2014 Rain Barrel Finalists – Adult Division

Eleven finalists in the 2014 Rain Barrel Contest had their barrels on display in April through May 16, 2014, at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in DoverCongratulations to Susan Johnston the grand prize winner!  Her barrel will be displayed at the Governor’s Residence, Woodburn, in Dover after the Delaware State Fair in July.   Check out each barrel to see where they will be placed the end of May
Learn about the artists [here].  Click on a barrel to get a larger view.

It's About Time

(Name of Piece: It’s About Time)
Placed at DNREC Nonpoint Source Program

My rain barrel is about the many demands on water and how easily and thoughtlessly their treasure can be sullied and taken for granted. Along with the imagery pertaining to water, I have incorporated clock and watch pieces (that I have used as still life material in my watercolor paintings) to emphasize an immediacy and personal resolve with my theme of “It’s About Time”. My hope is that the images on my barrel speak to the goal of working together to solve these issues and remind everyone that we live in community with our world. “It’s about time” to conserve and protect clean water for our future.


Monika Bullette
(Name of Piece: Dazzle)
Placed at New Castle County Government Offices, New Castle

Dazzle camouflage, was a type of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I. While dazzle did not conceal a ship, it made it difficult for the enemy to estimate its type, size, speed, and heading. And so, in the “war” of merging man-made objects with nature when gardening, one does not conceal the rain barrel, one happily and temporarily confuses the viewer.


Moeras WatervalDiane Calloway – Honorable Mention
(Name of Piece: Moeras Waterval)
Placed at Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Richardson and Robbins Building, Dover

This piece was painted to honor the artist who initially kindled my love for perspective and creativity in design; M. C. Escher.  The focus of the piece is my rustic version of Escher’s Waterval (Waterfall), combined with elements from the natural and man-made environments, highlighting the movement of water.



Leah Curran
(Name of Piece: Delaware Rain Dance)
Placed at Delaware Department of Transportation Foyer, Dover

Governor Markell has devised a plan to focus on Delaware’s watershed treatment, water quality needs and protection known as Clean Water for Delaware’s Future. “Delaware Rain Dance” takes a stand for clean water by incorporating red and blue, traditional rain dance basket colors, with a Delaware theme. Depicted are the DE State characteristics like peach blossoms, blue hens, American holly, and Indians dancing for rain while playing the state sport, American football.


La Pluie

Kim Klabe
(Name of Piece: La Pluie)
Placed at Delaware Watersheds Facebook Page Contest

My hope was to keep the design simple, to reflect the barrel’s purpose and to emphasize the feeling of water with the blues.




Blue Herons on Broad Creek

Kim Littleton
(Name of Piece: Blue Herons on Broad Creek)
Placed at Go Ape at Lums Pond State Park, Bear

My painting of the Blue Heron on the rain barrel represents the view that I enjoy every day at my door step. There are two Blue Herons that frequent the Broad Creek most every day. They also have become quite friendly with the local fishermen, so much that the fishermen will offer up their catch to the birds. The Blue Heron being native to this area makes an ideal image for the rain barrel.


Perpetual Force of Nature

Bruce McKinney
(Name of Piece: Perpetual Force of Nature)
Placed at Delaware Association of Environmental Educators Annual Meeting

The work I call Perpetual Force of Nature is an interpretation of what I believe, to ask why creates a need to know, which triggers a part in all of us enough to wonder why. Objects related to ideas and thoughts run through our memories creating images deeply suppressed. The existence of a higher power controls our destiny only altered by man’s existence and ability through growth such as industry, to pollute our environment. Hence the watershed becomes an important part of our longevity here on this planet. The mythological scenarios such as raining Cats and Dogs, is related to the god of Storms Odin. Dogs and Wolves were attendants to Odin in which sailors associated them with rain. Cats in which sorceresses were to have been associated with were to have ridden on the wind creating “raining Cats and Dogs”. The phrase in any sense is not literal; it does not record an incident where cats and dogs fell from the sky. Small creatures, of the size of frogs or fish, do occasionally get carried skywards in freak weather. Without the weather the water levels will eventually diminish the barrel depicts the perpetual force of nature and man. The objects portrayed are your interpretations.


Alan Rich
(Name of Piece: Pouring)
Placed at City of Newark Community Day

Working my fluid acrylic pour concept directly on the barrel, it did not take long to realize I was going to have a muddy mess on my hands….and floor.  I regrouped and used a previous technique with my pours….skins.  I set up plastic covered 16×20 boards to pour my designs.  Once dried, the skins peel clean from the plastic.  Using soft acrylic gel medium, I paint the barrel and lay the paint skins in position.


Sunset Garden

Kathi Schiavoni – Honorable Mention
(Name of Piece: Sunset Garden)
Placed at Delaware Chapter of the American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting

Sir Frog sits among the flowers to appreciate the wonder of color, from the grasses to the dragons in the sky.




Laura Olds Schmidt
(Name of Piece: Natives)
Placed at Race for Our Rivers – Chapel Branch Nature Area (Saturday,  September 20)

The Otomi people, native to Mexico, interpret flora and fauna in a graphic pattern usually embroidered on textiles. This Otomi-inspired rain barrel celebrates a healthy Delaware ecosystem. Thriving among stylized plants and flowers are Delaware endangered species: the Atlantic Sturgeon, Rare Skipper, Black Skimmer, Delmarva Fox Squirrel, Eastern Tiger Salamander, and Bog Turtle. Can you find all six endangered species?


Bring on SpringNatalie Wipf
(Name of Piece: Bring on Spring)
Placed at Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton

Since we had such a cold snowy winter my inspiration was color, color, color! The bright swirls of color represent the winds blowing around amongst spring flower blooms. The bare tree represents all the new growth, change, and hope that spring heralds.



We would like to thank the program sponsors: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), Dogfish Head Brewery, US Environmental Protection Agency.