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Please read all the information below before filling out the application at the bottom of this page.

The Colorado Springs Storm Drain Art Project is a public/private art initiative meant to raise awareness at street drain inlets. Local artists are invited to submit designs that will be reviewed and selected by the Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise.  The size of the drain inlets varies at each location and have different dimensions and restrictions.

Surfaces will be concrete sidewalk, drain lid, curb and gutter. The Committee will consider the following when making final selections: Artistic excellence, Technical competence, Scale, Form and Content, and Appropriate Relationship to the function of the site.

Accepted media include: paint, graffiti, and digital graphics, printing and spray paint will be provided. According to artist’s specified medium, the City will provide all primer, paint, sealers, drain protection, spray paint and alumigraphic.  Artists will provide their own brushes, rollers and paint applicators. 

No additional art supplies will be reimbursed. For their selected design, each design will be compensated with a $300 commission when installation and sealing is complete.

Concept Requirements

Designs must include one or more of the following concepts:

  • Stormwater pollution prevention (littler, yard waste, grass clippings, leaves, cigarette butts, vehicle fluids, pet waste, motor oil, soapy water, etc.)
  • Aquatics, wildlife, riparian habitat, including native species (amphibians, fish/trout, or native species to Colorado such as magpies, great blue herons, ducks, songbirds, raptors, cottonwoods, willows, grasses etc.)
  • Quality of life (clean water for recreation, drinking, natural beauty, agriculture, watershed protection, etc.)

Design Criteria

Designs must also adhere to the following criteria.

  • Some changes to chosen designs may be required, to accommodate the specific location. Artists are encouraged to visit the drain inlet in person to get a feel for the actual size and sun factors.
  • Each Storm Drain is the property of the City, so each artist must release artwork to the City of Colorado Springs by a signed agreement.
  • Designs must be painted on the area surrounding the drain and must run to or incorporate the drain. Most art areas are square or rectangular, but designs do not necessarily have to be within a straight frame.
  • Artwork must be confined to the storm drain surface and vertical face of the curb and must not extend onto the sidewalk, bottom mouth of the inlet, or on the road.
  • Artwork must not depict the storm drain opening as a mouth. This has been found to encourage the dumping of trash into storm drains.
  • Designs may not contain any business promotions or advertisements, nor include any breach of intellectual property, brands or trademarks, or depictions of illegal activity.
  • Designs must be public friendly, and be understandable to bilingual speakers.
  • The final painting must match the proposed design.
  • The artist further grants the City of Colorado Springs the following exclusive rights:
    • Reproduction (including electronic images) for promotion and educational purposes.
    • The right to remove the artwork (or sections of the artwork) from the site for any reason.
  • Application Period

    Art submissions are accepted Monday - Friday, 8am-4pm.

    Applicants are asked to submit 1-2 images of proposed artwork and a brief statement of interest (approximately 300 words). Proposed images may be sketches or digital renderings.  They should properly demonstrate the type and style of artwork in relation to the designated inlet.

    Submitting images and statement

    By email:

    Mail: Address to: City of Colorado Springs, C/O Jerry Cordova, Suite 410, Mail Code 410, 30 S. Nevada, Colorado Springs, CO

    Drop Off:30 S Nevada, Suite 410 Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


    Call 719-385-5033 or email Jerry Cordova at



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