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Rain barrel art project introduced in Carmel

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel has a new art program to promote conservation.

Not the conservation of paintings, but the conservation of water.

The “canvas” for this project is actually a collection of pear-shaped plastic containers. Almost 20 of them are entered in the “Rain on Main” contest.

Artists are putting their flair on 65 gallon rain barrels.

The project is a fundraiser for the Carmel Parks Department.  The entries will be displayed on August 1 at the Carmel Farmer’s Market. After that, they’ll be moved to Main Street in the Arts and Design District.

Painted rain barrels have been popular around the country as more communities endorse the concept of water conservation.

Sue Maki of Carmel Utilities says the barrels are good for storm water management. In rainy periods such as we’ve had lately, Maki said they hold water that would otherwise contribute to flooding and drainage problems.

The barrels will be put up for silent auction after their week-long display on Main Street. A juried art show will determine which is the best creation.

Visitors along Main Street will be able to vote on a “People’s Choice” barrel. On August 8, the barrels will be put up for bids. The money raised from the sale will help prepare water information signs for Carmel Clay Parks.

Visitors will also be able to learn about a new $50 credit to encourage Carmel Utilities customers to buy and use rain barrels at their homes.