The Art Gallery of Renewable Energy


This website explores some of the art found on the internet that use or discuss renewable energy, specifically solar and wind energy. One of the greatest problems facing humanity over the next century will be the gradual replacement of our fossil fuel based economy with a renewable energy based economy. This is a monumental task, one requiring the collaboration of scientists, entrepreneurs, businesses, governments, and consumers. But what about the artist? What is their role?

There are many roles for the artist to play in the emergence of a renewable energy economy. Artists influence and can help introduce clean technologies to people, educate them in their potential use, explore the ways in which renewables interact with everyday life, and stir people to action. Artists make things beautiful - their work catches the eye and draws one in - it creates impressions and stirs emotions. It is the job of the artist to make solar and wind power beautiful, more beautiful than the life promised by fossil fuels. Artists also look toward the future and help inspire dreams of what might be, capture a future world where there is hope.

These ideals transcend style and school - realists, abstract artists, sculptures, installation artists, and glass workers can all work together without ideologies clashing.

Below is a gallery of renewable energy art, small and large. If I've missed anything or you know of work not on the internet, or if you find yourself inspired to create a renewable-energy piece of work, please contact me.

Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall creates art glass. In her most recent work she embeds solar cells between two panes of glass, intergrating them with the artwork itself. These cells harvest energy and can be used to illuminate building interiors or for other purposes.
Toronto, Canada
Joan Webster Price and Herbert Price

This couple creates solar energy stainless-steel sculptures that make use of solar panels or hot water.
"Just as Stonehenge served as both religious monument and astronomical observatory for the calculation of seasons, solar sculpture serves to objectify the aspirations of humanity to harness the sun's energy as well as to actually capture that energy."

New Jersy, USA
Brian Borrello

The Silicon Forest is powered by solar panels and can be seen at the Interstate/Rose Quarter Station in Portland.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Asbjorn Lonvig

This Danish creator approaches the subject of wind mills from an artistic angle.
"I have investigated wind energy - especially Danish Wind Industry Association - Danish Wind Energy Association ®'s web site www.windpower.org, videos etc., The American Wind Energy Association's web site www.awea.org and Jean Michel Jarre's AERO event - seeking inspiration to approach the subject from an artistic angle - a new angle.."

Hedensted, Denmark
John Klima's Sun Dial

The Sun Dial is an interactive piece of art combining propellers, a motor, and a solar panel.
"Casting a shadow on the switches triggers the motors. The ‘pot’ or volume knob next to each motor can also be adjusted, allowing the viewer to set sensitivity levels and find the system's balancing point. The viewer’s actions, the physical installation, and the variability of the sun all combine to create an intriguing behavior rather than a static experience."

Pasadena, California, USA
Simon Whitehead - Walks to Illuminate

Whitehead invites people to wear specially designed shoes that illuminate their walk through a park at night. The lights on the shoes are powered by batteries that have been charged by visitors wearing hats with solar panels as they explore the park during the day.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, U.K.
Rebecca Schwarz - SolarNerve

This outdoor installation is intended to represent an active nerve. Lights flash on and off at night, powered by solar panels that have stored energy during the day. The lights travel from tree to tree and back to a central nerve body.
Burlington, Vermont, USA
Tucson's Luminarias del Pueblo

A yearly event that began in 2003, the Luminarias del Pueblo features artist created sculptures made luminous, in the vast majority of cases, through the use of solar power. Takes advantage of two of Arizona's greatest resources - artists and sun.
Tuscon, Arizona, USA
Hiro Yamagata

An artist specializing in laser installations, Hiro Yamagata newest work incorporates solar and wind energy. In memory of the Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban, he intends to project images of the buddhas onto a rockface near Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The lasers will be powered by windmills and solar panels.
"Of course I help people, but it's more about not harming people.... I'm doing a fine art piece. That's my purpose - not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a political statement."

Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Under the Sun - An Outdoor Exhibition of Light

Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, this exhibition demonstrates the principles and uses of solar energy, and how it can best by integrated into everyday life.
 
Luis Jacob

This installation by Luis Jacob uses a number of high intensity LEDs to print out the statement - Everbody's got a little light under the sun". The LEDs are powered by visitor activated bike pedals and the rotating disco ball by solar panels.
"If you just stand there, there's very little to look at. But once people decide to play with the installation, and with one another, once they decide to make a choice and power these objects, that's when it comes alive; that's when the art happens."

Toronto Sculpture Park, Toronto, Canada
The Nordic Folkcenter for Renewable Energy

Located in Denmark, this independent non-governmental organization is helping pave the way for renewable energy by demonstrating clean technologies, both practically and in an artistic way.
Hurup Thy, Denmark
Solar Street - Gleisdorf, Austria

A 3.5 km long street with more than 100 objects powered by solar panels. Examples of the more artistic pieces are at the above website.
Gleisdorf, Austria
William Roy

Roy's paintings span many subjects, but several of them touch on matters including solar energy, wind, nuclear, and the future of the world.
"The global demand for energy will only increase during the 21st century—how will we meet this demand? And can we meet this demand without lessening the quality of life on the Earth?"

Urbana, Illinois, USA
Christina Kubisch

Christina Kubisch began to incorporate solar energy into her installations in 1991. In the Clock Tower Project, Kubisch returns a decommissioned clocktower at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to service. Solar panels in the tower sense the intensity and position of the sun, then trasmit this information to a computer which plays re-recorded bell sounds.
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
Robert Behrens's Solar Intersections

Built in 1989, Solar Intersections is an installation consisting of sixteen 70 foot high steel poles coated with a special paint on which solar panels are placed.
City of Davis, California, USA
Margaret Parker - The Sun Dragon Project

This public pool in Ann Arbor has a sun-powered shower. To attract attention to the shower, a piece of public art was created by the artist.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Jim Augustyn

Creator of the Solar Cat Book and the Return of the Solar Cat. An illustrated book based on the idea that cats know a lot more about solar energy than people do.
"One word of caution: some of this book might seem a little far fetched. That's because some of it is a little far-fetched. The rest of it is not, and you can rely on its technical accuracy. In the end, it turns out to be YOUR JOB to distinguish the far-fetched from the near-fetched until you've fetched at least a little bit more about solar energy than you did before reading it."
2004 Cape Winde Energy Art Contest

Illustrations and paintings by children under the age of 18 demonstrating their vision of the future of wind power. The winner, who's painting is portrayed at the right, was Tracey Babin.
 
Lope

An artist interested in renewable energy and how to portray it.
"Renewable energy will be an important part of the future. I'm hoping to make these technologies appealing and beautiful through the art I create."

Montreal, Canada

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