Community Projects

Dancing with Horses Youth Workshop

No items found.

Each year Nancy Tieken Lopez builds a community of artists to be integrated into her art performance installations. In spring and summer months, Nancy gathers experts to facilitate master dance classes that are offered to our rural community members. The choreography that organically is born at these workshops become the dance installations that Nancy Tieken Lopez weaves throughout the two mile art hike trail.

For Terra Caeli, Earth Sky, choreographer Elizabeth Archer and I wanted to utilize the equine Sundance Trail featuring an impressive mix of dance performance and equestrian arts. In the summer I organized a Dancing With Horses Workshop taught by acclaimed choreographer, Alain Gauthier, celebrated for his work with Cavalia, an acrobatic and equestrian world touring show. He shared his approach to dancing with horses that is marked with kindness, respect and trust.”
-Nancy Tieken Lopez

The equine workshop for local youth dancers of InnerRhythms Dance Theatre developed into three Art Hike performance installation sites. Working with Leslie Anne Webb and her Belgium Draft horse, horseman Tom Archer with a quarter horse Ace, and acclaimed choreographer Alain Gauthier, the dance students gained trust and learned how to move in the landscape with horses. The dancers then showcased their new equestrian art dance performances along the three mile Sundance trail for the Terra Caeli Art Hikes.

Elizabeth Archer, founder of InnerRhythms Dance Theater and Trails & Vistas community partner, shared, "This was a unique opportunity for the dancers to form a personal bond with the horses while creating a close connection to each other within the dance company. The student participants and observers were clearly touched emotionally by this workshop and are excited to bring this intensity to Trails & Vistas art hikes."
- Elizabeth Archer

Ranging in age from fourteen to seventeen years old, the dancers learned life lessons from working with these majestic animals with Alain and equine healing facilitator Leslie Anne Webb.

Jane Redmond danced at Trails & Vistas for three years and shared, “I learned more about using energy from nature and how to use it in my performance. I loved spending time with all these creative people and the education that comes out of it.”

Community Art Workshops

No items found.

Nancy Tieken Lopez collaborates with artists, poets, musicians, biologists, environmental organizations and specialists in areas of heath and wellness to design and facilitate workshops where community members become co-creators. Nancy incorporates the community created artwork into a site-specific art installation featured at her art in nature hikes.

I cherish the overlay of symbols and rituals from around the world that are shared by many cultures. The art hikes are open for all people's experiences and connections to heritage, origins and elements with surprise happenings that are apart of the communal experience. An example of surprise happening is when the young dancer launched a flower nest into a pond and one hiker started singing a Brazilian folk song, surprising the guide and the rest of the hiking group. Later it was shared with the group that the folk song this hiker sang was a part of a flower ritual in Brazil. She shared that people release flower nests into the sea as an offering to the goddess of the ocean. The healing ocean waters clear a path for a successful and abundant new year. Surprise happenings and interaction between hikers is an important element of the community experience.
-Nancy Tieken Lopez

For the community art workshop twelve flower nests were built by people of all ages inspired by artist Nancy Tieken Lopez. As workshop attendees built their flower nests they learned about Nancy's use of rituals in her artwork. Nancy explained the ritual of building a spring flower nest, a tradition her mom taught her from their German heritage traditions. On the day before Easter, Nancy and her family collected flowers in the Hill Country meadows to build nests that evening. On Easter Sunday, her parents would arrange eggs, nuts, and sweets in the nests. While some German families hide the eggs outdoors in nature where the children can then search for them on a family walk, the Tieken family outdoor walk would happen the day before Easter to collect wildflowers of bluebonnets, brown-eyed Susan, and firewheels. Nancy instructed workshop attendees to build a personal flower nest working with floating wreaths, fresh flowers and green foliage. Later these floating wreaths were featured at the art hikes as an interactive part of a dance and poetry performance.

