Grass Valley Elementary School, Camas, Portland, Oregon,USA

in collaboration with Sarah Hall

What are the lessons we will give our children, and how will we communicate them? Surely the best lessons are those that help prepare them for the world they will grow up in and for the decisions they will make in their lives. This simple but powerful idea inspires "The Science of Light," a new solar art glass installation at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas near Portland, Oregon.

This unique installation in the main stairwell windows of the school merges the ancient art of stained glass with cutting edge technology to produce a window that not only Iooks magnifi cent, but works for its living as well by gathering and using electricity in a visible and interactive way - as solar energy is gathered a glass spiral located in the stairwell is illuminated. A secondary grid of dichroic glass off ers everchanging colours. Embedded in two panels are arrays of photovoltaic cells. ln this way the windows harvest energy from sunlight. The colours are warm and welcoming: the windows present solar energy to the students, staff and visitors in a joyful way.

The artwork is designed to delight, to teach, and to inspire. The delight will come from the transformation of sunlight into patterns and colours throughout the stairwell - and visible energy. The inspiration and the teaching will be accomplished through the innovative use of the solar panels built into the windows - affering an ongoing lesson in science, ecology, and the positive uses of technology.

Artist: Sarah Hall
Client: Grass Valley Elementary School


"I find Peters Studios one of the best equipped art glass studios in Europe. Every technique that I have needed is possible, or soon made possible, so that the design vision can be realized - an artist’s dream!"

Sarah Hall, Artist

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