CALL FOR ARTISTS: Mural Project on Olentangy Trail, Columbus, Ohio

FLOW is seeking Central Ohio artists to turn this Olentangy Trail water pump station into public art! 

Download the submission form HERE. Application deadline April 3, 2024


The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) are working together to use educational public art to promote DPU’s mission, beautify a pump station, and reduce graffiti. This public artwork will be installed to educate the community about the importance of water, rivers, and watersheds in our daily lives and will specifically address the One Water concept. DPU will install accompanying educational signage to explain the mural and how it advances DPU’s mission.

The mural will be installed on a pump station situated the Olentangy Trail between SR 315 N and Goodale Avenue. Pump stations are used to move water against gravity from one location to another. The pump station identified for this art project conveys wastewater to DPU’s water reclamation facility.

This project is open to any artist or artist team that …
● Is 18 years or older, or has parental permission
● Has demonstrated experience as a mural artist
Conflict of Interest: City of Columbus employees are ineligible for consideration


Deadline: Wednesday April 3, 2024

Submit application to: by 5pm EST

This is a call for artists. We are not asking you to submit a mural design, but to submit examples of your previous work. A panel of representatives from DPU and FLOW will select five (5) artists as our semifinalists, based on their style and unique artwork. The five semifinalists will be compensated $250 to submit a design for the mural. Those five designs will receive public input, but the final design will be selected by the panel and one artist will be chosen to complete the mural. All questions can be sent to by Monday April 1, 2023.

Please Submit the Following to FLOW

  1. Digital images of relevant, past artwork (minimum of 2, maximum of 5)
    a. Photographs must be submitted as JPG, JPEG, or PNG files
    b. Relevant artwork should include mural(s)
  2. Completed application
    a. If submitting as a team, please put one name down for contact information

 Semifinalist Selection

DPU and FLOW select five (5) semifinalists based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications: Artist qualifications as demonstrated by past work. Of highest priority are the artistic capabilities of the artist(s) and the inherent quality of their original artwork to enhance a City asset and educate the community.

Semifinalists will be notified by FLOW and will be provided a template for completion of pump station art concept design.


Deadline: Monday May 13, 2024

Submit concept designs to: by 5pm EST 

Please Submit the Following to FLOW:

  1. Completed concept design (see prompt under “Designing Your Artwork”).
  2. Explanation of concept design: How the design speaks to the One Water concept and advances DPU’s mission within the context of the Olentangy River watershed.

Finalist Selection

DPU and FLOW will solicit public input and select the winning artist/design from submitted Round Two designs based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications: Artist qualifications as demonstrated by past work and the appropriateness of their concept. Of highest priority are the artistic capabilities of the artist(s) and the inherent quality of their original artwork to enhance a City asset and educate the community and advance DPU’s mission.
  • Artistic Excellence: Artists and the concept design shall demonstrate excellence of creative and aesthetic ideas, a mastery of skills and techniques in the creation of original art works, communication of unique vision or perspective, and professional approaches to process and presentation.
  • Appropriateness to Site: Artwork shall be appropriate in scale, material, form, and content for the site.
  • Durability: Highly durable and safe artwork designed to withstand the natural elements and public space

The finalist will be notified by notified by FLOW.

Following Columbus Art Commission approval, the artist will be expected to complete the mural by June 30, 2024.

The selected artist will receive a stipend of $11,750 from FLOW for painting their Olentangy Watershed Water Pump Station Mural on the designated water pump station. Payment will be made following completion of mural.


The artist will be given a supply stipend of up to $5,000 for supplies to paint the water pump station mural and anti-graffiti paint. Artists will need to bring their own paintbrushes and any additional supplies they want. 

DPU and FLOW will be available for questions. All artists and any assistant(s) will need to sign a waiver for the painting event. Traffic cones and safety vests will be provided. Artists are allowed to bring an assistant on the day(s) of painting.

DPU and FLOW are permitted by the semifinalists and final artist to use pictures of their  artwork on social media, DPU public communications and website, FLOW’s website, the project report, and any other outlets deemed appropriate by DPU and/or FLOW.



Theme: “One Water” and the Olentangy Watershed

One Water is a transformative way of viewing, valuing, and managing water. The One Water approach manages all water – whether from the tap, a stream, a storm, an aquifer, or a sewer–in a collaborative, integrated, inclusive, and holistic manner. One Water can change and regenerate the way we live, the opportunities we have, our environment, and our society. For more information about One Water, visit the US Water Alliance.

The Olentangy watershed is part of the Scioto River basin and includes the City of Delaware, several university campuses like Ohio State University, and significant portions of Northern Columbus. About 250,000 people live in the watershed. To learn more about the Olentangy Watershed, visit FLOW’s website.

Columbus Department of Public Utilities Mission: To enhance the quality of life, now and into the future, for people living, working and raising families in central Ohio through economic, efficient, and environmentally responsible stewardship of superior public utilities.


  • The artwork may not contain business logos, brands, trademarks, political or religious statements, or depict illegal activities.
  • All artwork must be public-friendly.
  • The artist is welcome to put their signature on the artwork.
  • Conform to ODOT requirements (attached).
  • Artwork must cover 3 sides of the pump station. The pump station measurements are as follows:

wall 1

Wall 1: 10 ft x 28 ft

wall 2

Wall 2: 10 ft x 14 ft

wall 3

Wall 3: 10 ft x 14 ft

 supply box 1supply box 2

Artwork should also cover the associated electric supply box. The measurements of that supply box are as follows:

5 ft x 5 ft x 7ft

Download the submission form HERE. Application deadline April 3, 2024

Download this Call for Artists as a pdf

Nov. 6 webinar – How does road salt impact the river?

