The Norman Public Arts Board, the Norman Arts Council and the City of Norman are currently reviewing and accepting design submissions for the third annual “Artful Inlets.”
“Artful Inlets” is a public arts project designed to educate people on the impact pollutants in the water systems have on the community. The slogan for this year — “Only Rain Down the Drain” — serves to “raise awareness that pollutants that go down storm drains have a devastating impact on our local water quality,” according to the Norman Arts website.
Norman Public Art Manager Debby Williams said she loves this event because of the purpose it serves and its effect on the community.
“(Artful Inlets) is about education and our environment as well as the art. ... We’ve been using art forever to get across a message and make an impact on people,” Williams said.
The program was originally designed to have the artists create their paintings during a second Friday Norman Art Walk event so people could interact with them and their art. Due to COVID-19, that kind of interaction is no longer a possibility, but Williams said interaction with the public is still a priority as it was last year.
Williams said the selection panel will look for “artistic excellence” among other criteria. The full list of rules and requirements can be found on Norman Arts Council’s website.
An informational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m Feb. 18 on Zoom to discuss the project’s timeline, the project overall and to answer attendees’ questions.
The deadline for design submissions is March 18. Williams said the artwork needs to be centered around the message for the year.
“What we want them to focus on in their design is stormwater pollution and environmental protection,” Williams said.
This year, there will be five inlets added to the ten already on display on Main Street. The five new additions will be painted by the selected artists in two days, April 29-30.
Williams said these paintings will not only be the artists’ works, but will belong to the community as well.
“That’s what I love about public art. Public art isn't the artists work alone, ... it truly is Norman’s artwork,” Williams said.