Social distancing may have changed how artists are working, but the Drain Smart Program isn't letting it stop them from spreading their message.
Local conservation groups, artists and city officials have help from area artists to spread clean water message
A new cohort of artists has begun working on their storm drain murals for the sixth year of the Drain Smart Central Arkansas project. Drain Smart is a public art program aimed at raising awareness, education, and protection of local water resources. Twelve murals are being painted, eight in Little Rock, two in North Little Rock, and two in Bryant. This project will adhere to federal, state, and local guidelines concerning Covid-19.
The artists come from various backgrounds and walks of life, from lifelong professional artists to high school students working on their first public project. Each has a story to tell about what motivated them to apply and about the concept they submitted. They are working now through June 1. Each artist is responsible for setting their own schedule, but arrangements for on-site interviews can be made through project coordinator Dan Scheiman, Conservation Director for Audubon Arkansas.
In most cities across Arkansas storm drains flow directly into the nearest waterway. When it rains, water picks up everything in its path and carries it through storm drains into our creeks and rivers. Drain Smart is an engaging public art / environmental education program that uses art to communicate the importance of reducing street litter so it doesn’t get washed down a storm drain and pollute water and wildlife habitat.
The Drain Smart Committee, a coalition of state and local agencies and non-profit organizations, selected the 12 artists and their concepts from among the 43 submissions. Selected artists have been given basic paint supplies and will receive a $150 stipend upon completion of their mural.
The project will culminate in a Meet the Artists Celebration on June 25 at Heifer Village. Artists will be eligible for an additional final prize to be given to the winners chosen after a month of public voting.