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The third annual Storm Drain Art Contest is now complete!

This year is more exciting than ever as our annual contest has inspired other cities such as Norton, VA and McMinnville, TN to hold their own Storm Drain Art Contests. The message behind the contest is being spread as well: Keep It Clean – We’re All Downstream! The public is encouraged to visit the drains and pick a favorite.

Drain locations include:

  • Market Street – Trista Demoranville
  • Gibson Mill Road – Juanita Mitchell
  • Lynn View Community Center – Julie Hayden
  • Clay Street – Lauren Whipple
  • Water Services (Konnarock Road) – Kaylee Osborne

All of the drain designs are unique. There are some drains that feature the animals that live in our local waters as well as some that highlight the importance of a community effort when it comes to keeping our water clean.

“This is the second year that I participated in the Storm Drain Murals and it was just as fun!” said Juanita Mitchell, artist of the drain on Gibson Mill Road. “This year I was assisted by a talented artist and friend, Tim Mullins. One of the benefits of painting in a neighborhood was the community engagement. We found all our interactions with the neighborhood folks to be positive and they seemed to appreciate that their neighborhood had been chosen.”

While some artists have painted for this contest before, others are new—both to the contest and the area.

“We moved to Kingsport about two years ago and were so excited when we first saw a painted drain downtown. It was so exciting as we found more around town,” said Julie Hayden, who worked on the Lynn View Community Center drain. “I was so intrigued when I saw the contest announced this year. I was thrilled to have my design chosen and expand my creativity. I look forward to seeing more drains painted around the city, that they may bring a smile to those that find them!”

There was also some input from some of our youngest citizens on the storm drain designs.

“My kids Wyatt and Kaden helped me with my design. They are 4 and 5 so I wanted something simple they could understand,” said Trista Demoranville. “We chose mother nature as our focus point because in my house, we spend a lot of time outside learning about what mother nature has to offer. We had a blast being able to participate in sharing this message and hope to do it again in the future!”

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

“I hope that the work of these extremely talented artists will not only educate but also brighten someone’s day as they stroll past the new storm art,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works.

Sponsors for this contest include Bishop & Company, Kingsport Imaging, Now or Never Tattoo Gallery, Mattern & Craig, Hazen and Sawyer, Barge Design Solutions, Gresham Smith, and Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts.

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.


Photos from top to bottom: Tim Mullins & Juanita Mitchell, Julie Hayden, Kaylee Osborne, Lauren Whipple and Trista Demoranville

juanita mitchell_storm drain julie_storm drain kaylee_storm drain lauren_storm drain trista_storm drain