Michael Jones McKean, a former resident at the Bemis Center and now a professor at theVirginia Commonwealth University, has created a machine that can createartificial rainbows using natural materials. McKean has been practicingthe feat in parking lots for years and is now preparing for a largerinstallation at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha,Nebraska.
Next June McKean hopes to produce rainbows twice a day for 15minutes using rainwater harvested from the roof the Bemis Center andrenewable solar energy. The unique project utilizes a system ofhigh-powered jet pumps and custom fountain nozzles that spray water into the air, creating all necessary conditions for rainbows to be formed.
The pumps are powered by a system of photovoltaic panels generatingrenewable electricity. McKean believes that visitors may be able to seerainbows from up to 1000 feet away and even walk through them.