P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
February 18, 2004
Turbine Wind Farms Discussed at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Since 11 turbine windmills popped up in Searsburg, Vermont in 1997 they’ve been growing in popularity. There’s talk of putting them up in the oceans surrounding Cape Cod and on Equinox Mountain in Manchester, Vermont. Even the Massachusetts towns of Florida, Monroe, and East Haven have contemplated adding wind farms to the landscape. Greg Dahlman of WAMC – Northeast Public Radio will host Wind Salon, a panel of citizens and scientists in favor of modern windmills at MASS MoCA on Thursday, March 18, at 7 P.M. Opposing points of view from the audience will be welcome.
Held in conjunction with Kidspace’s spring exhibition, Wind Farm, the panelists will include Hank Art, director of Williams College’s Hopkins Memorial Forest; Stan Brown, owner of Brown’s Garage and lifelong Florida, Massachusetts resident; and Carrie Baker, the photographer whose large-scale images of wind turbines are included in the Kidspace exhibition.
Wind power was harnessed as early as 5000 BC by the ancient Egyptians. The Dutch made the windmill a quintessential part of their landscape. Since man’s mastery of electricity, the windmill, which harnesses wind for mechanical energy, has been replaced by the wind turbine, which transforms it into electrical energy. In modern times Denmark has perfected the wind farm, poised to provide 10% of the world’s energy by 2017, but only recently have they become the rage in the United States. Some wind farms in California and Texas include more than 100 wind turbines. Originally resisted in the East, the first was actually installed in central Vermont in 1941 but was destroyed by weather in just a few years.
Today’s wind turbines come in a variety of sizes from residential one-home systems of 5 to 15 kilowatts to utility scale systems from 300 to 1,000 kilowatts. They utilize blades designed after airplane wings and propellers fitted atop 160 foot -- 40-story tall -- towers. The towers are typically tubular which eliminates bird mortality since birds were attracted to earlier towers for perching and often got too close to the blades. They require wind speeds of at least 10 mph to function but are outfitted with mechanisms to keep the blades spinning at a specific and steady pace even if the wind is moving faster. One of the largest wind farms in the east, the Searsburg turbines produce 6 megawatts and provide enough power for 2,000 Vermont homes.
Greg Dahlmann is the national productions reporter for WAMC Northeast Public Radio, where he covers health, science and education issues. Greg also hosts The Science Forum, a call-in program featuring a panel of scientists from area universities and research institutions.
Montpelier, Vermont-based photographer Carrie Baker has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has experience as an artistic director for the Perlata Hacienda Historical Park in Oakland, California where she oversaw art and history programs for at-risk youth. Carrie also was a teaching assistant for RISD’s photography and illustration courses for adults and high school students and an arts educator at RISD’s art museum. Her work has been exhibited in alternative spaces in several group shows in the Bay Area.
Hank Art is chairman of the biology department of Williams College and director of the Hopkins Memorial Forest, part of the college's Center for Environmental Studies. Art received a doctorate in Forest Ecology from Yale University and has written several books and articles including A Garden of Wildflowers and The Wildflower Gardener's Guide: California, Desert Southwest, and Northern Mexico Edition, which was the top Home and Garden Book in the 91st annual American Booksellers Association Convention in New York City. Art’s current research involves the investigation of long-term changes in relationships among species comprising the various communities in Hopkins Forest, and the extent to which natural and human-use disturbances have played a role in shaping the present patterns of communities and ecosystems.
For the second half of the Earth, Wind, and Desire series, Kidspace at MASS MoCA morphs into a Wind Farm complete with a sea of metallic, wood, and feathered kinetic sculptures against a backdrop of large photos of wind turbines. The group exhibition features photographs by Carrie Baker and kinetic sculptures by Tim Prentice, Pedro S. De Movellan, and William R. Bergman. Visitors to Kidspace will harvest new ideas about wind and wind energy as they walk through the exhibit. The artwork offers myriad perspectives on wind and movement. A resource area for children of all ages will feature books, music, and videos about wind energy, and examples of work by other artists, poets, and storybook writers. And, visitors will be invited to make “moving madness” artwork at tables that offer wonderful views of the Wind Farm art.
Tickets to Wind Salon are $5 (members save 10%) and are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays)Reservations can also be made over the phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or made online at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release