BECQ launches storm drain art contest

In: Coral Reef Initiative
Feb 19, 2014
Photo © CNMI Coral Reef Initiative
Photo © CNMI Coral Reef Initiative

PROFESSIONAL and amateur artists “who want to make a difference” are invited to show their talent and compete in the mural painting contest to cover the storm drains in the Garapan area.

Kathy Yuknavage, technical advisor for the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, said the contest is part of this year’s observance of Earth Day and Environmental Awareness Month in April.

“We wish to convey to residents and visitors the importance of not dumping into our storm drains. Many people assume that stormwater flows to our sewer treatment plant for processing, which it doesn’t,” Yuknavage said.

Eye-catching street art around drainages in Garapan will help inform people more effectively where these drains lead and that is directly to the coastal waters, he added.

“Once design winners are selected they will paint drainages in Garapan. We will then produce a link on the BECQ website to highlight the winning artists and to provide a downloadable map for residents and tourists to walk the Paseo and take pictures, possibly with the artists.”

The competition is for young and old, amateur and professional artists.

“We are distributing flyers in schools and have contacted the Commonwealth Arts Council,” Yuknavage said.

Cash prizes of $100, $80 and$60 will be given to the first, second and third place winners. Five honorary mentions will be chosen and awarded $50 each.

Contest mechanics

Yuknavage said artists will be asked to design their drain murals by considering how storm drains are designed.  

“The contestants should consider walking around Garapan district to look at actual storm drains to get some ideas for their design.”

The storm drain painting should be no larger than 5’x5’ but it should incorporate the actual drainage as seen in the sample images.

The designs should be submitted to BECQ in color, on paper, or using digital formatting. Entries will be accepted from March 1 and no later than 4 p.m. on March 18. Only one entry per contestant will be accepted, and entries must be the artist’s original work.

Winners will be selected and contacted on March 19.

“Winners will be asked to provide us with a list of color paints that they will need to complete their painting,” Yuknavage said.

Painting supplies will be provided to the winners by March 26 so they can start painting their designated drainage by March 29.

The storm drain paintings must be completed by April 14 in time for the winner recognition and photo opportunities on April 17.

The winners will be featured on the BECQ website along with a downloadable map for residents and tourists to view the Garapan storm drain art and take photos.

Entries will be judged on how effectively the art draws public attention to the fact that storm drains lead to the ocean, and dumping in them is an act of pollution. Other criteria are uniqueness and creativity.

Submissions can be dropped at the BEQC office on Chalan Pale Arnold, Gualo Rai across from Subway. Entries must be marked: “Attention: EAM Storm Drain Art Contest.”

For more information, call 664-8500.