| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Get Paint BidTracker's Water Facility Painting Opportunities of 2015

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Sculpture Inspires Tank of the Year

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comment | More

One award-winning artwork has begotten another, as the reproduction of a beloved community sculpture on a water tank has reaped “2010 Tank of the Year” honors for the City of Newton, KS.

With the artist’s help, the town reproduced the Blue Sky Sculpture on its new 500,000-gallon potable water tank. The result is Tnemec Company’s Tank of the Year Award, which recognizes innovative uses of the company’s coatings on tank constructions.

Blue Sky

Blue Sky Sculpture is a 20-by-30-foot glazed tile mosaic that features clouds set against a bright blue sky. The collaborative effort of artist-designer Phil Epp and ceramists Terry Corbett and Conrad Snider, the work consists of an arched surface divided by a "sky passageway" and two abstract stoneware figures. 

In 2008, the sculpture, installed near the city of Newton, was named one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas Art.”

Later, when Newton officials were considering designs for the town’s new water tank, they negotiated with Epp to create a permanent reproduction of his signature work for use on the water tank.


Vada Snyder /

The Blue Sky Sculpture, which inspired the tank painting, is one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas Art.”

Coatings System

A scale model of the new tank, which replaced a standpipe built in 1905, was used to create the artwork that mimicked the sculpture.

“Phil Epp and Newton City Engineer Suzanne Loomis matched Tnemec colors to recreate the artist’s original desired effect,” said coating consultant Rick Penner. The resulting palette included Tnemec’s 20BL Splash, 15BL Tank White, 21BL K.C. Blue, 71BL Horizon Blue, 10BL Cornflower, 35GR Black and 24GR Lightpole.



The winning tank rises over Newton, KS.

The coating system consisted of a shop-applied primer coat of Series 91-H2OHydro-Zinc, a zinc-rich urethane certified in accordance with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for use on interior potable water tanks.

Exterior steel received a roller-applied intermediate coat of Series 73 Endura-Shield, an acrylic polyurethane, followed by a finish coat of Series 700 HydroFlon, an advanced fluoropolymer topcoat designed for long-term gloss and color retention.

Painting and Lighting

The shop and field applicator on the project was Phoenix Fabricators of Sebree, KY, which assembled the new tank on the ground and lifted it by crane onto its pedestal. The same company also removed the existing standpipe after installation of the new tank was completed.

To enhance the image, the city installed uplighting at the base of the tower, Penner said.

Tank Award

Judging of the annual award is conducted by “a panel of water tank enthusiasts,” Tnemec says. New and renovated projects may be nominated, and all styles of tank constructions are eligible. Judging criteria includes artistic value, significance of the tank to the community, and challenges encountered during the project.

Previous winners include the rose water tank in Rosemont, IL; hot air balloon tanks in Anderson, SC; the Lakes Eagles waterspheroid in Lake Villa, IL; and the sports figures water tank in Dublin, OH.



The Rosemont, IL, water tower took 2006 Tank of the Year honors.


Tagged categories: Tank exteriors; Tnemec; Water Tanks

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings

With 4,000 distribution points and 3,700+ years of experience, Sherwin-Williams delivers the products, support and expertise you need, right where you need it.

Corrosion Probe, Inc.
From Detection to Correction

Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at

Waterjet Technology Association (WJTA)
2015 WJTA-IMCA Conf/Expo Click here to register today!

Nov. 2-4, New Orleans. See the latest advances in automated and handheld UHP waterjetting tools/systems for paint/coating removal, surface prep, industrial cleaning. Exhibits, live demos.

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques

With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern

CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud.

Axxiom Manufacturing
Schmidt Improves Conversion Kits

Schmidt's conversion kits turn out-of-date blast pots into high quality, efficient blasters. Quick, easy to install with step by step instructions.
Call 1-800-231-2085

Chicago Corrosion Group
Vendor-neutral corrosion consulting

When reliability is paramount.
For more information,
call 877-516-9514

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Hydro Utility Penstock Overcoated in 1997. Was power washed and overcoated with major cost saving. No environmental impact with Termarust's low LC50 of 41,007 ppm.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail