Green Exhibit visits the CUAG

Image by: Teri Bradford

by: Renee Gasbarre, staff writer

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Chatham University Art Gallery (CUAG) in Woodland. It featured information about projects from The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), including Massai Solar, WindNest, and Wind Forest. It was a lot smaller than I had expected it to be, but it was intriguing. There were a lot of really nice pictures and information about the initiatives along the walls, and there were even models (large and small) of the WindNest! It was quite impressive.

Image by: Teri Bradford

LAGI “provides a platform” for creative people working to make “human-centered solutions for sustainable energy infrastructures” that act as both works of art and a source of clean energy. One of these “solutions” is the Wind Forest, winner of LAGI’s Glasgow competition. The forest consists of “one hundred 4kW single stem-like wind turbines” that absorb energy from passing wind. That energy is then distributed to the community it’s connected to. Chatham’s exhibit has a panel of information and some photographs alongside those of Maasai Solar.
Through the partnership of LAGI, Idia’Dega, and Olorgesailie Maasai Women Artisans (OMWA), Massai Solar is a project utilizing “local materials with renewable energy technologies” to design “functional art objects that reflect their culture.” Ideally, the designs will be able to sustainably power homes, a water pump, and “wearable solar power” that align with the needs of Maasai culture.
The ¼ scale prototype of the WindNest, however, was definitely the most eye-catching. The WindNest functions as a continuously rotating wind turbine made from solar fabric, allowing it to collect renewable energy in two different ways. It will not only be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also provide an opportunity for “a broad audience to learn about sustainable systems.” The project also hopes to exist as a symbol of Pittsburgh’s “commitment to a green economy.”
Image by: Teri Bradford

I do wish there was more in the exhibit, though. It didn’t take me very long to get a good look at everything and I was expecting to be down there for a while. It makes sense with the gallery being such a small space, but after looking at what projects were there, I wanted to see more! It’s very interesting and really recommend taking a look at it at least once, even if you aren’t an environmental science or art major. It’s important to keep up to date about the kind of technology and other ideas that we may be using in the future to help take care of the planet.
If you do have an interest in this sort of thing, it may be worth your while to visit the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh or the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, both of which have a variety of “green features,” as the Children’s Museum put it. It’s a pretty inspiring project and it projects a vision of what Pittsburgh can look like in the future.