Geneva Gives Residents a Chance to Paint Fire Hydrants

Geneva Gives Residents a Chance to Paint Fire Hydrants

One of the many cool things being done by local government is Geneva’s “Art on Fire” hydrant design contest.

“Art on Fire” was initiated by the city with the assistance from its Cultural Arts Commission to have individuals “adopt” and paint fire hydrants to display creative artwork throughout Geneva. You can take a virtual tour of past years’ hydrant art using the interactive map on the city of Geneva website.

Geneva will once again be offering local artists those unique canvases – fire hydrants – to showcase their creative spirit this spring.

The city, in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Commission, is seeking artists to adopt and paint fire hydrants throughout the community. More than 70 hydrants have been painted the past four years as part of “Art on Fire,” and the program has been well-received by residents and visitors who have taken notice of the artwork in the downtown and surrounding areas.

With more than 1,800 fire hydrants throughout Geneva, plenty of “blank canvas” remains for artists to submit new entries this spring.

“The ‘Art on Fire’ program is evidence that Geneva’s creative spirit cannot be extinguished,” Mayor Kevin Burns said.

The program is free and open to the public, but participants need to submit an application to the city by Friday, May 12. The application can be found on the City’s website at or picked up at Geneva City Hall, 22 S. First St.

“Art on Fire” does not mandate a specific theme, but the program encourages artists to incorporate the character of the hydrant’s surrounding environment into their design. City staff reviews and approves all application designs to make sure they do not compromise the visibility of the hydrants for firefighters in an emergency. Artists will be allowed to paint their hydrants during May and June.

The city’s Public Arts Advisory Committee and Cultural Arts Commission will again judge the hydrants and award prizes to the top three design winners this summer.

People can take a virtual tour of all the decorated hydrants on an interactive map posted on the City’s website. The map will be updated this summer to include all the 2017 submissions.

About the city of Geneva

Located 40 miles west of Chicago along the Fox River, Geneva is home to 21,495 residents and serves as the seat of Kane County government. Geneva’s character is found in its historic architecture, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, mature landscapes and open space with more than 700 acres of park land. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a place to connect with others for shopping, dining or browsing art galleries. Home to excellent schools, library and parks, Geneva continues to be one of the premier cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play and raise a family. For the latest news, visit the City’s website at