Artists take creative plunge with rain barrels

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Nine local artists and a stormwater management agency have proved that rain barrels can be functional and beautiful.

"Rain Barrels on Parade," a project led by StormWorks and funded by American Eagle Outfitters Foundation, began in June when hand-painted rain barrels were placed at the U.S. Steel Tower in Downtown, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center on the North Side, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Highland Park, Construction Junction in Point Breeze, Coffee Tree Roasters in East Liberty, and the Biddle Building in Wilkinsburg. In September, the rain barrels will be auctioned off online, and proceeds will go toward the artists and educational stormwater programming.

The artists and locations are:

• Jazz musicians by Dave D'Incau Jr. and Dressed-up Ducks and Fish by Julie Stunden, U.S. Steel Tower.

• Seasons of Pittsburgh by Chris Galiyas, Schenley Plaza

• I Love H2O by Shernise A. Allen, Art With Heart, Children's Museum.

• The Two Kings -- Elvis and a Lion by David Pizer, Carnegie Science Center.

• Heron Haven by Karen Larson, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium,

• Water Plants by David Edwards, Construction Junction.

• The Great Wave by Beth Hovanec, Coffee Tree Roasters, Bakery Square.

• Rainbow trout by Eileen Stroup, Biddle Building.

StormWorks rain barrels attach to downspouts, collecting water from the roof to be used later for watering plants and lawns. They come in 133- and 65-gallon sizes and can save more than $75 annually on water bills. StormWorks supports the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded the initiative to clean up Nine Mile Run several years ago. The agency has helped install more than 1,600 barrels. The cost is $295 and $199, respectively, and come with a 15-foot garden hose and overflow tubing.

Before installing, a StormWorks staffer visits your home. The $75 consultation fee is deducted from the cost of the rain barrel. Information: Luke Stamper at 412-371-8779, ext. 120;; or

In September and October, the Pennsylvania Resources Council will present rain barrel workshops beginning at 10 a.m. The cost is $50 per person or $55 per couple.

On Sept. 15 at Cooper-Siegel Community Library, 403 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel (15238), participants receive hardware and a $10 coupon toward purchase of a 55-gallon drum at Penn Barrel Co.

On Oct. 6 at the Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side (15212), participants will receive hardware and a 55-gallon drum courtesy of Coca-Cola. Also at the Mattress Factory at that time is the exhibit "Feminist and ..." that includes artist Betsy Damon, who founded Keepers of the Water (, an organization that works to restore, preserve and remediate water sources.

Information, registration: 412-488-7490, ext. 247;; or


Kevin Kirkland: or 412-263-1978. First Published August 4, 2012 4:00 AM


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