2019 Elkhart Storm Drain Art Project

What is a storm drain?

Water goes IN here ... Often water takes trash, dirt, grass clippings, also.


Water Goes OUT here INTO a WATERWAY

along with trash, dirt, grass clippings.

# nofilter   #protectthesource  #protectwater

Click on "Tour the Art" and go to the

Ruthmere Museum website where you can

see the tour through a simple weblink


download the app through the

Ruthmere Museum PocketSights App and follow along through GPS.

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Picture of leaves clogging a storm drain after hail damaged trees.

Storm drains are important!

Has your street ever flooded?

Have you ever driven through water?

When it rains, the water that falls on roads needs to have a place to go or it will flood streets, parking areas, and sometimes basements. Storm drains are an important part of the City's infrastructure that helps to prevent urban flooding. When they are not working, water can build up and flood an area. Grass clippings, leaves, soil, and trash can all cover a storm drain or clog stormwater pipes and prevent water from draining.

Many people do not know that most of our storm drains are connected directly to a waterway. This means that everything dropping on the road can pollute our rivers and streams.


Ordinary things, including grass clippings, trash, oil, soil, chemicals, and animal waste all contaminate the water and make it difficult for fish and other aquatic wildlife to live or even breathe. Some pollutants, such as animal waste and oil can be a health hazard to people as well.

About the Artists, Artwork & the Sponsors

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Artist # 1 Sidney Perkins   
Sponsor: Crowe LLP


Everything that is dropped on the road pollutes our rivers.


The artwork for this project depicts how human waste has harmful effects on rivers and wildlife. Different types of common trash and garbage are included in the artwork and show how it is destroying the wildlife's habitats. It is essential that we protect our rivers.

About the Artist:

Sidney Perkins is a graduate of Mishawaka High School and currently studies graphic design at Indiana University in South Bend. Growing up she always enjoyed art and drawing, but it wasn’t until high school where she developed a genuine interest in art. Her high school art teacher, Ryan Sergeant, helped her develop her skills and encouraged her to investigate art as a career. In her collegiate studies, Sidney is continuously learning new methods of creating art. That is where she learned and quickly fell in love with graphic design. Graphic design allows her to make the imaginative possible. Sidney is looking forward to earning her degree and starting a career in this growing field.


About Crowe LLP

Crowe is a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm that combines deep industry and specialized expertise with innovation.

Crowe LLP

307 South Main Street
Suite 200
Elkhart, Indiana 46516
(574) 295-1991


Artist # 2 Corvilla - Studio Five 9
Sponsor: The Electric Brew


Flowing water creates life.


Corvilla - Studio Five 9’s storm drain painting focuses on the reasons why it is important to protect our waterways from pollutants.  The painting represents multiple ways clean water is important, such as drinking water, wildlife habitat, and plant growth.  The lettering “Flowing water creates life” sums up why rivers and other waterways are a resource worth protecting.

About the Artist:

Corvilla - Studio Five 9 is a collection of adult artists based out of Corvilla’s day program.  Studio Five 9 artists are creative and lively individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that express themselves through art.  The main role of Studio Five 9 is to foster their artists’ creativity and promote their work in the community.

About The Electric Brew

A Coffee House and Roastery with fresh coffees, steaming cocoa, fiery espresso or hot teas. Stop in to relax, or enjoy great homemade lunches or delicious baked goods, in beautiful downtown Elkhart and Goshen.

The Electric Brew
113 East Lexington Street
Elkhart, IN. 46516
(574) 575-5354

The Electric Brew            
118 East Washington  Street
Goshen, Indiana 46528
(574) 533-5990

Artist # 3 Gina Neal   
Sponsor: Anonymous Business


Consider the river before you litter.



This piece is entitled "Consider the river before you litter.” The inspiration behind it is just as the title suggests, to think about where that piece of waste in your hand could end up if it doesn’t end up in the trash can, or better yet, the recycling bin. We live in a unique area with a huge network of waterways and natural springs, eventually leading to the largest lake chain on earth, The Great Lakes.

About the Artist:

Gina Neal was born and raised in the north central area of Indiana and currently calls Elkhart home. Art has been an important outlet in her life from an early age. The interest was sparked by her mother who is also an artist, creating cartoon posters and watercolor landscapes. Gina's favorite medium to work with is oil on canvas, due to the flow and versatility with just a few colors

Artist # 4 Rylee Olmstead    Sponsor: Ruthmere Museum


Embrace the resource


The design features a woman (representing our rivers and ourselves) and a catfish, loosely based on the Channel Catfish. Her hair transforms into flowing water, representative of how the rivers and water are a part of us. The way that the woman is embracing the catfish is also symbolic of how humans can affect wildlife through how we treat the water.

About the Artist:

Rylee Olmstead is a Concord High School student and artist that has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. She aspires to be a high school or college level art instructor and has a strong passion for art. Since her freshman year at Concord High School, she has taken numerous art classes. She has had many pieces featured in shows at the Midwest Museum of American Art, the Scholastic Art show, and at her school art shows. Rylee hopes that through her artwork, she can bring awareness to the environment.

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About the Ruthmere Museum

Ruthmere, the historic residence of Albert and Elizabeth Beardsley is filled with lavish, one-of-a-kind furnishings and some of the finest examples of Beaux Arts-style architecture in the nation.

