Looking for a reason to get out of the house? Check out UpStream Art!

It’s a mural painting project hosted by Springfield’s Stormwater Team to promote healthy waterways and support local artists. Our current UpStream Art collection consists of 26 eye-catching storm drain murals. You can view them all by taking an approximately 2-mile walk around and through downtown Springfield. See the UpStream Art Tour Map on our webpage for mural locations and a suggested route.

Held every summer since 2016, UpStream Art reminds us of the connection between city streets and local waterways. When it rains, stormwater washes over our city, sending everyday pollutants into storm drains and out to streams. This harms the waterways where we go for recreation, relaxation, and natural resources. UpStream Art promotes healthy humans and healthy rivers by offering tips for community members to stop pollution along with inspiration to do better.

The project starts with a Call To Artists in the spring. In the summer, five artist designs are selected by a panel of judges consisting of local arts leaders, art educators, and business owners. In late summer, artists paint their murals over a span of two days using special traffic paints provided by the City. They are compensated $1,000 each for their work. Since the murals are on pavement the designs wear away over time, but Springfield’s Stormwater Team slows the process by applying a sealant once a year. We’re pleasantly surprised that murals from our first year are still viable!

For more UpStream Art information, and to see photos of our 2020 art installation, visit the Stormwater Team’s UpStream Art page, under the Development and Public Works Department.