Storm Drain Art

Drawing of man hole cover and water with text Storm Drain Art Project

Call for artists is now closed.

The City of Savannah is seeking bold and original designs that call attention to our waterways, reducing pollution, and protecting our local ecosystems. Proposals from artists of all backgrounds and abilities are welcomed. Emerging artists, local artists, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as artists a part of other minoritized or historically excluded communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the Project

This phase of the Water Resources project will focus on drains that flow into the Vernon River.
Savannah is surrounded by creeks that flow to rivers that flow to the ocean. Living in the city we don’t see the rivers and oceans every day; yet we are still connected to them and to the plants and wildlife living in them. The storm drain art project is part of a larger campaign to enlighten the community about the connection to our rivers and ocean through the drain. It will be a reminder that our actions impact the wildlife and local economies depending on our waters staying healthy.

Highlighting Our Connection to Our Water 

Living in the city we don’t see the rivers and oceans every day; yet we are still connected to them and to the plants and wildlife living in them. The storm drains in front of our homes, schools, offices, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations are our connection in the city to this important water resource that we cannot see. This lowly, unassuming, gray structure is a major gateway joining our everyday activities to our rivers and ocean. It is there to take rain away from the land in storms and to prevent flooding. When only rain goes down that drain our waters stay healthy. But rain will pick up what’s on the ground. When we have pollutants like pet waste and litter on the ground; when we use fertilizers incorrectly; when we put oils and chemicals on the ground, we have unhealthy water.

Since 2005, Casey Canal, which runs into the Vernon River, has been on the state's impaired waterways list. If only water flows into the Casey Canal, it can be removed from this list! Storm drain selections were made based on locations in the Casey Basin, public visibility, and safety. Ten (10) storm drains have been selected for this project, See below for technical information and locations.

Project Submissions

Submissions, including supporting materials, will be accepted through the online form through Sunday, June 5 at midnight. 

Design Specifications

Designs should fit the brief of bold and original designs that call attention to our waterways, reducing pollution, and protecting our local ecosystems. The chosen storm drains have 3 basic design shapes (see Call for Artists or the section below for diagrams). Design submissions should be for a specific shape, not for a specific drain. Since every drain is slightly different, submitted designs should be able to be altered slightly to fit the exact location once drains are assigned.  

Submission Criteria

Applicants must be residents of Chatham County, Georgia, and 18 years of age or older. One design per submission. Artists preparing more than one design should submit each design as a separate and complete submission through the online form.

Submissions Must Include:
Written Proposal (PDF)
Artist Bio (PDF)
Images: up to five (5) images that accurately represent the artwork in scale and color. 
Schematics:  Include at least one image showing design within provided drain schematic.
Up to three (3) Images of previous artwork should be included. 
PDF, jpeg, eps, and png accepted.

Submissions will be juried by a panel of local experts including marine ecologists, artists, and City representatives. All submissions will be scored on the following four (4) categories out of a total possible 100 Points. 

Clarity of theme and overall concept     [35 Points] 
Formal and aesthetic qualities         [25 Points] 
Creativity and originality             [25 Points] 
Feasibility                    [15 Points] 

Selected Artists

Selected artists will be assigned a storm drain based on the shape submitted. Paint and materials will be supplied. 

The artist(s) selected will enter a contract with Cultural Resources and receive a schedule for installation. Artist(s) will be given a nine (9) day period for installation. The City of Savannah reserves the right not to install or remove artwork if it differs greatly from the proposed design, and revoke stipend as a breach of the agreement. 

Each selected artist will be awarded a stipend based on the design shape. The stipend is based on surface area and complexity. If an artist is awarded more than one mural, they will receive one stiped per installation. Stipends will be distributed upon completion of the art installation. Shape A: $750, Shape B: $1000, Shape C: $1200.

View the Full Call for Submissions Here.
Apply Here.

Storm Drain Locations and Technical information

Ten (10) drains have been selected for this project. Click the images below to see full size PDF

Savannah's Waterways
Savannah watershed map Opens in new window
Storm Drain Selection for Art Project
STORM DRAIN CONTEST MAP 3.2.2022 Opens in new window

The storm drain locations are:

LocationNotesDrain Design Shape
Kerry StreetSouthside of Kerry between Wicklow and DixieRectangle
Chatham Crescent & 44thNE corner on school sideRectangle
Cedar in front of park    E side b/w Delesseps and 58thRectangle
Hull Park, Atlantic and 54th
Hull Park, Atlantic and 56th
Habersham & 62ndNW corner    Baseball Field
Juliette Low ElementarySouthside of parking lotTrapezoid
Heard ElementaryCorner of Andover and LeeRectangle
White Bluff ElementaryIn front of schoolTrapezoid
Windsor ParkWoodley Road    Rectangle

The selected storm drains have 3 different shapes and styles. Designs must cover the sidewalk area indicated as well as the metal drain cover.

Shape A: Rectangle
5 Total

Stipend: $750
Cedar Delessops storm drainStorm drain public art - Rectangle drain 1
Shape B: Trapezoid
4 Total

Stipend: $1,000
JG Low Elem storm drainStorm drain public art - Trapazoid drain 2
Shape C: Baseball Field
1 Total

Stipend: $1200
Habersham Village storm drain

Storm drain public art - Baseball drain 3

Project Timeline

May 4, 2022  |  Information Session via Zoom. (View the recorded presentation at the bottom of the page.)

June 5, 2022  |  Submission Deadline (11:59pm) 

June 13, 2022  |  Selection Committee Reviews Submissions 

June 21, 2022  |  Selected Artists Notified and Assigned Specific Drain Site *subject to change

The artists selected and City of Savannah staff will discuss installation specifications, and the artist will be asked to make adjustments to design as needed to fit assigned site. 

July 12, 2022  |  Final Design Submissions Due 

July-Aug, 2022  |   Designs presented to neighborhood representatives, Chatham County - Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, and City of Savannah City Council. 

Sept 16-18, 2022  |  Install weekend. (Backup/rain date Sept 23-25) 

Questions should be submitted to prior to the submission period closing.