DUBUQUE, Iowa – The City of Dubuque is seeking artists to design and paint sidewalk murals at five locations for the 2020 Storm Drain Mural Project. The project is part of the City's education and outreach efforts to raise awareness about stormwater pollution and comes after a successful pilot in 2019 which produced three storm drain murals.
When it rains, stormwater runs over pavement, sidewalks, and yards, picking up oil, litter, yard waste, chemicals, and other pollutants. The polluted stormwater then flows down storm drains and through stormwater pipes which empty directly into our local creeks, streams, and rivers without treatment.
Storm drains can also become a hot spot for illicit dumping – trash, grease, pet waste, paint, cigarettes, and more. These pollutants make their way to the Catfish Creek and Bee Branch Creek and, ultimately, the Mississippi River, damaging the health of our waterways and adversely impacting adjacent flora and fauna.
The storm drain locations selected for this project will be transformed from functional infrastructure into engaging works of art to draw attention to water-quality protection and inspire Dubuque residents to have a positive impact on their environment.
The Storm Drain Mural Project is open to all artists of all skill levels, including groups and students. Local artists are strongly encouraged to apply. Designs should be bold, original, and demonstrate strong artistic merit. When designing artworks, applicants are encouraged to consider the themes of storm water pollution, environmental protection, and local ecosystems. Artists are welcome to submit more than one design.
Design concepts must be submitted by Sept. 15, through the City's website or mailed to: City Hall, Attn: Kristin Hill at 50 W. 13th St., Dubuque, IA, 52001. Designs will be reviewed and chosen by a panel and selected artists will be notified by Sept. 21. The murals must be painted by Oct. 31, 2020. Upon project completion, the artist will receive a $500 stipend for each mural painted.
The City was awarded seven gallons of Diamond Vogel paint for this project through Paint Iowa Beautiful, a program that provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. During the 17-year partnership between Keep Iowa Beautiful and Diamond Vogel Paint, over 11,330 gallons of paint for 990 community projects in Iowa.
The project is supported through a combination of City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs programming funds and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater funds with in-kind support from the Key City Creative Center.
For more information including the storm drain mural locations and templates, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/stormdrainmuralproject