Be Water Wise DC Rain Barrel Decorating Contest

Three dedicated Maury student artists were selected to participate in a District wide rain barrel art contest through Be Water Wise DC. Under the supervision of Ms. Bomba and Mr. Rogers, these students developed an environmentally conscious deign for our rain barrel with unique images that convey the importance of water conservation and other pertinent local water issues. From April 27-May 18, all submissions will be on display at the District Department of the Environment located at 1200 First St. NE. Judges will be rating our finished product based on its aesthetic appeal, creativity, and most importantly, the educational value our barrel provides the viewer. The winners will be announced at a culminating Be Water Wise celebration.

Maury’s striking design was based on the elaborate silhouette work of contemporary artist, Kara Walker. Walker is an African American artist who explores powerful subject matter in her work. By displaying solid black cut outs on a stark white wall, she forces viewers to take a closer look at what the simple shapes are actually trying to communicate. Walker’s clean lines, stark contrast, and bold imagery served as inspiration for Maury’s rain barrel design. Students incorporated abstract symbols to represent permeable pavement, underground clean water storage tanks and elaborate pipe systems for filtering storm water runoff. Figures move across the monument laden city via green modes of transportation like skateboards and roller blades. Our cylindrical canvas demonstrates even the simplest duty–picking up after our pets to prevent waste from entering our watershed!
Our elaborate process of sanding, cleaning, priming, spray painting, designing and cutting handmade stencils, taping, spray painting again and peeling off our stencils to reveal designs in negative space was an authentic way for students to develop an idea and execute a concept from start to finish. Be sure to visit all rain barrel submissions starting April 27, at the DDOE!

Check out our step by step process below!

Step 1: Get inspired!

Step 2: Sketch BIG and sketch lots!

Step 3: Neatly cut your detailed designs into stencils

Step 4: Measure diameter of rain barrel and arrange homemade stencils accordingly

Step 5: Over the weekend, scrub that sucker on your back porch in the sun with water and denatured alcohol

Step 6: Invite a friend over to pass the time as you prime, let dry, then spray paint the rain barrel!

Step 7: Add a few coats of paint and make it shine!

Step 8: Bring rain barrel back to school and apply stencils with lots of painters tape

Step 9: Practice spraying your top coat and peeling away the stencils to be sure the negative of the image below is crisp and clear

Step 10: Head outside to spray paint every inch of the rain barrel black

Step 11: Peel away stencils–quick like  a band-aid

Step 12: Cross your fingers and thank your fabulous team for producing an educational and eye catching product from start to finish!


One thought on “Be Water Wise DC Rain Barrel Decorating Contest

  1. These students and teachers did a fantastic job on their rain barrel! This is truely a one of a kind work of art!

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