Solar powered art auction funds light for African schoolchildren

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A “Solar Panel Art Series” art series is for sale in New York City right now, and it represents a growing body of work where artists – and contractors – take the time to see the shape and beauty of solar power within our human landscapes.

As first reported in CleanTechnica, premiering at A/D/O in Brooklyn on November 13, the New York edition of The Solar Panel Art Series will present 10 original artworks painted on recycled solar panels. Proceeds from the week long sustainability-focused exhibition will go to supporting Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun Foundation’s “Solar School Kids Program,” which helps supply clean and reliable light to school children and their teachers living without energy in Rwanda.

The above piece is Zaria Forman’s latest work – an aerial exploration of some of the most rapidly changing places on our planet. Over the past two years Zaria has travelled with NASA’s science missions to track shifting ice, producing a collection that faithfully captures the range of ephemeral landscapes she observed while flying just hundreds of feet over Antarctica and the Arctic.

The pieces highlight the beauty and the tragedy, the vibrancy and the dullness, the possibility and the futility. Edward Granger, Zaria Forman, Paul Richard, Swoon, Olek, James Reka, Aaron Li-Hill, Brian Kenny, and Maya Hayuk are included among the artists.

CleanTechnica suggests that the shows is likely moving to California and Tokyo after it leaves New York. Prior rounds of the series, which closed in September, have raised more than $40,000 in Europe. The public exhibition is open through the 20th of November.

Other artists and contests have also taken up showing the beauty of how solar panels. The Department of Energy launched a contest, Hit me with your Sunshot (the source of many images for this author’s pv magazine articles), to collect beautiful images of solar power installations across the United States.

Sarah Hall, an artist from Toronto, has a beautiful collection of glass that has solar power integrated into it. Her project, “Lux Gloria“, contains possibly the first cathedral windows in the world to integrate solar energy collection into their stained glass – the solar panels are expected to produce about 2,500 kilowatt hours annually.

Joan Sullivan

Photographer Joan Sullivan travels the world taking photographs of the humans that build the solar (and wind) projects around the world, along with the installations themselves. Sullivan’s history of studying HIV/AIDs mostly in Africa shaped her focus, and since then, she’s begun to focus on climate change.

The transition to a low-carbon economy has already begun; there is no turning back. I can only hope that some of my photographs of the current renewable energy construction boom in North America will facilitate a quicker transition, something that I will be able to witness in my own lifetime.