Over the past few months, CCAN worked with partners across Maryland to put on an art exhibition called “Wonders of the Wind,” which highlighted the beauty of wind power and the clean energy future. Nineteen artists created sculptures, paintings, and other original work inspired by the prospect of two offshore wind farms coming to our state. The exhibition opened in Ocean City – where the turbines will be installed – and closed in Baltimore – where the manufacturing and assembly will be based.
So, why an art show?
Last year, Maryland took a huge step toward becoming the East Coast hub for offshore wind when our state’s Public Service Commission approved two applications for large wind farms off our coast. These projects promise thousands of jobs and enough energy to power over 500,000 homes. Now, those projects must secure federal permits in order to move forward.
This won’t be an easy fight. There has already been a steady stream of opposition to offshore wind, mainly focused on the aesthetic appearance of wind turbines. Some elected officials have even referred to the turbines as “visual pollution” — to which we say: what about actual pollution?
As an artist and an advocate, I deeply value the power of art to share stories and increase awareness about the critical issues we face today. That’s why I was so excited to work with a coalition of artists and environmental and faith-based allies to organize the “Wonders of the Wind” exhibition to highlight the beauty of wind power and a more just, sustainable future in Maryland.
We hosted receptions in Ocean City and Baltimore where attendees could view artwork, learn more about offshore wind from guest speakers, and even make pinwheels to take home with them as reminders of the wonders of the wind. Scroll down to see photos from these receptions and to view some of the artwork featured in the “Wonders of the Wind” exhibition.

Artists pose in front of the “Wonders of the Wind” backdrop by Alex Dukes, Di’amon Fisher, Grace Marshall, Naomi Wilkins, Stephanie Wallace, and Torianne Montes-Schiff at the Baltimore reception on May 19, 2018 at Seventh Metro Church.

Making pinwheels at the Ocean City reception on May 12, 2018 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. (Photo credit: Torianne Montes-Schiff)

“The Transition” by Erika Clark focuses on nature’s transition from a populated wasteland to a more healthy setting with wind energy, replacing unhealthy coal emissions.

Alexandra Russell painted “A Mother’s Love” for the exhibition. She and her mother attended the Mother’s Day weekend reception in Ocean City. (Photo credit: Torianne Montes-Schiff)

Ronald Rucker performs a song inspired by wind power at the Baltimore reception.

“la puissance éolienne” by Anna Fine Foer (photo courtesy of artist)

Posing with the “Wonders of the Wind” backdrop and holding signs from the 2017 Peoples Climate March.

Larry Bannerman of Turner Station Conservation Teams speaks at the Baltimore reception about his career working for BGE and the importance of switching to clean energy. Valeska Populoh’s windsock “Wind Power Now!” can be seen in the top right.

“Considering perspective; The Story of Tom Thumbnail” by Kate Hardwicke, Jacob Kenna, and Rebecca Mark plays with size, shape and texture, and serves as a near literal demonstration of the size the wind turbines will appear on the horizon.

Mike Pretl, president of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, spoke about the importance of offshore wind in curbing climate change at the Ocean City reception.

“Refer to the Experts” by Barbara Hager encourages viewers to look to the Netherlands’ example of harnessing wind power.

A crankie by Emily Schubert entitled, “It Carries So Much for a Weightless Thing.” Schubert writes, “the wind is an element of life often taken for granted, but one that has always carried with it so much potential. My piece involves both literal depiction and an interaction by viewers that takes into consideration humans role in actively choosing to work with the wind to harness and convert its power into energy. Energy is called for on the part of viewer to literally “crank” the wind and cause it to blow across the image and electrical energy is used to backlight the image casting the shadows of the wind. Perhaps one day soon the electrical energy itself could be created by actual wind power! The wind shadows carry with them images of other forms of good this energy creates and will create for local economies, farmers, and a healthier environment.”

Posing in front of the “Wonders of the Wind” backdrop at the Baltimore reception.

A close-up of Ursula Populoh’s “Blowing in the Wind.” Populoh writes of her piece: “Wind is our natural environment. Wind is everything and everywhere. It can be the soft breeze we welcome on a summer day, it can be the devastating hurricane that destroys everything in its path. Wind was needed for the sails of the explorer’s ship; wind was needed for the wheels of the windmills. Wind was the power used for millenia until the so-called technological advances abandoned it. Now, we seem to have come to our senses and will harness the wind’s strength again. Fossil fuels have harmed our natural environment – wind power is a natural force to be used. We seem to be on the right path.” (Photo credit: Torianne Montes-Schiff)

Artwork left to right: “Power in the Wind” by Irene K. S. Whitaker; “It’s wind, hon” by Emily Tokarowski; “A Mother’s Love” by Alexandra Russell; “Harmony with the Sea” by Marina R. Feeser; and “Field Dance” by Katie Lautar.

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