Everett seeks artists to create rain barrels

EVERETT — One of the more rainy places in the world is looking for artists to make rain barrels.

The city of Everett is launching the program, “Let It Rain.” The city is looking for artists to make creative rain barrels to display from February until summer in downtown Everett and at Everett Mall.

Artists are asked to submit their design concepts by Friday. Rain barrels can be made with recycled materials. The city will buy the barrels for $300 each, for a total of $4,500. Up to 15 artists will be selected.

Rain barrels collect water coming from rooftops to control runoff and pollution.

“We are asking them to have some connection to Puget Sound, water storm, rivers, water topic — (and) to decorate it,” said Marla Carter, city public works information manager. “Artists are free to get creative. The biggest restriction is that it has to stay outside.”

Under the program, the city will buy 55-gallon barrels for $25 each for the artists to use in their work. Artists may start working on barrels once the organizers gather all of them and agreements are signed.

Massachusetts and Minnesota have had similar programs, Carter said. In Massachusetts, one of the barrels resembled a mermaid.

The Let it Rain program also will install rain gardens, in which native plants are used to reduce runoff, for 20 homeowners who apply and qualify. The city will set aside $15,000 for the rain gardens. The city also will help the public with environmentally friendly stormwater practices.

After the display period, the barrels will be put up for sale.

“It is a break-even for the city,” Carter said.

A rain-barrel sale day is planned for next year and workshops will be available for people to learn to make their own barrels.

The program’s website provides information on rain gardens and how to set up your own rain barrels. The program also helps homeowners to plan and design the rain gardens, and order plants. The city also offers rebates for people who install rain gardens on their own.

“Those are simple things people can do,” said Meghan Pembroke, city spokewoman.

Submit your ideas

Artists are invited to submit rain-barrel design ideas to the city by Friday. Submissions should include examples of previous work. Application may be made by email at ahynes@everettwa.gov or by regular mail to the city of Everett’s public works department, 3200 Cedar St., Everett, 98201. For more information call 425-257-8875.

For more information about the Let It Rain program, go to http://tinyurl.com/mjj9h86.

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