UpStream Art

Five new murals now complete!

The first week of September, 2021, the City of Springfield’s Stormwater Team added five more murals to our UpStream Art collection, for a total of 31 unique and colorful sidewalk murals.

Held every summer since 2016, the UpStream Art project increases awareness of the connection between City streets and local waterways. This year’s five designs were chosen for their ability to inspire all of us to do our part in preventing pollutants from entering neighborhood storm drains. The theme was, “Keep it Clean, Drains to Stream.”

A huge thank you to the staff, judges, and artists who made this year’s project so much fun! We are especially grateful to staff at Agnes Stewart Middle School and the City of Springfield’s departments of Operations, Traffic, Finance, GIS, and Police.

Meet the artists for UpStream Art 2021

Congratulations to these five Oregon artists whose designs were selected for this year’s UpStream Art project! They were selected from a pool of 34 applicants.

Asante Riverwind

Raised and taught by my artist mother, with a decade of subsequent university and art institute training, Asante is a life-long artist. His art has appeared across the country as well as in books, juried shows, and competitions including the 2020 Eugene Oregon Mayor’s Art Show. His art is inspired by adventures in untrammeled wild nature, dreams and visions, and compelling social and ecological issues of our era. The creative arts run deep within him and are part of his raison d’etre. asanteriverwindarts.com

Dorothy Siemens

Dorothy has found her life’s work in illustrating, drawing, painting, and bringing joy to people through her art. She discovered her style in warm texturized peripheral shapes composed of bold and bright colors and spirited but casual actors. After studying art, living and working as an artist in Japan, and co-directing a nomadic gallery, Dorothy now resides in Oregon where she draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape. dorothy.cool Instagram @dorothydotcool

Erick Wonderly

Erick was making art before he could walk and has always been drawn to the natural world. Previously working as the art director of the Art Ducko Magazine, Erick now works as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist while living in Eugene, Oregon. Instagram @erick__ink

Heather Omlin

Heather focuses on freehand, abstract illustrations and Pacific-Northwest themed art. “I take the garbage life throws my way and turn it into magical weirdness,” she says. “I aim to cover the world in a hug of my art.” Instagram @wearethemayor

Jordan Colburn

Jordan has had a passion for the visual arts since he was 4 years old. From traditional, hand-drawn material to Photoshopped creations, his work is characterized by color, detail, realism, and surrealism. “It’s a fun and rewarding challenge for me to create an idea in my head and see how I can manifest it through a visual medium,” he said. deviantart.com/jac59col

Thank you to our Community Partner for their support of this project:

Click to view the 2021 Artist “Frequently Asked Questions”

About UpStream Art

UpStream Art background

Held every summer since 2016, UpStream Art is a project hosted by the City of Springfield in which artists are commissioned to paint inspirational murals around storm drains and sidewalks. These colorful creations raise awareness of the connection between City streets and local waterways while supporting artists and beautifying the City.

The project consists of a Call to Artists in spring, a panel of judges selecting the winning designs, a two-day mural painting activity in summer, followed by tour opportunities. Tours include the Virtual Tour and Self-guided Tour Map published on this page.

The murals convey a simple-yet-important reminder: storm drains across the City create a direct connection from Springfield’s streets to the waterways. Some cities treat their stormwater before it reaches the rivers, but Springfield does not. That’s why it’s important that we and our neighbors make sure no contaminants, debris, or litter from around our homes and businesses wash into the drains.

Our goal for UpStream Art is to inspire community members to do their part in preventing pollutants from entering storm drains.

What is stormwater?

Outfall in Island Park where UpStream Art storm drains lead to. As our community grows, the ground often gets covered up with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, we are disrupting an important part of the water cycle.

Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, in urban areas it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them to our local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

To learn more about how you can help prevent water pollution, read this Prevent Stormwater Pollution resource and check out our Clean Water at A Glance factsheets.

Illustration of the wastewater system compared to the stormwater system.
Table showing common pollution sources and solutions to each kind of pollution.

Contact Us

  • For general information, please contact the City of Springfield’s Stormwater Team at WaterResources@springfield-or.gov or 541.746.3694.
  • Artists interested in applying for the next UpStream Art mural painting project can either visit this webpage or the City of Springfield’s Facebook page in mid-April 2022, or can click the button below to sign up to receive emailed updates. A panel of judges selects our winners and those artists are paid for installing their paintings.
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