KINGSPORT — Whether you’re a local artist with a passion for the environment or a casual painter who loves animals, the city of Kingsport is bringing back a creative contest that just might pique your palette.

For the second year, Kingsport is seeking local artists and creative minds to paint five storm drains in local neighborhoods to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our rivers, stream habitat and aquatic wildlife.

This contest is being done by the city’s storm water department, with the help of the Office of Cultural Arts and Engage Kingsport.


• Send a color sketch of your proposed artwork around a storm drain.

• Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.

• Text is encouraged to convey the educational storm water message.

• Be sure to include your name, phone number and email.

The deadline to submit entries is Aug. 1 and winners will be selected by Aug. 16. The five winning artists will receive $100 and their chance to leave their artistic talents on the streets of Kingsport.

Artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black and begin painting their storm water drain masterpieces the first week of September. For complete rules and guidelines, visit and search “storm drain art contest.”

“The response we got last year from the downtown drain artwork was very positive,” said Amanda McMullen, storm water quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “This year, we want to bring the art to the people by painting drains in various neighborhoods.”


As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as storm water.

Storm water can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.