Artists paint North Little Rock storm drains with purpose

It’s not unusual to see utility boxes throughout North Little Rock painted colorfully by local artists – so it shouldn’t be a surprise if you come across a beautifully-painted storm drain too.

In partnership with the City of North Little Rock, Drain-Smart has coordinated seven storm drain murals throughout North Little Rock over the past three years, all by different Arkansas artists. Those that are easily accessible to the public have also been added to North Little Rock CVB’s North Little Rock Scavenger Hunt. See how many you can find!

The below information about the artists is courtesy of Drain-Smart, “an engaging public art and environmental education program that uses art to communicate the function and importance of local storm drains.”

Each mural is unique but unified in message: trash does not belong in storm drains. Most depict wildlife and plants native to Arkansas to educate the public about the impact of polluted water to Arkansas’s beautiful natural assets. To see a map of storm drain murals in Arkansas, click here. For more information about the project, visit

Bottled Nature

Artist: Allison Tucker

Location: 400 W. Military Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118

Nature gives us what we put into it. If we keep it clean then it returns that cleanness back to us. When we pollute it then we receive trash in return. If we could bottle nature itself just as we do water, what would we get? The quality of the world around us is dependent on how we treat and care for it. We will benefit from our careful actions as much as nature will.

Allison Tucker, Artist (via Drain-Smart)

The Transformative Magic of Clean Water

Artist: Catherine Burton

Location: 201 W. 4th Street, North Little Rock, AR 72114

The top features a large Mandela-esque sun with a colorful rainbow center, extending sun rays outward and down that magically transform into four multicolored sunfish. Graphic water swirls below, and raindrops and stars surround the transformed fish and rays. The quote is by renowned naturalist/anthropologist Loren Eiseley.

Catherine Burton, Artist (via Drain-Smart)

Bayou Meto Art Drain

Artist: Liz Conti

Location: Indian Hills Drive & Wigwam Lane, North Little Rock, AR 72118

An iris leaf wraps around a stop sign with “don’t pollute.” Trash at the bottom with flowers pair with a Great Egret. “Drains to creek” is the border, including Bayou Meto, which is where this drain flows.

Liz Conti, Artist (via Drain-Smart)

The Cherry on Top

Artist: Heidi Pollan

Location: 624 N. Beech St., North Little Rock, AR 72114

This is a Roseate Spoonbill. This beautiful bird likes the Delta and the southern portions of Arkansas. If the proper awareness is brought to protecting our streams, creeks, and rivers, then the “cherry on top” will be seeing lovely animals like this one for years to come.

Heidi Pollan, Artist (via Drain-Smart)

Keep our Plants Alive

Artist: Becca Robinson

Location: Willow Street & 25th Street, North Little Rock, AR 72114

 For this piece I researched native plants to Arkansas. Featured plants include sassafras, beauty berry, dogwood, allspice, and buckeye. I used varying colors of blue to represent the layers seen in deep water. I wanted to create a design that contains elements found in my regular practice.

Becca Robinson, Artist (via Drain-Smart)

Big Blue

Artist: Casie Starr

Location: 701 W. 47th St., North Little Rock, AR 72114

Big Blue depicts a large, vibrant image of a blue catfish swimming in the depths of the Arkansas River. As an artist and an animal caretaker, I am especially passionate about the way our state’s wildlife is affected by our everyday actions. Big Blue is a reflection of the natural beauty found in our waterways; a beauty that deserves to be protected and preserved. 

Casie Starr, Artist (via Drain-Smart)