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Posted In: James River

Storm Drain Project Seeks Artists to Paint Drains Flowing to James

Andy Thompson

May 2, 2016 1:12pm

Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities is launching its Storm Drain Art Project, a new initiative to raise citizen awareness of the importance of keeping our streets and waterways free of debris and pollution.

DPU is seeking five artists to paint five storm drains that flow directly into the James River in downtown Richmond (along Tredegar Street from the American Civil War Center at Tredegar to Brown’s Island). Anyone age 18 and above can apply; the competition is online and the deadline to enter is May 30. The five winning artists will be announced in June and artists will paint the drains throughout June.  

With the Storm Drain Art Project, Richmond DPU is hoping to engage citizens to keep their streets, sidewalks and lawns free of debris and pollution, because “It All Drains to the James.”  This is the first storm drain art project for Richmond. Other cities have gotten behind this movement and have successfully brought art and awareness to what’s often an overlooked aspects of city streets: storm drains. Check out these links to examples of storm drain projects in Baltimore, Austin, Tx., and Bentonville, Ark. 

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?