As O’Connell writes in his artist statement, “These photographs are not intended to make a definitive statement about the economic value, efficiency or public policy wisdom of wind energy. Rather, my goal is to compel the viewer to consider our wind energy future in a broad, qualitative dialogue—a vision within the realm of art and poetry. It is my hope that this exhibition gives cause for reflection on some of the questions and issues that exist beyond the present dialogue surrounding wind energy. What are we trading away for the promise of renewable energy? Will wind energy forever change the land? What is the fate of the horizon?”
O’Connell, trained as a civil engineer and attorney, has photographed the American West since 1989. He currently works both as an engineering consultant on water projects and as an artist inspired by themes of the environment, energy development, and how individuals live in and relate to Western landscapes. His work was recently exhibited at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art; it is also part of the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The O’Connell exhibition will run through Saturday, May 17, and will be viewable Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.