For Immediate Release
NEWARK, Del. (June 20, 2018) – Delmarva Power's storage tank, a community landmark located along Interstate 95 in Wilmington, is getting a makeover courtesy of a local high school artist.
The storage tank, which currently features a heron and its chicks in the local marshland, will soon have a new, modern mural designed by John Dickinson High School rising sophomore Samuel Bufano. A panel of judges from the company and local community selected the new mural from nearly 100 submissions from local high school students as part of the eco-art Paint the Tank contest put on by Delmarva Power and several of its community partners.
"Delmarva Power's storage tank is an important landmark in our community," said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. "I've enjoyed seeing so many different community organizations, businesses, and schools come together to select a new mural to decorate the Riverfront area, which is such a defining part of our growing city."
Bufano and three other students were recognized at an awards ceremony at the Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington on Tuesday. In addition to having his original artwork painted on the storage tank, Bufano also received a $5,000 scholarship to put towards his future studies and personal development. Three runners-up, Savannah Gratteri from Appoquinimink High School, Nonna Batrakova from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, and Olivia Henderson from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, each received a $1,000 scholarship.
"Our storage tank helps us deliver safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas for our customers every day, but painting a mural on this local landmark only comes around once every 20 years," said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO, Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. "The contest was a distinct opportunity for us to engage local high school students and give back to our communities. We have been overwhelmed with the high level of participation and the incredibly thoughtful and creative pieces that have been submitted over the course of the contest."
The winning mural, entitled The Hidden Beauty of New Castle County, was inspired by a visit Bufano made to the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, which borders the storage tank. Delmarva Power's adjacent property includes nearly 30 acres of natural woods and marshland, which support the wildlife refuge's ecosystem. The eco-art contest celebrated this important relationship, with artists submitting work that captured the importance of sustaining natural ecosystems and preserving the environment for future generations.
"I can't believe I won. It feels amazing, like a dream, like it's not actually happening," said Bufano. "When I was creating my mural, I wanted to portray the unity of man and nature and I hope that when people see it, they think about how important it is to maintain our environment for the future of human society."
Delmarva Power's storage tank provides clean natural gas supply for the company's 132,000 natural gas customers during heavy winter demand and other peak times. The storage tank is painted about every 20 years as part of the company's standard maintenance practices and to meet federal and state regulations. The storage tank will begin being prepared for its new mural later this summer. Painting of the new artwork is expected to begin in September and be completed in November.
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About Delmarva Power: Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 520,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 132,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.