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Are you a local artist with a passion for keeping the environment clean and healthy? Or are you a casual painter that loves animals? The City of Kingsport Stormwater Department, with the help of the Office of Cultural Arts and Engage Kingsport, is seeking local artists and creative minds to paint five storm drains in local neighborhoods to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our rivers, stream habitat, and aquatic wildlife.

To enter the contest:

  • Send a color sketch of your proposed artwork around a storm drain.
  • Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.
  • Text is encouraged to convey the educational stormwater message.
  • Be sure to include your name, phone and email.

The deadline to submit entries is August 1. The winners will be selected by August 16. The five winning artists will receive $100 and their chance to leave their artistic talents on the streets of local Kingsport neighborhoods.

Sponsors for this contest are all local businesses and include Bishop & Company, Bank of Tennessee, Kingsport Imaging, VIPSeen and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

The artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black. Artists will start painting the first week of September. For complete rules and guidelines, please click here.

“The response we got last year from the downtown drain artwork was very positive,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “This year, we want to bring the art to the people by painting drains in various neighborhoods.”

What is Stormwater?

As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

For more information on the storm drain art contest and stormwater in Kingsport, please click here.