Joan Webster Price and Herbert Price

SUN ALTAR Solar Water Sculpture

front view back view detail with water

SUN ALTAR was a temporary installation that captured our feelings about the mythical, spiritual and technological aspects of solar energy. The design used two hyperbolic paraboloids. The top part of the sculpture collected the energy of the sun and the bottom recycled the water. The sculpture integrated 36 square feet of hot water collecting surfaces on its upper face. The unique collecting element designed by Herbert Price, was highly efficient and could be formed into complex curves.

Other sculptures and maquettes also combine aesthetically dramatic effects with functional energy collection. The designs include the monumental and designs for smaller gardens, public and private. The collecting surfaces can be glazed for higher efficiencies. The hot water can be used for visual effects such as "steaming mists" or functionally for heating pools, greenhouses and other service requirements. The designs can also be converted to solar hot air and photo voltaic systems. As an independent curator, Joan would like to hear from other artists using solar energy to organize future exhibits.


Maquette for a thermal or photovoltaic sculpture.
It can be used as an individual piece or in a striking
array of these pieces in a solar collector field.


Solar Arc ( Stonehenge Revisited ) Reflections / Winter Solstice

The segments of the design are oriented in an arc that circles from East to South to West. This arrangement, of course, conforms to the cardinal directions of the sun's path from sunrise to sunset. The elements are differentially inclined from the horizontal plane in order to follow as a mirror image the sun's arc through the sky. They are most erect when the sun is lowest and more inclined when the sun is at its highest. In this way the individual elements are working as solar collectors, capturing the greatest amount of solar energy as the day progresses.

The stainless steel surfaces on the faces that are not involved with solar collection will reflect brilliance of sunlight. The pattern of light and shadow cast by the sculptural elements will be dramatic throughout the day. There will be a significant environmental space inside the arc of the sculpture for dance, poetry, performance, theater or environmental events. The precise angles of inclination of the elements in the final design will be determined by the geographic latitude of the installation and decision about the seasonal optimization of solar energy capture. The solar collection components forming the planes inclined toward the sun can be of any type, for example, photo voltaic or hot water without changing the configuration of the design.


The precise angle of the sun comes through
the opening between the two sculptures
and reflects on the water.

Who We Are:

Environmental Artists/Sculptors

Joan Webster Price received her B.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University; her master's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. Light As an Art Form (electrically generated) was the title of her thesis.

Professor Emeritus of Art at the City College of New York CUNY. She was Graduate Director and developed the M.F.A. specialization NEW FORMS (ENVIRONMENTAL ART and MULTIMEDIA.)

Joan's interest in environmental and technological art has led to extensive exhibitions of her work in painting and sculpture which include solo and group shows at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Fordham University, Johnson Atelier, and Neuberger Museum. She has acted as consultant for the New York State Education Department, Division of the Arts and Humanities for an Environmental Response Center called Sensorium. Public collections of her work include the British Museum, London; The Brooklyn Museum, N.Y.; The Bronx Museum of the Arts; The National Museum of American Art; Walker Art Center; New Jersey State Museum, among others.

Complete resume on request.

Herbert Price received his BA at Richmond College CUNY. He was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Fellowship for Graduate work. He has attended the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University; his major field of advanced study was in Ecological Anthropology.

He is veteran of the Korean War from 1951-55, serving at the Naval Intelligence School and aboard the destroyer, William R. Rush. Herb was vice-president of the prize winning Dorsan Landscape Construction Corporation which had extensive commercial operations in the New York Metropolitan area.

He founded one of the first business organizations on the computer network, "CompuServe," which included the first online art gallery. He is collaborating with his wife Joan Webster Price in Solar Themes Aesthetic Resources. They offer a unique integration of solar energy, technology and sculptural design. Herb Price is a member of Ylem.

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