MOUNT VERNON — There’s art on the sidewalks of Mount Vernon, but it takes some rain to see it.

Instead of being scribbled on sunny days and washed away during the next rain, “Rainworks” art remains hidden until the sidewalks get wet.

Images adorn sidewalks at seven locations in Mount Vernon and one in Bay View, waiting to be discovered on rainy days and brighten the often dreary days of spring, said Kristi Carpenter of the Skagit Conservation District.

The conservation district partnered with seven area artists to create a Rainworks Art Trail in Mount Vernon. Community members are encouraged to try to see all the art through May 31 before it fades away.

The art that will be exposed during spring rains features images and messages related to water, and is intended to raise awareness of the importance of water and the challenges of keeping it clean.

“I wanted to create awareness of the connection between our urban streets and the rivers and lakes downstream,” artist Stella Spring said. “Water from our streets, parking lots and driveways picks up pollutants in its path.”

She said people can help improve water quality by having their vehicles cleaned at a car wash rather than in their driveways.

Carpenter said the idea for the art came from artist Nicolette Harrington, who was looking for a way to give back after receiving free training from the conservation district about water quality issues through the Watershed Masters program.

“It’s easier to keep pollution out of water than it is to remove it,” Harrington said. “From melting snow and falling rain to stormwater runoff, a watershed forms the streams and rivers that flow from forest to farm to city and into the ocean.”

Rainworks is a Seattle-based company that sells an environmentally safe spray to create sidewalk art that is invisible on dry days, according to the company’s website.

For more information about the local Rainworks Art Trail, visit

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199,, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH,

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