Art Stalk: Visiting with Grand Junction architect Lancer Livermont
Free Press Columnist
Disastrous and often impacting things happened to latch key kids in the 1980s.
I roamed through the urban landscape on my skateboard, pretending I was Buddy (Kristy McNichol from that TV show, “Family”), having many adventures. Somehow I would always get home to my mother and mean older brother.
Talking with Grand Junction-based architect, Lancer Livermont, it was this same time he found his calling; his story is common to our generation, involving a big world and free time.
Lancer, at age 13, would spend hours “hanging out” in the Arts and Culture District in Fort Worth, Texas, on his skateboard. Loving the area, he often rolled around a building built by the late Louis Kahn, the Kimball Art Museum. He loved the experience of place in the structure — “light, space, material, the forms seemed to all add up … it was like lightning, a nova, a vivid realization that I had of being an architect.”
Lancer, age 43, now works with teams of people — from clients to engineers to those in the construction business. He equates the architectural experience with “baking with oven mitts on” — you never get to touch the ingredients. Rather you depend on many others with specific expertise.
When we met, Lancer (who’s lived in Mesa County since 1997) also talked about layers in terms of experience, objects and how they relate in space. I can see that architecture is a layered process; it definitely takes a focused individual at the helm. When we go out to his sites, I see the layering from the ground up and how rooftops play with the horizon lines. Angles take on significance because of our undulating landscape.
When designing a structure, Lancer said he’s most concerned with a building fitting into the space and context around it. The repetition in pattern of the landscape, the color, and geology matter.
Other architects Lancer respects and admires include: Louis Kahn, Fay Jones, Alvar Aalto, R.M. Schindler, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien, and Jeanne Gang.
“I like these architects because of what they attempt (or attempted) to do with their work,” he said. “I think their work is very compelling in terms of context and place.”
To view more work by Lancer, visit The Art Center’s upcoming show, “Playing with Your Expectations,” in September.
Camille Silverman holds an Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Art Academy located outside of Detroit, Mich. She attended Cranbrook as well as The School of the Chicago Art Institute. Silverman currently holds the position of curator and executive director at The Western Colorado Center for the Arts, aka The Art Center.
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