Little Rock artists have been going down to the drains to keep trash out of our river and streams, painting them with herons, fish, frogs and even a purse. The Drain Smart project, organized by a coalition of governmental and private conservation agencies, selected 17 artists and provided drains in the River Market district, South Main and War Memorial Park as their canvases. The message: The trash that ends up in our storm drains does not go through a filtering sewer system but straight into waterways, like Fourche Creek and the Arkansas River. The trash isn't just unsightly, it's unhealthy. Here are eight of the 17 drains painted in the project. You can vote on your favorite at drain-smart.org through June; the artist from each in the three selected areas with the most votes will get $500. Here's a sampling of what you can see, and the artists:
1. "Sunset Herons," southwest corner of Cumberland and Markham, in front of Big Whiskey's, Daniella Napolitano.
2. "Fourche Creek Dragon," Fair Park near the stadium entrance, Krista Hawkins.
3. "Frogs," Fair Park and Markham, Lorria Eubanks.
4. "Surfing Frog," 15th and Main, in front of Green Corner Store, Katy Kane.
5. "Harmony," 12th and Main, in front of Community Bakery, Perrion Hurd.
6. "Groovy Fish," near the southeast corner of 16th and Main, Meg Davis Griffith.
7. "Protect Nature's Purse," southwest corner of 16th and Main, in front of Esse Purse Museum, Amanda Heinbockel.
8. "One Fish, Two Fish," near the circle entrance to the Clinton Presidential Center, Tina Oppenheimer.