborative strategies have played an essential role in her work as a professional artist and art educator. Many of Nancy’s productions incorporate performance, music, poetry, dance and earthworks.  She enjoys working with other artists, teachers, students, and specialists in a diverse range of professional fields to create events that celebrate the environment and strive to reestablish a sense of community and personal connections to nature.

Now in its ninth year, Trails and Vistas is one of the most unique events at Lake Tahoe. The 2010 theme, “If Dreams were Clouds,” invited the participating poets and artists to play with the concept of dreams and clouds: floating, twisting, and holding a sculptural shape before being carried away to another place, or retained forever in a memory.

The theme for the 2011 Trails and Vistas art hike is still under wraps as they await the results of the theme contest.

Her love for the fine arts and attachment to the landscape stems from early childhood lessons from her mother; a biology teacher and poet, her father; music major and education administrator, and her elementary school teacher, Mrs. Fundas, who saw a creative spark in a young girl struggling with learning disabilities. With encouragement from art teachers and art professionals Nancy went on to receive my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southwest Texas State University and Masters of Fine Arts from San Jose State University with an emphasis in sculpture and installation art.

Nancy also takes students outside the classroom for cross-disciplinary learning. In 2007 Nancy worked with the Town of Truckee and Sierra Watershed Education Partnership to have her students paint trout silhouettes on stakes and then place them in the river off Donner Pass Road in Truckee. According to Nancy; “In addition to basic art technique, we teach about different cultures, the interconnectedness of humanity and the marriage between art and environment.”

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