Savannah Gratteri from Appoquinimink High was one of four high school finalists in Delmarva Power's "Paint the Tank" contest to create a new design for the natural gas storage tank along Interstate 95 in Wilmington.
Located alongside the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge, the Delmarva Power property includes nearly 30 acres of natural woods and marshland that support the neighboring preserve. The storage tank now features a heron and its chicks in the local marshland, but it hasn’t been repainted since the 1990s.
“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.”
New Castle County teens were challenged to create a design for the tank that captured the importance of sustaining natural ecosystems and preserving our environment for future generations.
Gratteri's submission, entitled “Pocomoke,” was selected from more than 100 entries for final consideration.
Gratteri, her family, Appoquinimink High School art teacher Andrea Keim and Principal Keisha Brinkley were part of an awards celebration June 19 at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts where the four finalists were honored by New Castle County Executive Matt Meyers, Wilmington Mayor Mayor Mike Purzycki and Delmarva CEO Gary Stockbridge.
The winner of the contest was Samuel Bufano from John Dickinson High School. His design will be painted on the storage tank, and he received a $5,000 scholarship.
Gratteri and the other two finalists, Nonna Batrakova and Olivia Henderson, both from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.
A panel of judges from the company and local community selected the new mural design.