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Dale Tanis

Dale Tanis was born in Lansing, Illinois in 1961 and was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, beginning in 1969. His interest in art began as a child, helping his mother with her many and various craft projects. Dale's interests began to solidify in high school with courses in theater, modern dance, painting and drawing, and photography. Encouraged to go to school after his senior year, he enrolled and was accepted to New England School of Photography in Boston, MA where he completed a two-year intensive program with Honors in Non-Silver Photography, choosing to focus on fine art serigraphs.

After graduation, Dale pursued a career in commercial screenprinting to learn everything he possibly could about the craft. His goal was to work for Disney, which he accomplished through his employment with Winterland Productions in San Francisco, CA. Eventually, Disney asked specifically for his assistance with one of their lines for children, thus achieving his goal. As a career bonus, he also regularly sat in an advisory capacity with the design team from Tommy Hilfiger, solving design issues with their art department to make each season production friendly while keeping their fashion lines appealing to their sophisticated clientele.

For the past four decades Dale has been creating photographic serigraphs. The process rides the
fence between straight photography and painting, an effect that collectors have described as “surreal”, the exact effect he is trying to produce. He used to begin by taking an original slide and making film
separations in his darkroom. Now that the digital age is well underway, and the “old school” films and chemistry are no longer made, he's finally given in and uses his digital camera and computer to create the
initial visual image and has a former employer print out the film separations. Silkscreen stencils are created for each color using the films made from either process. Often the stencils are manipulated to create more colors. Ink is pressed through the stencils onto paper by using a special squeegee. Dale's prints average 30-40 stencils and have been known to exceed 100.

Dale prefers silkscreen because he believes in a world more beautiful than that in which he lives. Photography captures his world and silkscreen elevates that world by saturating it with color and then begins to trickle into the world of animation. It creates moods that simultaneously strike and soothe the heart. It stirs the emotional sense of wonderment. He chooses peaceful and sometimes nostalgic images to counter the turmoil in his head and reflect the landscape in which he lives. As the Navajo prayer says, “I walk in beauty.”

You can find more of Dale's work


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