Public Art

Turning Storm Drains into Art City of Tigard- Main Street

Turning Storm Drains into Art

At first glance, storm drains and their unglamorous job of transporting stormwater runoff do not seem like catalysts for environmental activism. Yet, Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) has embraced storm drains as canvasses to raise awareness about local water quality. TRK, in partnership with Centro Cultural de Washington County and Muslim Educational Trust (MET), is one of six recipients for Metro’s Community Placemaking Grants.

TRK partnered with Centro, MET, and the cities of Tigard and Hillsboro to select two artists to create multicultural sidewalk murals that appeal to keeping our storm drains free from polluted runoff. With this grant, local artists Kanaan Kanaan and Linda Sawaya will each create one sidewalk storm drain mural that will raise awareness about stormwater pollution in the Tualatin River watershed while celebrating the artistic and cultural heritage of Latinx and Muslim communities in Washington County.

This grant will fund a pilot mural project in downtown Hillsboro and downtown Tigard, where each artist will work with the community in each city to install one sidewalk mural that highlights the importance of storm drains and prevents pollution in our waterways.

In Tigard, Mr. Kanaan’s sidewalk mural is inspired by the concept of intersectionality and symbolism from Islam. Kanaan says, “In my work, I would bring intersectionality to its fullest to work on beautifying our city and bring attention to the importance of clean water and healthy community.”

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