Ruthmere Museum

302 East Beardsley Ave.
Elkhart, Indiana 46514
(574) 264-0330

The Ruthmere Museum partnered with the City of Elkhart to provide the PocketSights Tour App that allows people paricipate in the Storm Drain Art Tour on location using their mobile device at http://www.ruthmere.org/TourElkhart.org

Artist # 5 West Side Middle School Art Club
Sponsor: Alpha Rho of Elkhart Chapter Tri Kappa


Everything that is dropped on the road pollutes our rivers.


West Side Middle School Art Club worked to understand the relationship between people and their local waters. Through their art, they wanted to show that water flows from our "hands" (representing our actions) directly to local waters where fish and other wildlife live. Just a reminder to keep it clean.  #nofilter.

About the Artist:

All students in West Side Middle School Art Club have taken, or are taking, 7th Grade Art with Mrs. Kelly Tooker. These students have also expressed additional interest in art and spend 2-4 additional hours per week in Art Club, outside of school hours. Mrs. Tooker has a B.A. in Art History/ Studio Art and a M.A.T. in Art Education. She is certified P-12 Visual Arts with Indiana DOE. West Side Middle School is a part of Elkhart Community Schools.


About Alpha Rho of Elkhart Chapter Tri Kappa

Tri Kappa, formally known as Kappa Kappa Kappa, Inc., is a philanthropic organization that exists only in the state of Indiana. Our Elkhart Chapter was founded 1911, ten years after the first chapter started when several ladies formed at an all-girls school in Indianapolis. We have over 200 chapters in the State of Indiana, fulfilling our mission to promote charity, culture, and education.


Tri Kappa

57027 Wedgefield Ct.
Elkhart, IN. 46516
(574) 220-8669

Facebook:Tri Kappa – Elkhart Alpha Rho

Artist # 6 Leah Borden    Sponsor: ADEC Inc.


A resource worth protecting. How big is your footprint?


Growing up spending summers on our lakes and having conservation talks and projects with her father and brother, Leah has had a lifelong connection to our local waterways. Her conservationist history and artistic curiosity drive her to question our unintended impacts on the world in which we live.  How do we impact the soft fragile banks of our local rivers, lakes, and wetlands?  What do we unknowingly impact?  Native fish are one of the obvious answers.

About the Artist:

Leah is a local professional artist with a focus on Painting, fabric Batik, and large-scale Murals.  She has contracted multiple times with the City of Goshen for beautification murals and participated in the Goshen Storm Drain Art Project three years ago.  She fully immerses herself in every project she takes on.  Her dedication to this style of work shows in the compiled research and networking she does with local professionals around every subject she paints.  Leah’s style can best be described as expressive and impressionistic, often with a flash of realism interwoven.  She studied fine art at Manchester College and has since been working in the Goshen / Elkhart region.


About ADEC Inc.

ADEC Inc., is a 501c (3) charitable organization that proudly advocates for and serves people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties so they live lives full of choice and possibility.




19670 State Road 120
Bristol, Indiana 46507
(574) 848-2447

Artist # 7 Brenda Overbey
Sponsor: Hopman Jewelers


Don’t forget we’re below, only let the raindrops flow.


The artwork, titled “Friends Below,” serves as a reminder to protect the little creatures in Elkhart's beautiful rivers. Elkhart has amazing entertainment for residents and guests to enjoy, including the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix, and the Elkhart Artwalk. As the City plays, the river creatures receive everything flowing into the storm drains from our fun above. This piece was inspired by children playing in the shallow water at High Dive Park. It reminds us of the attribute that children and wildlife share, both are precious and worth protecting.

About the Artist:

Brenda J Overbey is an artist from Elkhart, Indiana. She is a lifelong self-taught artist. With her nest empty and nothing to lose, she decided that it was a perfect time to start her art journey. Brenda considers herself a painter at heart, but recently much of her work has been done on an Apple iPad with an Apple Pencil. Her future goals include painting murals and participating in temporary and permanent art installations. Brenda’s style infuses the wonder and colors of childhood and contrasts it with the unexpected. Her creatures and characters are meant to provoke the viewer to look closer and imagine the story behind the art.

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About Hopman Jewelers

Hopman Jewelers has served generations of families as their trusted jeweler for diamonds, fine jewelry, elegant watches, custom made style, and expert jewelry repairs. 

Hopman Jewelers

100 North Main Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
(574) 293-3632

Artist # 8 Della Prine   
Sponsor: Jones, Petrie, Rafinski, Corp.


Fish live at the end of this drain.

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About Jones, Petrie, Rafinski, Corp.

Creating a positive impact in commercial and industrial community development, Jones, Petrie, Rafinski (JPR) is a leader in providing architectural design and engineering solutions.


Jones, Petrie, Rafinski, Corp.

200 Nibco Parkway
Suite 200
Elkhart, Indiana 46516
(574) 293-7762



This artwork was created as a vivid reminder to all who pass by of the amazing living creatures who are affected by what goes in the city drains. As with many things in life, out of sight out of mind, often impacts the actions of people. The artist created this piece as a gateway to bring the beautiful creatures living in the waters of Elkhart County back into our sight and mind.

About the Artist:

Della Prine is a local artist, born and raised in Elkhart County. Della focused on art at Elkhart Central High School where she received several Gold Key awards and a Hallmark honorable mention for her works. She is versed in several types of artistic expression, including painting, sketching, molding, carving, cake decorating, and wood burning.