The flower nests added a visual element for quiet contemplation and meditation. The site-specific work included dance, poetry performance, and flower nests floating in a small alpine lake.

It is an old German family tradition to build wildflower nests the night before Easter. Then wait eagerly for first light of morn to see what special treats of chocolates and fresh fruit were arranged to find in the nest. Along the trail of Origins and Elements the Poet Goddess draped in ecru and green cast her spell in flowing verse as the partipants watched a beautiful floral nest holding a fragile quail egg being floated out on the tranquil pond by the dancer/child. I watch the old tradition come alive for Trails & Vistas III in a new way as the floating nest bobs and weaves its path across the rippling water, circling,  circling...
- From a poem Heritage, written by Barbara Tieken, Origins & Elements Art Hike in 2006.

Pictured Above:
Dancer Jane Redmond releases a flower nest into Maiden's Pond for Origins & Elements Art Hike, Donner Summit, 2006.

Art in Wellness dance and music performance installation collaboration with Nancy Tieken Lopez, dancer Elizabeth Archer and Chief Red Hawk with flute and storytelling, 2006.

Theses clay and metal totems were built by community members, and local artists. Copper metalwork was added to join each clay section to build three poles installed in a small alpine pond on Donner Summit, 2008.

The World Concert: A Peace Project of Truckee Tahoe

No items found.

Nancy Tieken Lopez is the artistic director of the Trails & Vistas World Concert: A Peace Project of Truckee Tahoe. The World Concert is a gorgeous intersection blending musical flavors of Persian classical, jazz, inspirational pop, cajun folk, Afro-Brazilian, Americana, and rhythms with Spanish flamenco. Featuring Peace One Day’s efforts of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – the United Nations adopted Peace Day. The World Concert is building Peace one day at a time and is apart of the Showcase Series with community partner Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

"I believe in the idea that music, dance and art transcends all cultures and nationalities and are the common language that touch the hearts of all people throughout the world. The citizens of the world need to come together to appreciate and celebrate global diversity and the richness of cultural traditions in a spirit of peace, harmony, and joy. We offer music and dance featuring diversity of cultures to dive deeper into the conversation of peace and unity. The artists share poems, songs and dance that moves peace forward one song, dance and spoken word poem at a time."
- Nancy Tieken Lopez

Dancing with Sculpture Workshops

No items found.

Since 2004, community partner Elizabeth Archer, artistic director of InnerRhythms Dancer Theater, collaborates with Nancy Tieken Lopez and special guest artists for Master Dance Workshops and art performances for the Trails & Vistas art hikes.

Over twenty years of art hikes, Nancy Tieken Lopez has partnered with hundreds of artists to create art hike installations. An example of collaboration, back in 2010 Nancy worked with visiting aerialist Jodi Lomask, the Artistic Director from San Francisco dance company, Capacitor. Dancers of all skill levels were invited to enjoy a class featuring dancing with sculptural elements at InnerRhythms Dance Studio in Truckee, California. Capacitor dance was featured at three sites for the 2010 art hike themed, If Dreams Were Clouds.

Taste & Listen

No items found.

In 2018 Nancy Tieken Lopez started an art and culinary experience titled Taste & Listen at Stella in Truckee, California. The art of Taste & Listen blends music, art, and a culinary experience for participants to create community while dining with friends and new acquaintances.

Taste & Listen is an interactive community experience blending culinary arts with music and visual art. In this delicious conceptual piece, diners aren’t just listening to the music as a backdrop, but you are actively listening—and are, in fact, building community as you eat. This is a exploration of multi-continent senses and taste that is a unparalleled blending of the arts with culinary arts.-Nancy Tieken Lopez

Taste & Listen Musical Pop Up Dinners are an exploration into creative cooking with a multi-course meal inspired by the sounds and rhythms of music. In between music performances guests are encouraged to explore the open kitchen, joining free flowing conversations with the performers, artists, and chef. Seating is communal, and diners enjoy presentations from the chef, musicians, and the artistic director on how each song inspired the menu selection with the preparation of each dish with colors, taste, spices and region of ingredients.

