It’s not easy to miss sight of the murals that adorn buildings, restaurants, bars and apartments throughout RVA, and the city had just announced it wants to add more.
Richmond Department of Public Utilities has launched an online call for artists to submit designs to be painted on downtown storm drains. The 2nd Annual “RVAH2O Storm Drain Art Project” will use art to send a message to RVA citizens about how important it is to keep the streets, sidewalks and waterways clean and pollution-free.
Stormwater runs off from rain or snow. Along the way, it picks up dirt, trash, oil,
grease, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste and other pollutants. Eventually, this enters storm drains that flow into waterways, which impacts the James River. The river is one of Richmond’s greatest natural assets adored not only for its natural beauty and species, but also for various outdoor water activities and sports such as fishing and swimming.
According to a press release from the city, entries should also include elements that show natural habitats such as water and the species that the James River supports as well as foster environmental stewardship. Submitted designs should depict the phrase “It all drains to the James.”
“Educating our city on the subject of clean waterways is very important for a sustainable water resource. By using art on storm drains to share our message, we’ve connected people with this purpose,” said Robert Steidel, Director, Department of Public Utilities, City of Richmond in the news release. “We’re delighted to continue our award-winning Storm Drain Art Project this year, as a means of continually educating and informing Richmonders and visitors to our city to do their part in keeping trash and pollution out of our waterways.”
This is the second year of the project, which was initiated in April 2016 and garnered 55 submissions from local artists. Five were selected to be painted on storm drains along Tredegar Street; another drain and artist was selected, for a total of six drains that were painted in June-July 2016.
The drains to be painted this year will be in a new downtown location along the James River, which will be confirmed soon according to DPU.
As for the selection process, a panel of judges from DPU and the Richmond Public Art Commission will judge the entries to select the winning designs. Those artists will be asked to paint the storm drains in late May and will be compensated with a $400 stipend for their work and the cost of materials.
The deadline for entries is April 17. See rules and get more details here.
Photo credit: Dogtown Dish Melissa Geedy – “Clean through the Drain”