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The streets and sidewalks of Lynchburg are connected to the James River by a network of over 15,000 stormwater drains. Whenever it rains, all the water—and whatever else is in the drain, including trash, oil, gasoline, and natural debris—is carried directly to the James River. In order to raise awareness about the importance of stormwater drains in keeping the James River clean, Lynchburg Water Resources and the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities (JRCAH) are inviting artists to submit designs for storm drain art in downtown Lynchburg.

Entries must be submitted by June 30, 2018, for consideration. An independent panel of judges from the City of Lynchburg and JRCAH will judge the entries and select up to seven winning designs. The winning artists will be announced in July, and artists will have until August 31, 2018, to complete installation of their artwork. Lynchburg Water Resources will supply all approved paint, as well as a $150 stipend to each artist.

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When designing your artwork, you’re encouraged to consider the following themes:

  • Stormwater Pollution: “Only Rain Down the Drain”
  • Environmental Protection: Why clean water is important for everyone
  • James River/Lynchburg Ecosystem: Local wildlife/habitat, natural beauty
  • Your design should include a message or phrase that references one or more of the above.

Designs must also adhere to the following criteria:

Use the attached template to propose design concepts. Despite the various storm drain shapes, we’ll prepare and seal the sidewalk surrounding the drains to ensure that they are a rectangular shape. Be mindful that some changes to your design may be required to accommodate the specific location.

If there is a particular storm drain that you would like for your design, please let us know in your application. (Reference: Map of Storm Drain Locations)


Each storm drain is made of concrete with a metal manhole cover on top. The shape of the drain is a rectangle. On average, the drains measure approximately 108” x 36”. Please use the 2018 Storm Drain Art Template as a guide.

Designs must be painted on the area surrounding the drain and must also incorporate the manhole itself.

Designs may not contain any business promotions or advertisements.

Designs may not include any breach of intellectual property, brands or trademarks, or depictions of illegal activity.

Designs may not incorporate any physical objects attached to the drains.

Designs must be public friendly with no vulgar or lewd language or representations.

If the final design differs greatly from the proposed design, the City of Lynchburg reserves the right to remove the artwork.

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Seven storm drains throughout Downtown Lynchburg are set to be included in the project.

Get involved:



  • Art must be submitted by June 30.
  • Winners announced in July.
  • Installation by August 31.