Finding Your Voice Storytelling Workshop

No items found.

Nancy Tieken Lopez annually builds community through storytelling workshops.  The purpose of these workshops are to train trail guides for Trails & Vistas art hikes. Through Finding Your Voice community workshops guides gain confidence to become leaders of small groups for Tieken Lopez's art hikes.  Along the nature trail and at the Cedar House Hotel, guides learn from professionals how to use improvasation and storytelling skills to offer a narrative to take their audience on a creative journey.

I like to offer community workshops to introduce new ways of connecting to art and the land. Each year I write the art hike narrative highlighting the landscape and theme to offer a sense of discovery. I believe stories are powerful because they focus our attention, connect us and help us see multiple perspectives. Living in a rural region, taking art into nature alters the experience on how the participant may view art and expands the idea of "what do you suppose it means?".  This building of community may be through storytelling, team building or through Shinrin-Yoku "Forest Bathing" outings. -Nancy Tieken Lopez

Community members and guides are invited to attend hikes with Wilderness Education facilitator Felix Brosch. In the summer months, Felix leads a small group out in nature to share the healing way of Shinrin-Yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-Yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing."

School of Fish Watershed Project

No items found.

In 2007, The Trout Creek School of Fish art installation was awarded a proclamation from the town of Truckee. Collaborative strategies between Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Artist-in-Residence Nancy Tieken Lopez, community artists, fifth grade teachers and over one hundred fifth grade students highlighted the connection between local waterways and fish habitat. Along with raising community attention to Trout Creek existence, this project enhanced education regarding watershed functions for local wildlife, and provided a means for civic engagement.
Truckee River Day Project, 2007
Photos above of fifth grade students with project manager and teacher, Kathy Echols at Trout Creek Watershed, Truckee, CA

The Dreaming Tree Art in Nature Field Trips

No items found.

In 1999 Nancy Tieken Lopez moved to Truckee, California a rural mountain town and began teaching visual art to third and fifth grade students with a focus on the social function of art and wildlife studies to bring about environmental awareness. For more than twenty years Nancy collaborated with hundreds of artists, art and environmental nonprofits, botanists, park rangers, teachers, and third and fifth grade students to create large art projects about our relationship with each other and with the earth. Nancy Tieken Lopez works and lives on unceded land of the Washoe, and will continue to collaborate with the Native People of the land of Lake Tahoe and Truckee region to teach about the land and water that we all share.

As founder and artistic director of the arts nonprofit Trails & Vistas, Nancy creates The Dreaming Tree Field Trip at Lake Tahoe which is a stunning project dedicated to the arts and environmental stewardship. Trails & Vistas The Dreaming Tree Field Trip started as an effort in 2011 to host an outdoor classroom and has since grown into an experience of land, art, and community. The art in nature field trips are designed to uphold the value of hands-on environmental education through nature hikes infused with creative arts such as music, poetry, visual art and storytelling. Trails & Vistas field trips support the idea that an outdoor classroom in nature is where learning comes to life and connections to the natural world are discovered through writing poems, creating art, listening to a storyteller and exploring the natural environment on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

Nancy was a grantee multiple times from the California Arts Council Artist in Residence program while employed with the Community School of Music and Art in Mountain View, and Truckee and North Lake Tahoe schools.
Photos above include third grade students at Sand Harbor State Park and Donner Memorial State Park. The Dreaming Tree field trip artists included interactive drum site with Rhythm Child Network with Norman Jones, storyteller Cathee van Rossem St.Clair, musician Angelika Schaffer, and poet and teacher Jean L. Fournier.

Community Projects

Learn more about community workshops and school projects.

Learn More

Contact Me

Get information about art commissions, and art hikes on a trail near you.