Call for Art—Help Paint Storm Drains for a Purpose

The City of Sioux Falls is calling on local artists to help beautify downtown Sioux Falls. The Downtown Storm Inlet Art Project provides a unique canvas for public art, as well as an opportunity to highlight the need to protect our water systems.

Five storm drain inlets are available for organizations or individuals to submit design proposals. Each proposal should include artwork that includes messages supporting water quality initiatives and the proposed location selected among the five inlet options. For a map of inlet locations, photos of past entries, and other information about submitting artwork, visit www.siouxfalls.org/green.

The five winning artists will receive $200 compensation. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on May 13. Location is contingent on City approval. The designs will be reviewed, and the five winning artists will be selected by the City of Sioux Falls and the Visual Arts Commission.

Since the program’s inception in 2016, eighteen storm drain inlets along downtown Sioux Falls streets have been painted by local organizations and individual artists to draw attention to the city’s storm drainage system.

“Water that flows down the storm drains leads directly to the Big Sioux River with little or no treatment. As the storm water washes over the pavement it carries with it everything the water picks up. This includes litter, pollutants, pet waste, and sediment and discharges it into the waterways. Our hope is that the art on these storm drains will bring attention to their purpose and prevent some of the pollutants from being discharged back into the Big Sioux,” says City of Sioux Falls Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Sexe.

The City is partnering with Norberg Paints, who has donated all of the supplies for the project, including a special sealant that will be applied once all of the paintings are complete to help keep the murals intact. When the artwork begins to fade, it will be completely removed to ensure the paint doesn’t end up in the storm drains. The City hopes to continue this project each year to raise awareness about water quality.

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