Below are the finalists in the 2015 Rain Barrel Contest. Their barrels will be on display at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover from May 21-June 19, 2015.
Learn about the artists [here]. Click on a barrel to get a larger view.
Artist Name: Debbie Hegedus and Rowena Macleod
Name of Piece: Egret/ Deer & WATER: the interconnectedness of all living things.
Location: Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence in Dover.
Deer, egrets, squirrels, humans, plants; all need water to thrive and survive. This rain barrel seeks to show the interconnectedness of all living things and their dependence on our most precious resource; WATER. With drought conditions in the American West and many places throughout our world, we must take action. Along with conserving our every day water usage, collecting rain water to feed our gardens is one step we can take towards water sustainability.
Look closely, you may find a few critters under the leaves!
A cartoon comparison of two communities to show benefits of rain barrel use, or lack thereof, on runoff into a Delaware Bay. The neighborhood (left) without rain barrels generates gushing runoff full of pesticides, fertilizers, oil and mud. The neighborhood (right) that uses rain barrels everywhere generates less runoff which is cleaner. Marine life suffers from the polluted runoff and is sick/dying without enough food. The marine life with cleaner runoff thrives with plenty to eat.
The WWII observation towers were built to protect the strategic industrial centers and shipping channel of the Delaware Bay and River. To gather the location of a suspicious vessel, servicemen would determine the coordinates of the lines of sight between two different towers. They then radioed the details back to the massive guns at Fort Miles. The Sentinel rain barrel will watch over your garden, but without a second barrel, it can’t triangulate your squirrels.
Water is more precious than gold. This barrel honors, Joyce Tannian, a Delawarean who moved to Kenya to build wells. Her group, WATER IS LIFE Kenya (WILK) has helped over 20,000 people. No longer must they trudge hours a day to collect water for their families. Kenyans use 2 to 4 gallons of water per day, compared to the average American’s 80-100 gallons. Saving rain water is one action we can take towards sustainability.
We are all connected in this circle we call life. From the air we breath to the ground we step upon. This painting is meant to display that connection; the women’s yellow eyes connecting them to the sun. The women blow out the clouds that are falling down upon the valley, which represents how we all affect the air we breath in. We ourselves are connected to everyone else around us, the two women connected together.
Every time I passed the Hudson, I would see Lady Liberty holding her torch and providing light for all. Yes, I did take her for granted as a child, but as I grew up I noticed she would have repairs done periodically. This is similar in nature in that we all have a responsibility to continue to do ‘repairs’ to our environment. This would include collecting rain water or in the instance of Johnny Appleseed, planting a seed.
From the bubbling brooks and streams, clean and healthy water flows via the tributaries and rivers. We must do what we can to keep these waterways healthy to the sea. People at our beaches enjoy a healthy shore. Umbrellas and people at the shore reflect our healthy waterways. Protect our waterways. Go to the shore, umbrellas on the beach, life is beautiful.
My painting is of a beach scene that can be found at most any Delaware Beach. We need to use conservation measures to preserve our precious beaches so that we may enjoy them as well as the business revenue that they bring to Delaware and Sussex County. Hopefully future generations will be good stewards of all our beaches.
Artist Name: Bruce McKinney
Name of Piece: The Dog
Location: Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, Seaford
The work I call THE DOG is an interpretation of what I believe, to ask why creates a need to know, which triggers a part in all of us enough to wonder why. Objects related to ideas and thoughts run through our memories creating images deeply suppressed. The existence of a higher power controls our destiny just as before DOG IS GOD OR IS GOD DOG. Why are we in love with our dog are our dogs unconditional love as God. The objects portrayed are your interpretations.
Artist Name: Nancy Poinsett
Name of Piece: Rainwater – Nature’s Priceless Collectible
Location: Milford Public Library
It’s springtime in the neighborhood and Ray N. Drop is having a blast with his fellow raindrops! They have all been through this routine many times as they cycle through the ecosystem, falling from the sky to be useful to the community in so many ways. From helping to wash cars, watering the flowers and other vegetation to replenishing the local bodies of water, the raindrops do their part knowing that every RAINDROP COUNTS!
Artist Name: Connie Newby
Name of Piece: Bringhurst Woods along Shellpot Creek
Location: Brandywine State Park, Wilmington
The visual theme of my rain barrel is a reinterpretation of some of my drawings done in Bringhurst Woods along Shellpot Creek. Shellpot Creek is within the Piedmont watershed area, as is The Brandywine River. These are two my favorite and most frequent drawing sites. My rain barrel is an homage to the beauty of these watershed areas which are inspiration for my art.
Artist Name: Stephanie Przybylek
Name of Piece: Water World
Location: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton
Delaware’s waters support a wide variety of life—from Atlantic sturgeon that swim in the river depths to egrets and ospreys that patrol the coasts and soar above our shores—and each plays a role in an interconnected ecosystem. All rely on a healthy watershed. Preserving water resources is cumulative. Every brush stroke represents a step in keeping our waters clean and preventing storm runoff. Small incremental steps lead to a greater whole.
Handsome Peacock lends his colors to the garden and with a swish of his tail scatters wishes for health, healing and happiness to the wind who will deliver them to those in need.
“Down Under” is a peek inside the make believe (or not) world of the creatures of the sea as the majestic sea turtle decides to enjoy the deliciousness of the fresh rain water being piped in from the outside world. Hopefully the piece will bring a smile while inspiring further conversation around the benefits of using rain barrels as a way of conserving water while showing gratitude to our environment.
There’s just something timeless about catching fireflies at dusk. Or simply watching them light up the night. For my barrel I painted the background then took the barrel to my daughters pre-k class and had the students use their thumbprints to create the majority of the fireflies on the barrel. They had a great time helping out!