First look at the art selected for Richmond storm drains

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RICHMOND, Va. — One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, some Richmond storm drains are about to get a colorful new look.

The City of Richmond has selected the five artists who will paint downtown storm drains that flow into the James River. The idea behind the art is to getting people thinking about what they put down the drain in an effort to keep rivers and streams clean.

“Our Department of Public Utilities has taken a very fun and creative approach to educate our citizens on the importance of keeping our streets and waterways pollution-free,” Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones said. “DPU is placing a strong message on our downtown storm drains as they are transformed into beautiful canvases of art, and I know the public will benefit from this project.”

Judges, including members of the Richmond Public Art Commission and Richmond DPU stormwater team, chose the following five winners:

You drop it, I drink it by Abby Klein

Only rain in the drain by Richard Lucente

Endangered by Alfonso Perez Acosta

Clean through the drain by Melissa Greedy

The James by Nicole Gomez

“Each artist will be assigned a downtown storm drain to paint in July. All five drains are located along Tredegar Street from the American Civil War Center at Tredegar to Brown’s Island, and all flow directly into the James River,” a city spokesperson announced. “Artists will be compensated with a $300 stipend for their work and materials, like tools and brushes. They also will receive instruction on how to paint storm drains, which will include precautions to prevent paint from getting into the drain.”

The city will provide the artists with non-slip paint, basic brushes, and water tubs.

Once the painting is done, Richmonders can vote for their favorite design. The winning will receive a $200 prize.

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