The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Watershed Stewardship is accepting applications from Delaware artists for participation in a rain barrel painting contest aimed at educating Delawareans on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality.

Artists selected will paint designs on rain barrels that will be prominently displayed in public areas.

To enter the contest, adult artists must complete and submit an application by March 17, which includes providing a description and preliminary sketch of their design. Watershed Stewardship staff will choose participants in the contest based on their application and design ideas. Once contest participants have been selected, they will have five weeks to finish their barrel painting and submit final photographs and information requested.

Participating artists must be willing to give their time and must provide materials, including paint and brushes or other application tools, an interpretation of their work and a short biography. In exchange, DNREC’s Watershed Assessment and Management Section will provide a fully-assembled, 55-gallon plastic rain barrel with two coats of primer applied, plus cans of clear top coat. This year’s barrels have been donated by Tidewater Utilities, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Coca-Cola.

Photos of the finished rain barrels will be posted online for public voting. The barrels also will be displayed at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover from May 31 through July 19. Five finalists will be chosen by online voting. The five finalists will receive prizes. A professional judging panel will choose the grand prize winner, whose barrel will be displayed at the DNREC Building at the 2017 Delaware State Fair. The winner will participate in Governor’s Day, July 27, at the fair. The winning barrel will then be displayed in a prominent location to be determined.

Applications can be found at delawarewatersheds.org. Completed applications and sketches should be emailed to sara.wozniak@state.de.us or sent by close of business March 17 to: DNREC Watershed Assessment and Management Section, c/o Sara Wozniak, 2430 Old County Road, Newark, DE 19702.

For information, contact sara.wozniak@state.de.us or 382-0335.