Adult Division – 2016 Rain Barrel Contest

Learn about the artists [here].  Click on a barrel to get a larger view. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to the grand prize winner, Nathan Zimmerman, and the finalists.



Artist: Nathan Zimmerman

Title of Piece: Early to Rise at Sundown

Location: DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Services Facility

Description: Often heard caterwauling from the tree tops, the barred owl is a resident of treed swamps and mature forests and is the perfect embodiment of a watershed warrior. Whether while working at Trap Pond State Park or hunting along Bundicks Branch the barred owl has always put a smile on my face when the “noise” starts. The background was inspired by the countless sunsets I’ve watched while hunting in the marshes along the Broadkill River.


Artist: Diane Buckingham

Title of Piece: Holding the Key

Location: The Journey

Description: My design illustrates the flow of water through all of earth’s Biosystems, the interconnectedness and interdependency of all life on water, with man ultimately holding the key to its health or detriment.

JessicaEnnis_webJessicaphoto_webArtist: Jessica Ennis
Title of Piece: With or Without

Location: Wetlands Celebration Day

Description: This piece is intended to show what it would look like if there were a shortage of water vs. an adequate supply. Two strips with rain drops that are half water and half fire help show the two scenarios. When there’s an adequate supply of water, plants flourish, the sky is bright, and animals can better survive. When there’s a shortage of water, plants wilt, no clouds can form, and animals move away to find water.


Artist: Lynn Patrice Farina

Title of Piece: Butterflies and Flowers

Location: Nanticoke Watershed Alliance

Description: I painted my rain barrel depicting Delaware native plants and butterflies.  I painted watering cans on the rain barrel to show how a rain barrel can be used to water plants in an economic and environmentally friendly way.  Native flowers painted on the rain barrel include: Awned Meadow Beauty, Swamp Rose Mallow, Nodding Bur Marrigold, Trumpet Creeper, Cardinal Flower and Showy Aster.  Native butterflies painted on the rain barrel include: Viceroy, Kings Hairstreaks, Clouded Sulpher, and Orangetips.

GerilynGaskillfront_webGerilynGaskillback_webArtist: Gerilyn Gaskill
Title of Piece: Dancing on Reeds

Location: Partnership for the Delaware Estuary – Celebrate the Estuary

Description: Seahorses are cute, charismatic, and unique.  They are monogamous, usually remaining faithful and mating for life.  Every morning they start their day by greeting each other with a dance, promenading and pirouetting together for several minutes.  Their pair-bond then reinforced, they separate for the rest of the day.  They use their tails as monkeys do – for balance and to grasp.  For seahorses that means grasping reeds and floating seaweed.

KimLittletonFront_webKimLittleton_webArtist: Kim Littleton
Title of Piece:
Celebrating America

Location: Town of Laurel Town Hall

Description: My rain barrel embraces the Great American Spirit with the stars at the top of the rain barrel and red and white stripes to finish out the bottom portion of the barrel. The design celebrates the flag of the United States of America. The top of the barrel represents the state of Delaware and my hometown of Laurel Delaware. As you view my rain barrel please remember all the freedoms that you enjoy living in the United States of America.


Artist: Bruce McKinney

Title of Piece: Sweetwater

Location: Mid-Atlantic Conference of the American Water Resources Association

Description: The title of this year’s rain barrel “SWEETWATER “is a simplistic entry for what else a rain barrel. It represents the needs for humans to incorporate this system in your home or business for wildlife. According to the National Wildlife Federation, humans extract water from the ground and as a result, the water table may drop, damaging habitats miles away.  Here it is represented by a raccoon in your empty rain barrel in search of water.


Artist: Donna Reed

Title of Piece: Playing in the Rain

Location: Wilson Elementary School

Description: Playing in the Rain evokes the joys of childhood and an innocent appreciation of nature.  Featuring two children splashing puddles in a field of flowers; this barrel was painted in the rain to help blend the colors and cause the drips to run down.  Rain water was used to thin the paints.  Eight rain poems were written by Wilson students as part of a poetry unit and in support of our school garden.

SchiavoniFront_webSchiavoniBack_webArtist: Kathi Schiavoni
Title of Piece: Light Up the Night

Location: Nanticoke Watershed Alliance – Toast to the Nanticoke

Description: The neon dragonflies and their firefly companions give light to the moonless night.   Adapted from a canvas done at Painting with a Twist.


NatalieWipf_webArtist: Natalie Wipf
Title of Piece:  Brightness

Location: City of Newark – Community Day

Description: I was inspired by the “adult coloring book” phenomenon…. It’s soothing and fun and since I knew I’d be painting a barrel this year my design had to read “yeah I could see that in a book and on a barrel.” Painting it was especially soothing since we got so much rain in April and May… The bright sunflower and colors really put you in a springtime mood!