Rain Barrels

Twenty artists and artist groups, including school groups from Washington High School, Edison Intermediate Center, Stanley Clark School, Countryside Montessori Preschool, Discovery Middle School and St Joe High School decorated 55-gallon barrels that have been converted into Rain Barrels.  The Rain Barrels will be on display at local businesses who have underwritten this project.

Beginning the week of April 23, 15 of the Rain Barrels will go on display at the South Bend Museum of Art in an indoor garden to be donated and installed by Foegley Landscape.

Five of the Rain Barrels, underwritten by area Credit Unions, will also be on display at the Credit Unions.  These will be used as bistro tables the night of the auction and then donated to local community or Unity gardens or any school or not-for-profit who has a community garden.  If you belong to a garden such as this and would like one of these Rain Barrels, contact IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future.  These Rain Barrels will be randomly distributed on a first-come first-served basis to qualifying gardens.

The other fifteen Rain Barrels will be sold at auction on Friday, May 4, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the SB Museum of Art, Century Center.  (Evening wear and garden gloves recommended, but not required!)

Thanks to the following underwriters:

IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future

South Bend Museum of Art

Foegley Landscaping

PNC Bank

Fiddler’s Hearth

Lawson-Fisher Associates

St Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District

Roseland Garden Center

Martin’s Supermarkets

Kil Architecture/Planning

South Bend Waste Water Treatment Facility

Purple Porch Co-op

Hill’s True Value

Beehive Salon

Just Goods

Barnaby’s South Bend

Coca Cola Bottling Company of Indiana


Carl Kaser Auction

Louie’s Tux Shop

Lochmandy Collision Center

IU Federal Credit Union

AAA Federal Credit Union

Teachers Credit Union

Community Wide Credit Union

Notre Dame Federal Credit UnionImage


A preschooler gets a little help to add his handprint to the SNAP Rain Barrel.

In an effort to raise awareness of water as a natural resource and to connect the schools, business, arts and sustainability communities, 2010-2011 Fellow with IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future, Kathleen Petitjean, enlisted area artists and artist groups to paint twelve, 55-gallon plastic containers, donated by Coca Cola and converted for use as rain barrels.  All the barrels were underwritten by local businesses and organizations. The teachers and therapists from the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Special Needs and Abilities Preschool (SNAP) pooled resources to underwrite a “SNAP” barrel.  Over 70 special needs preschool students and their classroom buddies at Hamilton, Madison and Darden Primary Centers participated in painting the SNAP barrel!

All the barrels were coated with a clear automotive finish donated by Lochmandy Collision Center, Mishawaka and are currently on display at underwriting businesses.  The SNAP barrel will take turns being displayed at Darden, Madison and Hamilton Primary Centers.  Beginning April 25th, all the barrels will be displayed for two weeks in an indoor garden setting donated by Foegley Landscape at the South Bend Museum of Art.  On May 6th, starting at 7:00 p.m. the twelve barrels will be sold at a public auction with the proceeds to be split between IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future and the artists or artist groups. The SNAP program will be the recipient of the SNAP barrel proceeds.  Upon learning that the barrel he was painting would be sold, little Joe asked his teacher, Tracy Greulich, if she would use the money to buy grapes for he and his friends to share at snack-time!

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the Rain Barrel auction on May 6th at 7:00 p.m.; the auction event is free and open to the public.  Groups will be on hand to share information about Rain Barrels and water conservation.  At least two unpainted barrels will also be given away in a free drawing.

Evening wear and garden gloves recommended but not required!

To see all the Original Art Rain Barrels, please go to:


For more information about IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future go to:

To become an underwriter for this event, please contact:


For more information about rain barrels and water conservation, please go to:


This project is being underwritten by:

IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future

St Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District

South Bend Museum of Art

Barnaby’s South Bend

Beehive Salon

Coca Cola Bottling Company of Indiana

Foegley Landscape

Goodrich Auction Company

Martin’s Supermarket

Lawson-Fisher Associates

Lochmandy Collision Center

Purple Porch Co-op

Red Hen Turf Farm

Teachers and Therapists of the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Special Needs and Abilities Preschool

Troyer Group

Gary Mester, Master Photographer

Acousticom Corporation

Cathy Romano