In Alexsandar Rodic’s digitally rendered “Energy Plant,” the propellers of a wind turbine morph into the petals of a flower blooming in a verdant landscape. “It’s meant to show the beauty of clean energy,” said Rodic, a Serbian artist who won first place at “ REimaginations,” the world’s first wind energy art exhibit, held this past June in Pittsburgh. The exhibit was unveiled at the American Wind Energy Association annual meeting and will travel to other green energy conferences in the coming year.
Windfarm installation is controversial in many communities, largely due to the concerns the visual impact of turbines will have on the natural landscape. Enter REimaginations, which aims to elevate the discussion around the aesthetics of renewable power generation. Compared to polluting energy sources, the exhibit suggests, 21st century wind farms represent an elegant blend of form and function. Through its website and art exhibitions, REimaginations serves as a forum for the makers and buyers of renewable energy artworks.
“Some people might find the dome of a nuclear reactor pleasing but it’s also associated with toxic waste,” says REimaginations founder Andrew Perchlik, who is also the executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont, a trade association that promotes wind farm construction. “Windfarms, by contrast, are both beautiful and sustainable.”
The exhibit drew 10 participating artists from North America, England, Serbia, and Croatia. Featuring a range of abstract and representational works, the paintings, drawings, and mixed media underscore the clean lines and kineticism linked to wind energy technologies. A screened print by Mike Gauthier distills the essence of a wind farm perched on the hills of Vermont. Artist Barbara Ekedahl submitted a woodblock print in black Sumi ink that overlays maps of cities with existing wind farms.
Despite the promotional slant, REimaginations doesn’t cling to purist notions of renewable power. On the contrary, notes Rodic. Green energy is about the “symbioses between nature and technology.”
REimaginations continues to accept new submissions for its online exhibit.
The following conferences will also host the exhibit in 2006-2007:
—Green Energy 2006, September 20,2006, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
—Power-Gen Renewable Energy,March 6-8, 2007, Las Vegas, NV
—Building Energy07, March 13-15, 2007, Boston, MA