Sound Rivers issues call for river art

Published 12:16 pm Monday, July 26, 2021

Sound Rivers has issued a Call for Art, and artists, to commemorate its 40th anniversary.

The grassroots environmental nonprofit, based in Washington, New Bern and Raleigh, is seeking a unique, digital design that captures the spirit of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers. The signature design will be used for “swag” — T-shirts, reusable water bottles, stickers and more for the next year.

“We’re looking for original, digital art that reflects a deep love of our waterways, that speaks to the importance of keeping them swimmable, fishable and drinkable now and in the future,” said Vail Rumley, Sound Rivers’ communications director. “That vision will be different for every artist, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the designs they submit.”

Three semi-finalists will be selected from the submitted designs and each artist interviewed via Zoom about their work. Each will also receive a $100 stipend. The artist who designs the piece ultimately selected will receive $500. Designs must be submitted digitally by Aug. 13 at 10 a.m.

For four decades, Sound Rivers has been monitoring and protecting North Carolina’s waterways covering nearly a quarter of North Carolina, from the Raleigh area to the Pamlico Sound. Created by the merger of two of the oldest environmental organizations in the state — the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation — the nonprofit’s mission is clean water, accessible waterways and environmental justice, for all. 

“When you think of North Carolina history, you don’t necessarily think of its environmental history. When these two groups formed in 1981, their founders were considered troublemakers — for fighting to keep our rivers clean. It’s a battle that continues today,” Rumley said. “Forty years is significant, and certainly should be recognized, but it’s obvious we’re in it for the long haul.”

For more information about how to submit your work to the Sound Rivers’ Call for Art, visit or follow @soundriversNC on Facebook.