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Artists to Paint a Pollution Lesson

Friday, March 20, 2015

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Usually discreet, storm drains on the University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus will soon play the prominent role of canvases as part of a community awareness campaign.

Called UpStream Art, the initiative aims to educate residents and students about water quality and the significance of urban stormwater.

Storm drain

The UpStream Art project hopes to educate residents about issues surrounding water quality and the role urban stormwater plays.

Four of the university's storm drains will receive mural makeovers in the coming weeks, according to the project website. Seven more storm drains in surrounding communities will also be painted this year, the website relates.

Pollution Education

Every day, litter, motor oil, cigarette butts, plastics and other contaminants flow into waterways through storm drains, causing problems for people and wildlife.

“If residents understand that stormwater flows [untreated] to creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, then they will be more conscious of potential pollutants that can enter those waterways,” according to the project website.

Storm drain

A storm drain near the Arkansas Razorbacks' football stadium will be painted as a part of the project.

The UpStream Art project, first launched in 2012, has coordinated the painting of 34 drain murals throughout the northwest Arkansas area—with city approval, of course.

This is the first time the university has participated in the program.

Information regarding the types of paints and sealers used on the projects was not immediately available Thursday (March 19).

4 New Murals

Four artists, out of 91 applicants, were hand-selected to adorn the storm drains on the university campus with murals. The artists are Randy Rust, Lee Porter, Paige Dirkson and Kate Barnes.

“All four of the drains flow into Beaver Lake, which is our drinking water,” Jane Maginot, program associate of the university’s Cooperative Extension Service, told the student newspaper, The Arkansas Traveler.

Once the drains receive a proper power washing and the ground temperature reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the artists will be able to realize their designs for the drains, she said.


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Concrete coatings and treatments; Concrete stains; Environmental Protection; Murals; North America; potable water; Sealers

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