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Are you a local artist with a passion for keeping the environment and Kingsport clean? Do you have an artistic talent for conveying a message within your art? 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 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. Entries will be accepted via mail or email.
  • Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.
  • Text is encouraged to convey the educational stormwater message.
  • Be sure to include name, phone number and email.

The deadline to submit entries is August 20. Five winners will be selected by September 3. The five winning artists will receive $100 and the chance to leave their artistic talents on the streets of local Kingsport locations.

Sponsors for this year’s contest include Barge Design Solutions, LDA Engineering, Mattern & Craig and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

The artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black paint. Painting will begin the week of September 13. For complete rules and guidelines, please visit this link.

“Most people don’t think about storm drains,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “The goal of storm drain art is to get people to notice them. Where do they lead? Are pollutants or litter going into the drain?”

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.

Be sure to like and follow the Kingsport Public Works Facebook page to see progress pictures of the storm drain art once the artists get started!

For more information on the storm drain art contest and stormwater in Kingsport, please visit this link.