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Malibu Seeks Artist for Storm Drain Art

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City of Malibu Seeks Proposals to Refurbish Environmental Public Art Pieces on Storm Drains in Malibu

[Press Release] The City of Malibu put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an artist to creatively transform four storm drain catch basins with original art, broadening community members’ understanding of the connection between gutters, storm drains, and the ocean environment while highlighting local art. 

“Malibu’s beautiful ocean environment has always inspired artists, so it’s exciting to have public art that speaks to our strong environmental commitment,” Mayor Rick Mullen said. “I look forward to seeing the ideas that will be presented and encourage all artists in the community to apply.” 

In 2014, the City hired an artist to paint four storm drains as part of the “Keep it Clean, Malibu” campaign focused on protecting the 24-mile-long Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) in Malibu. The primary goal of this project is to transform a mundane utilitarian structure into an art form to encourage environmental stewardship and a sense of connection to the ocean. All polluted runoff is prohibited from reaching the ASBS, which stretches across about half of the Malibu coastline to protect fragile marine habitats. 

Despite being touched up several years later, the original artwork has faded or been damaged by the sun and vehicle traffic. The City is again seeking a talented artist to bring his or her craft to the City’s environmental public art campaign. The selected artist will design and create innovative artwork to cover storm drain catch basins in prominent locations throughout Malibu. 

Proposed designs for this project should celebrate Malibu’s connection to the ocean and encourage dialogue within the community about how to protect our coast. All work and materials must conform to the City’s strict environmental guidelines, and the work must meet requirements to be durable in outdoor conditions. <br/
The catch basins are located on Cross Creek Road, in front of Point Dume Plaza on Heathercliff Road, at the corner of Morning View Drive and PCH, and at Trancas Park. 

More Information

A successful design for this project will celebrate Malibu’s connection to the ocean and encourage dialogue within the community about how to protect our coast. 


The selected artist will be paid $8,000 to complete original art for our storm drain inlets. This budget will cover all of the artist's costs including artwork, supplies, travel, and installation.


Artists with experience in public art and an interest in ocean conservation are encouraged to apply.


1. Artwork will be selected based on the quality of design and must have a four-year life expectancy. Proposals should consider aesthetically pleasing use of color and form and relate well to the surrounding environs in which they will be placed. 

2. Selected artist will design and paint one-of-a-kind, ocean-themed images on four storm drain inlets. These public art pieces will be part of the City’s “Keep it Clean, Malibu” campaign. 

3. Outside murals are subject to the harshest environmental conditions and thus must be painted with high-quality colorfast paint with proven ability to maintain colorfastness for four (4) years. The artist may select his/her preferred paint. Each design will be covered with a clear coat of an environmentally sensitive sealant by City staff. Materials, colors used, and design will be subject to the approval of the City. 

4. The artwork must be contained on the concrete sidewalk, inlet lid, and gutter; the artwork may not be on the asphalt roadway. Red curbs may only be painted over when directly on the storm drain lid. The red curb extending beyond the length of the storm drain inlet must be left red. 

5. “Keep it Clean, Malibu” must be included somewhere in each mural. The artist is welcome to sign the piece. 

6. Art installation must be completed during dry weather. 

7. Due to the sensitive location of the art, artist must have materials on hand to immediately clean up products if there is a spill, including absorbent materials and cloths. A spill response and cleanup plan must be included in the proposal. 

8. Artist must plan for disposing of dirty water responsibly and NOT in the gutter or storm drain. Landscape areas are acceptable if the paint is water based. If the paint is not water based, the artist must propose an acceptable disposal method that does not harm the environment. 

9. The City will designate the specific storm drain inlets to be painted. The four (4) inlets are located on Cross Creek Road, in front of Point Dume Plaza on Heathercliff Road, at the corner of Morning View Drive and PCH, and at Trancas Park.

For more information, visit the City of Malibu's website: HERE.

Photo courtesy of the City of Malibu.


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