Area Artists Painting Storm Drains

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Artists have started work on a most unusual public art project in Cedar Rapids this week.

An example of storm drain art from Richmond, Virginia. The city of Cedar Rapids is offering a contest for local artists to decorate storm drains in seven allies with colorful anti-pollution messages.

Seven artists have started painting murals around storm drain grates in downtown alleys.

The public art idea is to draw attention to the connection between the drains and nearby waterways.The educational campaign hopes to convince people not to use the drains as dumping grounds to prevent pollution.

And one artist thinks the decorating the drains might work.

"I know there's been studies if someone puts up a mural there's less graffiti in the area so hopefully by putting public art in storm drains it'll deter people from dumping in these sites," said Lauren Manninen.

Many of the storm drain illustrations will carry an anti-pollution message, and the paint is expected to last at least two years.

A "mural walk" tour of the completed projects is set for Friday.