Sunday, November 4, 2012

San Jose Artists Sculpt with Sunlight

Below is a story on how emerging San Jose artists are utilizing solar energy to produce their art. Thanks Matt for sending in this information.

Two San Jose artists have integrated solar electricity into their artwork, creating sculptures made with the power of the sun—while protecting themselves from utility rate hikes thanks to electricity provider Gen110.

San Jose native Richard Starks has been fascinated with working metal into imagined shapes for more than 50 years. He’s a San Jose State University graduate, and his work has featured around the region, including Santa Clara's City Council Chambers and Carmel's Sculpture Garden.  Starks has also worked as a welder and metal fabricator for many years, and is intimately familiar with the pragmatic, artistic and electric-bill-boosting impact of power tools.

San Jose resident Keith Bush been creating large and small-scale sculptures for both indoor and outdoor, private and public spaces for more than 30 years. After starting as a painter, Bush moved into sculpting where he employs vibrant color and design to combine a “Wow” factor with peace and thoughtfulness. He went solar to keep up with growing electric demand of his new craft and is known for his social commentary, including creating the world's largest Breast Cancer Ribbon—a nice fit for breast cancer awareness month in October—and “The Educators,” a series of eight sculptures commemorating the 150th anniversary of the San Jose State University.

The solar installations were handled by 'energy concierge' Gen110, which has managed more than 1,200 solar installations across the South Bay since 2009. The company scouts heavy energy users who can save money right away by going solar and provides a high-touch customer facing approach to make going solar as easy as possible. Gen110 pays for a home solar system up front and sells power directly to homeowners like the artists just like PG&E, protecting them from utility rate hikes to the tune of saving $37k over 20 years. 

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