Going Guerrilla for Storm Drains

Samantha Sekellick

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If you visit downtown Frederick, MD, during one of its many weekend events, you may find the people from the Frederick Book Arts Center showing off an old mini printing press and some cool t-shirts with unique printing. The latest is what caught my eye when I saw a Facebook event advertising a “Guerrilla Printing” session. Fate and coincidence can sometimes be indistinguishable. When I saw this, I planned my next steps for promoting the Storm Drain Art Project.

I have seen this event promoted on social media and kept it on my bucket list. The peeps from the FBAC had tried to do this last spring, but the weather didn’t collaborate. I just couldn’t get out of my mind that printing t-shirts on the street using the patterns of maintenance hole covers looked so cool! I just wanted to do it, and what a great match I discovered. Bringing this to the Gaithersburg community through the G-PARC Arts Alliance would offer a novel old-school art activity and help us promote our Storm Drain Art Contest while creating brand awareness for G-PARC.

I put on my “taking the initiative cap” and contacted them to offer a partnership. The FBAC kindly offered to come to show us how they do it, so we could make our own t-shirts with maintenance hole cover designs. What an incredible and unique opportunity on your hands.

On August 31, 2022, the Frederick Book Arts Center came to teach our Arts Alliance of GPARC how to print storm drain maintenance hole covers on t-shirts. Our volunteer leadership team was excited to participate in the workshop and learn the process. We were able to print ten t-shirts, and we felt accomplished. We were also excited at the idea of being able to replicate this workshop during events with the community.

I posted it on social media, and the FBAC and volunteers shared it on their accounts. To my surprise, the post produced a 2.3K engagement, our biggest since opening our Facebook account. It’s a popular activity for sure.

If you are interested in participating, let us know! We always seek volunteers and like-minded people who love the community and the arts. Just email gparc@gaithersburgmd.gov