Wind Turbines as Art

It turns out that David Suzuki isn't the only one that thinks wind turbines are beautiful. This year's American Wind Energy Association's National Conference and Exhibition not only featured the usual array of speakers, meetings and poster presentations, but also hosted the National Wind Art Exhibit, a display of paintings all featuring wind turbines from a group of internationally-recognized artists. AWEA organized the show in partnership with REimaginations, an organization dedicated to promoting the aesthetic appeal of modern windmills:

It's clean. It's friendly. And it's often down right gorgeous. REimaginations is dedicated to providing you with images, artwork and gifts that convey the beauty of renewable energy production.

REimaginations was started with the belief that wind turbines are beautiful. We wanted to share that belief through creating a venue for artists to show their interpretations of renewable energy.

We plan on building a collection of images and artwork that is an inspiration dedicated entirely to renewable energy. We are starting with a focus on wind energy. Wind energy is under attack across the country by those that see wind turbines as ugly. We find them to be beautiful expressions of the wind.

There's no doubt that AWEA saw the exhibit as a way to challenge one of the prevailing arguments against locating wind farms near places like Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard: part- and full-time residents of these East Coast hot spots, and their supporters around the US, have claimed that wind turbines would wreck the natural beauty of these places. As you browse these artistic renderings, though, it's hard to deny that wind mills can work in harmony with their natural surroundings.

It will be interesting to see how much of a role such art works play in the conflicts surrounding the location of wind farms in the US and other countries. Essayist Bill McKibben noted last year that art could play a powerful role in the push for more eco-conscious development. Can it convince die-hard NIMBYs that wind turbines aren't a blight on the landscape, but an aesthetic contribution to it? :: REimagainations via Grist
Update: Painting by Marie Wise.