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What is UpStream Art? 
This unique and engaging educational program utilizes art to communicate the function and importance of storm drains. UpStream Art gives artists the opportunity to express themselves with semi-permanent public art in the form of a small-scale outdoor storm drain mural. The purpose of UpStream Art is to draw attention to the usually discreet concrete and iron infrastructure with the hope that observers stop and think about where the water flows after it enters a storm drain. If residents understand that stormwater flows untreated to creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, then they will be more conscious of potential pollutants that can enter those waterways. This project, along with the involvement of our vibrant art community, is unique and has a positive impact on water quality protection.

Why Storm Drains?

Leah Saffian's Cone Flower

Detail of Leah’s Saffian’s Cone Flower located on West and Maple in Fayettville

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, streets, and parking lots prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater acts like a magnet, picking up everything in its path such as grease, oil, sediment, litter, anti-freeze, fertilizer, yard clippings, and pet waste. Stormwater runoff flows into our storm drain system carrying with it the pollutants it has gathered. Many residents have a
misconception that storm drains are part of our sanitary sewer system that lead to a wastewater treatment plant. Instead, storm drains act as a direct link transporting stormwater untreated to local streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

Heart of Dickson

Tina Oppenheimer’s Heart of Dickson located at West Ave. & Dickson St. in Fayetteville

For more info contact:
Jane Maginot
Program Associate – Water Quality
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2536 N. McConnell Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72704
Programs and events are open to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible prior to the activity.

UpStream Art Walking Tour

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Sunday, June 1st 
Organized Tours Start at Fayetteville Underground

UpStream Art will be hosting an organized walking tour of the storm drain murals located in the city of Fayetteville with interactive booths set up along the route. The organized tours will start at 3pm at Fayetteville Underground, and ending at the Fayetteville Public Library by the start of Artoshpere’s Trail Mix event which kicks off at 5pm on the Frisco Trail. The tour will feature 10 of the storm drain murals as well as interactive booths from area organizations.

This event will celebrate the closing of the Ironside Photography/UpStream Art show at the Fayetteville Underground. Please come and see the show before it’s over! Water will be available along the tour route. For more info: contact Jane at 444-1755 or

Congratulations to this year’s artists!

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University of Arkansas




Below are the artists whose designs were selected from the MANY submissions for the 2014 UpStream Art project. Artists will be out on the streets painting until May 20th! Please show them support while out painting! For more information about UpStream Art visit our “About” page!

Bella Vista 
1) Ashley Cane – “Look!” at Riordan Rd and Hwy 71
2) Kimberly Cribbs – “Urban Runoff” at Mercy Way

1) Katy Kane – “Frog” Tiger Blvd and NW “A” St
2) Napoleon Dezaldivar – “Clean Fortune” On SW “A” at the Parks and Recreation Department
3) DJ Lee – “The Sun” at John DeShields round-a-bout

1) Bruce Carpenter – “Oyster” at West Ave. and Lafayette St. – SE corner
2) Elizabeth Hill – “Turtles” at West Ave. –behind Hog Haus at entrance to parking lot
3) Jeffi O’Kane – “Keep it Clean” at Church Ave. and Spring St. – SW corner
4) Lee Porter – “Ozark Sun” at Church Ave. and Spring St. – NE corner
5) Elizabeth Sharp – “Water Underfoot” at Church Ave. and Meadow St. – SW corner
6) Tina Oppenheimer – “Literate Fish” at School Ave. and Mountain St. – SE corner

1) Paige Ray – “Our Worlds” designed by students of Parson Hills Elem. at Jones Center on Emma Ave.
2) Teri Johnson – “Three Little Fish” at Emma Ave. and Spring Street
3) Teri Johnson – “Home Run” at Tyson Sports Park
4) Amber Perrodin & Olivia Trimble – “”Desague al Rio” at Hunt Park

Fayetteville High School Photo Contest Winner!

University of Arkansas

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Congratulations to the winner of Fayetteville High School’s Photography Contest! The photographs will remain on display at Onyx Coffee Lab on Gregg Ave. until the end of April.

HMathews KeepMeClean 2 HMathews BeaverLake

Haylee Mathews – Don’t “Let it Be”

The first photograph uses time exposure and sparklers to create the image. The second image is a silhouette of my mother at Beaver Lake showing the recreational use of the lake.

2014 Call for Artists – OPEN

Application Due: March 14th

Please join us for a kick-off reception at Fayetteville Underground on Saturday, Feb. 15th 5-7pm. Project representatives and previous artists will be available to answer questions about UpStream Art and show off the previous years’ art.

What are we looking for? There are 12 storm drains identified for the 2014 project. A committee of city staff, local artists, and representatives from the art community will select designs from those submitted. Each art piece will be approved by the appropriate mayor. Keep in mind the messages we are trying to convey as you create your design – that storm drains lead to creeks and streams. We are asking all designs to have the message “Drains to Creek” in English or Spanish somewhere in the art. If the message is not included in the art, the words will be stenciled next to art. We will also have a 3”x3” vinyl QR Code that can either be incorporated into the design or will be placed next to the art. The code can be used by mobile devices to link directly to this website. You may tailor your design based on a specific location or choose to do a more general design that could apply to any storm drain. If you are tailoring your design, please remember to mark that on the application.

Art ParametersLabeled Storm Drain – Each artist is challenged with incorporating the physical storm drain structures into their art piece. The general size of storm drains are 4’x6’, but this will fluctuate with each drain. All artwork should remain within the confines of the storm drain structure. This is the concrete that immediately surrounds the opening (or throat) of the storm drain and the concrete box around the lid. The lid is the metal manhole cover that is used for municipal drain access. The lids may not all have the same placement within the structure or the same design into the metal. The cities have allowed access to artist to paint the throat of the drain (which may allow a three dimensional component) but the art can not extend into the street. It is strongly encouraged that each artist visit the site of the storm drains before designing their art.

Timeline: Application Due: March 14th
Artist will be notified: April 1st
Paint pick-up and art installation: April 3rd
Biography/W9 Due: Upon completion of art
All art will be completed by: May 20th*
*If you want your art to be considered for the 2014 Fayetteville Underground Gallery show, you must have installations completed by April 20th!!!

For an application packet, please contact:
Jane Maginot
Cooperative Extension Service
2536 N. McConnell Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72704