Community artists paint storm drains in downtown Fairbanks

Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 5:53 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - 16 artists of all ages lined Lacey street in downtown Fairbanks on Saturday, June 5 to beautify the storm drains.

The project, put on by Tanana Valley Watershed Association in partnership with the City of Fairbanks and others, encourages people to keep the city’s storm drains free of pollution.

“We’re here to help beautify Fairbanks with some wonderful storm drain art, and we’re also here to educate both visitors and the public about the importance of a healthy watershed and keeping our storm drains free and clear of debris,” Ashley Carrick, Executive Director of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association, said.

Young artist Michael Doxey chose Teenage Mutant Ninja Bears as his theme. “My idea was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, originally, but turtles weren’t really from Alaska, so instead I changed it to bears,” Doxey said.

This event is in its eighth year, having begun in 2014.

“Some of the artists have chosen to paint designs on the sidewalks, and others have chosen to paint around a theme of healthy watersheds,” Carrick said.

The artists submitted designs before being chosen to participate.

11-year old Lilli Bond painted at a spot right across the street from Rabinowitz Courthouse. Her design features an otter holding a sign saying, “You otter be ashamed.” Bond said, “We were doing this at last minute, so we didn’t really think this was gonna be our idea. We were just brainstorming it, and we’re just like ‘Okay, we’re gonna try this and see what happens.’ Weren’t expecting to win, but we’re here now and we’re really happy with what it looks like.”

For the event, Aexcel Corporation donated 35 gallons of paint containing alkyd. Ryan Vodicka, National Sales Manager with Aexcel, said of the alkyd, “It’s made from soybeans, and that’s the part that’s sustainable. So, you’re not consuming a ton of different raw materials. You’re allowing farmers and everybody else to be able to replenish the raw materials that go into the paint.”

Now, Lacey Street looks like a work of art.

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