Fourth Annual Artful Inlets Program kicks off April 22

Two-day program transforms storm drains into works of public art

The City of Norman, Norman Arts Council and Norman Public Arts Board will join forces at Lions Park (450 S. Flood Avenue) to coordinate the Fourth Annual Artful Inlets Program to educate and raise awareness about the importance of local water quality.

Five inlets in the vicinity, as well as various features within the park – to include bridge crossings and sidewalks entryways – will be transformed into works of public art by Cleveland County artists from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22 and April 23 at the park.

“We look forward to partnering with the arts community for this incredible event,” said Environmental and Sustainability Manager Michele Loudenback. “Artists have been asked to consider the themes of stormwater pollution and environmental protection while envisioning designs and we cannot wait to see the final products!”

The City of Norman operates and maintains a series of underground pipes, open channels, ditches and roadways used to collect or convey stormwater runoff from homes and businesses to the nearest body of water, such as a creek or lake. In urban areas, stormwater runoff from hard surfaces – such as roofs or driveways – flows along the side of the road until it reaches a storm drain, which is an opening or grate in the curb connected by pipes to the nearest waterbody. Water and other materials that enter these storm drains are transported directly to our creeks and streams without any treatment so community members must be cautious and responsible in protecting our vital water supply from pollutants such as trash, oil, fertilizers and pesticides.

Designs will include the slogan, “Cool Cats Keep It Clean” and participating artists receive a $750.00 stipend for participation. Educational stations will be set up by the City of Norman Environmental Control Advisory Board from 9 a.m. to noon on April 23. Members of the community are welcome to come view works of art in motion and learn more about environmental services at the stations.

In weeks to come, Mayor Breea Clark will host an inlet walkthrough to review completed works of art alongside the community as well.

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