Sun Totems are public art sculptures that generate electricity from the sun for the communities in which they are installed, and at the same time function as public gathering places. The steel structures are constructed from a prefabricated modular design, which allows for a great deal of size, shape, and color variations. The sculptures can be placed almost anywhere since they are assembled onto a prefabricated circular concrete foundation pad. Each of the sculptures are fitted with varying numbers of photovoltaic panels that convert sun light into electricity, which is sent into the local power grid. Seats are also formed into the base of each of the sculptures.
The Sun Totems are part of a series of Michael Jantzen’s public art projects that explore ways in which alternative energy gathering and storage systems can be integrated into the built environment, in an aesthetically pleasing way. Through this work he hopes to encourage the continued used of alternative energy in the built environment by celebrating it through the installation of public art.