Wednesday, January 2 | Submitted by Tiffany Frey | Downtown Central
Call for Artists!
For the last two years James River Basin Partnership and the City of Springfield have been proud to present Storm Drain Reveal to our community. This unique and engaging educational event uses art to communicate the function and importance of our local storm drains. The project has been featured by several local media outlets, has spread to multiple other cities and gained national attention. We are pleased to announce that James River Basin Partnership and the City of Springfield have once again come together to create Storm Drain Reveal 2013. This exciting project gives artists the opportunity to express themselves with semi-permanent public art in the form of a small-scale outdoor storm drain mural. This project, along with the involvement of our vibrant art community, is unique and has a positive impact on water quality protection. If you are an artist and interested in showcasing your talent for Reveal, read on!
Why Storm Drains?
In Springfield, as in most cities across the country, storm drains lead to our rivers and other surface waters. An ongoing and hazardous misconception is that the storm drains are “sewers” that lead to the wastewater treatment plant. With this misconception, the storm drains are misused as a ‘safe’ way to dispose of waste such as soapy water, oil, paint, trash, and other pollutants. When pollutants are disposed of via storm drains, they end up in our waterways. Storm Drain Reveal is designed as a public education project to inform the community of the connection the storm drains have with our waterways.
Water is like a magnet and picks up everything in its path such as litter, grease, oil, brake dust, anti-freeze, fertilizer, and pet waste. When it rains stormwater flows over parking lots, streets, lawns and other surfaces. The water collects pollutants, which enter the storm drains and accumulate in our local streams. In downtown Springfield, the location of this year’s Storm Drain Reveal, the storm drains lead to Jordan Creek. Jordan Creek is a tributary of Wilsons Creek, which flows into the James River, which in turn flows into Table Rock Lake. This is what we call a “watershed address” (http://www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater/watershed.html).
To reduce pollution individuals can: keep trash and other items from entering the stormdrains, direct downspouts away from driveways and streets (preferably to a rain garden, rain barrel or a bioswale), keep lawn clippings & leaves out of the streets, wash vehicles in a car wash or on the lawn, pick up pet waste, dispose of chemicals properly, get a soil test before fertilizing your lawn, and prevent dirt from washing away. Good practices include the use of pervious pavement, green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, native landscaping, tree preservation and planting, and protection of natural areas for greenspace. These practices also reduce other negative impacts of excess runoff such as streambank erosion and fish/aquatic life habitat degradation, as well as promoting groundwater recharge to feed our springs, streams, and drinking water. For more information about stormwater pollution and these practices, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater and www.jamesriverbasin.com.
What are we looking for?
This year all 10 of the storm drain murals will be focused in the downtown area. In this location all the drains lead to Jordan Creek. They may not start out as the most attractive drains but by the time they are painted they will be! This year we are asking artists to include the words Jordan Creek in the design. These words need to appear somewhere in the art. Be creative! You can create a phrase referring to Jordan Creek that supports your message or just the words Jordan Creek on their own. Jordan Creek was tunneled under downtown Springfield many years ago and historically has suffered from pollution. However, much effort has been made and is ongoing to improve water quality and clean up contaminated areas along the creek. Eventually, it might be possible to uncover some of the underground portion and restore it as an amenity for downtown.
In addition to putting a focus on Jordan Creek, there are a few ideas we would like to convey on a couple of the drains. Submissions are not limited to these ideas.
Keep in mind that the overall goal of each art piece is to make it clear that the storm drains lead to our streams, rivers, and lakes. We are asking artists to submit their ideas using the attached application. A committee of City and JRBP staff will choose 10 designs from those submitted. The artwork is anticipated to last for at least several years. We hope the murals will continue to raise awareness long after the initial planned events. Artwork can expand up to four feet on any one side of the storm drain if the conditions allow.
What to expect?
The storm drains will be power washed before the project begins. The artist will be responsible for picking up orange cones from the City which they will be required to use during painting. The artist will also be given Seal-Krete Clear Coat to put on before and after the painting is done. Acrylic paints in basic colors will also be provided. On the application you will see deadlines for bio submittal and art completion. These deadlines are critical to the success of the project. Once the storm drain murals are completed, professional photos of each drain will be taken and mounted. In 2012 these photos, along with the artist’s mounted bio, were displayed at May’s First Friday Artwalk and Saturday and Sunday at Artsfest on Walnut Street. Ten’s of thousands of people viewed the photos, bios and water quality information during these events. The public was encouraged to vote for a “People’s Choice” winner. It is anticipated that Storm Drain Reveal 2013 will work much the same as this. For the remainder of the month of May and likely through the rest of the year, the photos will hang in a local business. A flyer will also be created using the photographs and artists’ names and it will be distributed throughout the year. A variety of press releases, dedicated web pages, social networking sites, and newsletter articles for the project will be utilized.
Who are our partners or contributors?
Kat Allie, Fine Arts Department OTC
Urban District Alliance
A few examples…
There are two storm drains that were painted a few years ago in Springfield by Knial Piper and Keaton Piper. This served as the initial inspiration for this project. They can be viewed at http://www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater/galleries/art/index.html.
Here is a link to the info and designs for Storm Drain Reveal 2012. This site will also have the updated info for 2013 as it becomes available.
This link will lead you to other pictures of painted storm drains from both our area and other areas of the country.
If you are an artist interested in participating and lending your time and talent, please print SDR Artist Application 2013, fill out and send along with your design idea to:
James River Basin Partnership
901 S. National, PCOB
Springfield, MO 65897
You may scan and email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline to receive application is February 21st, 2013.
Let the message and your artistic imagination run with this project. We are excited to see what ideas are out there!
Questions or concerns? Please email email@example.com or call 836-6183.