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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : Winning entry and artist chosen for DNREC/DelDOT-sponsored rain barrel art contest

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Rain barrel art contest winners

Finalists in the first DNREC/DelDOT-sponsored rain barrel art contest; winner Susan S. Johnston's entry below/DNREC photos

Winning artist chosen for DNREC/DelDOT-sponsored rain barrel
art contest – barrels go on display statewide for clean water

Winning entry in the DelDOT/DNREC-sponsored rain barrel art contest by Susan S. JohnstonDOVER (April 29, 2014) – Clean water was the motif for the first rain barrel art contest co-sponsored by DNREC and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), and grand-prize winning artist Susan S. Johnston of Dover captured it best, both with her art work and in describing it: "My rain barrel displays the many demands on water and how easily and thoughtlessly this treasure can be sullied and taken for granted. Along with the imagery pertaining to water, I have incorporated clock and watch pieces to emphasize an immediacy and personal resolve with my theme of ‘It's About Time,’" Ms. Johnston said.

DNREC and DelDOT staged the contest as “a fun way to educate the community on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality,” said Sara Wozniak of DNREC’s Watershed Assessment Section. Eleven Delaware artists were selected to paint creative designs on a rain barrel, with Ms. Johnston’s entry winning the competition, thus entitling her work to be displayed later this year at Woodburn, the Governor’s residence.

Ms. Johnston’s work also is featured at Parke Green Galleries in Dover. Her activities in the arts since graduating from Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa. include teaching art for 15 years in public schools in Ohio and West Virginia, and illustrating for a national publication, House Plant magazine. She has volunteered for the Downtown Dover Partnership on Design Committee and initiated arts programming for the city’s First Friday celebrations.

The other 10 participating artists in the rain barrel contest – including honorable mention selections from Diane Calloway of Laurel and Kathi Schiavoni of Townsend – will also have their rain barrels shown at locations throughout the state. Some will be part of social media raffles and drawings, and others will be shown at future outdoors events. Each rain-barrel finalist also will receive a Delaware State Parks pass from DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship “so that they might gather inspiration for future artwork,” Ms. Wozniak said.

The painted barrels have been on display this month at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and can also be seen on the Delaware Watersheds website.

Rain barrel art contest finalists and the future locations for display of their barrels:

·         Grand prize winner: Susan Johnston, Dover - Governor's Residence, Dover

·         Leah Curran, Bear - DelDOT Foyer, Dover

·         Diane Calloway, Laurel - DNREC R&R Building, Dover

·         Monika Bullette, Wilmington - New Castle County Government Office, New Castle

·         Kim Littleton, Laurel - Go Ape Course, Lums Pond State Park, Bear

·         Alan Rich, Rehoboth Beach - Willey Farms, Townsend

·         Natalie Wipf, New Castle - Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton

·         Kathi Schiavoni, Townsend - American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting raffle

·         Laura Olds Schmidt, Wilmington - Race for Our Rivers event raffle

·         Kim Klabe, Rehoboth Beach - Delaware Watersheds Facebook Page Giveaway

·         Bruce McKinney, Milton - Delaware Association of Environmental Educators Annual Meeting prize giveaway

What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores the water from roofs and downspouts for future uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car.  Rain barrels help to lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months, by collecting thousands of gallons of free water a year that homeowners don’t have to buy! Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching our streams and rivers. The average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. While it’s running off from our homes and lawns, stormwater picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste and motor oil, and transports it to storm drains that do not treat the water before dumping it directly into our waterways.

This effort supports Governor Markell’s Clean Water for Delaware’s Future initiative – a comprehensive plan for cleaning up Delaware’s bays, rivers and streams so they meet water quality standards for drinking, swimming and supporting fish and other aquatic life. The plan accelerates a wide range of clean water projects that protect public health and safety, improve water quality, increase the resiliency of Delaware’s communities to storms and flooding, support our multi-billion dollar tourism and agriculture industries, create jobs and bolster the economic revitalization of our towns and cities.

Contact: Sara Wozniak, DNREC Watershed Assessment Section 302-382-0335

Vol. 44, No. 132

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