The first annual Storm Drain Art Contest is complete! Painting is complete on all five storm drains. The public is encouraged to take a walk downtown and check out the finished drains.

All of the drain designs are unique – there are different animals, a rainbow waterfall and even a Disney-themed drain of Hank and Dory from Finding Nemo.

“I enjoyed the project,” said Ellen Brewer, artist of the Bank of Tennessee drain. “It was fun and challenging to paint on a road, instead of a wall or a canvas. The design was inspired by local wildlife and each little bear was inspired by the personalities of two toddlers in my family.”

With the success of this first storm drain contest, the Stormwater Department plans to hold the contest again next year.

“Thank you to all the artists for making our first annual storm drain art contest a success,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “I am so excited to do this project again next year.”

Sponsors for this contest were all local businesses and include Bank of Tennessee, Kingsport Imaging and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

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.