Wednesday, April 4 | Submitted by Tiffany Frey | Downtown Central
Storm water drains don’t make for a typical canvas, but ten local artists will use them as backdrops for colorful painted murals to raise awareness about clean water. For the second year in a row, artists will paint them in various locations throughout the city as part of the Storm Drain Reveal project of James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) and the City of Springfield Department of Public Works.
The murals are created to raise public awareness that storm drains lead directly to our streams and rivers. Soapy water, litter, yard waste and other pollutants that end up in storm drains can impact water quality. Storm water runoff can also pick up and carry pollutants from the landscape such as excess lawn fertilizer, pet waste and sediment from construction sites.
Kat Allie, Instructor of Fine Arts at Ozarks Technical Community College, is a partner in Storm Drain Reveal. Allie provides technical assistance and requires submissions from her students. This year, seven of the artists chosen out of the 50-plus who submitted designs, are OTC students. The other three are local community artists.
They include: Michele Ellison, Laura Lynch, Cassie Brasher, Kat Philbin, Jeanene Turney, Travis Burnbee, Joshua O’Byrne and Jessica West, Kayla Campbell, Anthony Weaver and Samantha Lowther.
In support of the project, Pressure Tech donated their services to clean each storm drain and Seal-Krete provided the primer and top coat to protect the murals from the elements. The Urban Districts Alliance and the Springfield Regional Arts Council also provided assistance.
This project is part of the City’s ongoing storm water education/outreach efforts. Public education/outreach is a requirement of the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, a federal mandate of the Clean Water Act. JRBP assists the City with education/outreach as part of its mission to protect water quality in the James River Basin. Information on the City’s efforts to address the water quality impacts of storm water runoff, and how individuals can help is available at www.springfieldmo.gov/
Photographs of the completed murals will be on display at The Gillioz Theater during the First Friday Art Walk in May and during Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street, May 5-6. Project details and progress can be found at www.jamesriverbasin.com.
For more information, contact Tiffany Frey, James River Basin Partnership, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 836-6183; or Carrie Lamb, City of Springfield Department of Public Works, at email@example.com or 417-864-1996.