An innovative new form of art is popping up in one of America’s rainiest places, Seattle. A small startup is designing a product that makes rain-activated pieces of art on sidewalks or other surfaces. To be able to see the art, it must be raining.
Artist Peregrine Church set up a Kickstarter campaign for his art project, called Rainworks, and raised $50,000 from 690 backers. What’s neat about Rainworks is that it can be used by anyone: backers get a bottle of a spray that covers up to 15 feet, a stencil so they can make their own pieces of art, and video instructions, giving customers free license and creative power to make their own rain stencils.
Church says that he was inspired to create Rainworks by a viral video of red wine pouring off of a white shirt and chocolate syrup pouring off of white shoes, both of which used a super hydrophobic coating that repels water.
“What can I do with this [product]?” Church said. “What if you sprayed it through a stencil? If you put it on concrete, ideally it’d be invisible. Instead of the concrete getting dark the water would just roll right off and it will stay light-colored.”
But the project isn’t about making money, says Church. “My priority is helping people make the world a better place. So once we’re off the ground and flying, it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Because the homemade designs are temporary—they only last about four or five weeks, depending on the weather—they aren’t considered graffiti, so they don’t face restrictions about where they can be placed. People are putting their Rainworks designs on the ground around bus stops or other public areas like parks. Inspirational words are popping up, and only when the weather’s bad.
Church and his “co-conspirators” Xack Fischer and Forest Tressider use Always-Dry, an environmentally-safe and non-toxic coating spray that is also biodegradable, so all art really is safe and temporary.