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Sioux Falls wants local artists for water quality murals

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City of Sioux Falls
A few of the 2020 designs by Adam Beilke, Emily Buelher, Lindsey Conrad and Kieran Tate, focus on wildlife and pollution.

The City of Sioux Falls is looking for local artists to paint a new round of storm drains that will call attention to water quality in the Big Sioux River. The annual Downtown Storm Inlet Art Project intends to bring awareness to pollution sources.

Artists have decorated Sioux Falls storm drains since 2016. Each year, murals focus on the system’s direct drainage into the Big Sioux. Many designs have included images of litter and brought attention to the natural life cycle of water.

Troy Lambert, the city's environmental analyst, says the connection is important to remember.

“Anything that goes, anything that potentially gets in those storm drains can end up in our river and potentially end up polluting our river,” Lambert said.

The paints used in the murals are water-based latex acrylics. Each mural lasts for roughly two years and then, when the paint begins to flake, Lambert said the area is sandblasted in a self-contained environment to prevent runoff.

This year's project will include six to seven locations for murals.

Drain painting is scheduled from June 6th through June 10th. Submissions are open until Friday, May 6th. Design selection occurs in mid-May.

Those interested must submit a plan of their design. Artists selected for their design receive compensation for supplies.