FLOW is participating in SALT WATCH – learn what it is and why it’s important


Road salt is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health.

Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can’t survive in extra salty water. And many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes.

Abby Hileman of the Izaak Walton League of America will discuss how they are studying the effects of road salt on our waterways. The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • How Salt Watch began
  • Goals of the program
  • What is road/winter salt
  • Salt impacts on wildlife, drinking water, and infrastructure
  • How to participate in Salt Watch
  • When to monitor
  • What to do next (advocacy actions)
  • Regional or national results

FLOW began monitoring in 2022 and plans to continue this year. We welcome more volunteers so we can obtain a clearer picture of how road salt is impacting our watershed.




Abby HilemanAbby Hileman is the Salt Watch Coordinator at the Izaak Walton League of America. In her role, Abby leads the efforts of the Salt Watch program, expanding the project into new regions across the country, reaching new groups of volunteers, and providing resources to make lasting change—from data to action. Abby grew up in Western Pennsylvania, where she began her journey as a lifelong conservationist. She has a passion for connecting people to their communities and to nature and believes that small scale actions add up to make a big impact on conservation success.

20th Annual Olentangy Forum

Join us for the 20th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum!
Get ready for a day filled with exciting informative presentations, discussions and networking, all centered around the conservation and preservation of the Olentangy River and its watershed.

Date: Fri Oct 27, 2023

Time: 9:00am-3:00pm with an optional tour of DEL-CO.

Location: 6658 Olentangy River Road, Delaware, OH 43015

Our forum is the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow environmental enthusiasts, professionals, and community members who share a passion for protecting our natural resources.

Throughout the day, you’ll have the chance to listen to expert speakers that explore various topics related to the Olentangy watershed.
Whether you’re a seasoned environmentalist or just getting started, this event offers something for everyone. Learn about the latest conservation initiatives, discover ways to get involved, and gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing our watershed.
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on the Olentangy River and its surrounding ecosystem. Mark your calendars and join us for the 20th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum!
Lunch is provided. Please email with any dietary restrictions. We will do our best to accommodate. Please remember to bring your reusable water bottle and coffee mug. Coffee and water will be served.
Please register for free at Eventbrite


FLOW is seeking Central Ohio artists to turn storm drains in the Short North into public art! 

Phase One was painting 10 storm drains in the OSU campus area. Phase Two will be 10 storm drains in the Short North area!

FLOW is excited to use public art as a tool for storm drain education. We hope to connect the local businesses, residents and general public to more education on storm drains. We want the art to help explain that what goes down the storm drains exits directly into the Olentangy River.

Artists need to be 18 years old or have parental permission. Artists must demonstrate in their application that they have the ability to complete the project.

Round One: Submit application and 3-5 example(s) of current artwork. Deadline: July 14, 2023. Artist chosen for round two will be notified by July 18, 2023.

Round Two: Chosen artists will be selected and asked to submit artwork specifically for the storm drain. Artists are compensated $25 for their design. Deadline: August 9, 2023. Artists chosen to paint on storm drains in the Short North will be notified by August 11, 2023.

Round Three – Selected artists will receive $225 for painting designated storm drain murals. 

October 7th: Paint Storm Drain (October 8th Rain Date)

A panel of community members from FLOW and Short North Alliance will select the finalists at each stage.

All artists will be assigned a specific storm drain. Photo, location and storm drain dimensions will be given to artists. Storm Drains are in high traffic areas along High Street between the Short North area. Each storm drain will be marked so artists do not exceed the storm drain art boundaries.

FLOW will have an art storm drain tour on their website as well as do publicity for residents to experience the different artwork and get more information about individual artists.

FLOW volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide support during the whole process. All artists will need to sign a waiver for the painting event. Traffic cones and safety vests will be provided. Artists are allowed to bring an assistant on the day of painting.

FLOW is given permission by all selected artists to use pictures of the chosen artist’s artwork on social media, FLOW’s website, the project report and any other outlets.

Round one: Submit application and 3-5 example(s) of current artwork.

Round two: Chosen artists are selected and paid $25 to design storm drain specific artwork.

Round Three: Chosen artist will receive $225 for painting their storm drain mural on the designated storm drain.


The storm drain areas will be power washed before painting day. Paint and mixing containers. Artists need to bring their own paint brushes and any additional supplies they want. Once done the art will be sealed and an anti-graffiti coat applied.


Our theme this year is:

The Olentangy River starts here! Only rain down the drain!

Artwork should connect the public to the Olentangy River. You may be surprised to know that the storm drain empties directly into the Olentangy River and we are trying to bring attention to the fact that what goes down the drain goes to the river.


  • The physical storm drain must be incorporated into the painting but the metal storm drain will not be painted on.
  • The artwork must contain no business logos, brands, trademarks or illegal activities depicted.
  • All artwork must be public friendly.
  • FLOWOHIO.ORG must be painted at your location.
  • We also welcome you to put your signature on your artwork.



You can view the walking tour of the OSU campus storm drains here

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
FLOW is committed to creating and promoting an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture across in their selection process.

FLOW annual meeting – 2023


Sun, June 18, 10am – 12pm

The Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
352 W Dodridge St.
Columbus, OH 43202

We’re excited for the FLOW Annual Meeting! All are welcome to attend! We will be sharing about our 2022 accomplishments and our future projects. We will also be voting to fill the 2023-2026 term board positions. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please email us at for more details. There will be food and a tour of the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park. It’s a great time to meet other FLOW members and volunteers. We hope to see you there!


Please note: FLOW’s office is moving! After June 30th, you can reach us at 1404 Goodale Blvd., Suite 100, Columbus OH 43212