All Along the Water Towers: Art Project Raises Awareness

Jay-Z, Jeff Koons and others are starting conversations about water conservation

water Tank Project Transforms NYC Roofs Into Museums in for water conservation
Water tanks on rooftop buildings will be decorated to raise awareness of clean water. (Photo by: The Water Tank Project)

Updated Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:22 am

All water is not equal—some has the ability to sustain life, while other types can deplete it. One of our most precious natural resources is in dire need of protection: today 2.5 billion people have no access to basic sanitation and a child dies every 20 seconds from a water-related illness. Jay-Z, Jeff Koons and 30 other artists, musicians and designers are collaborating on a New York-based mission, The Water Tank Project, to help via skyline installations on local water towers—with eventual plans to take it across the globe.

These artists will collaborate with Word Above the Street, a public art organization, to use this city full of water tanks placed high up on the roofs of buildings as art installations. Together they’ll come up with designs on the handmade vinyl wraps to showcase conversation starters on the city’s relationship with water.

For 12 weeks next summer, the organizers “want New York City to look up again, to dream big, feel proud, do something — to create, to share, to believe.” With collaborations like Jay-Z and Koons, musician Devendra Banhart, pop artist Ed Ruscha, sculptor Andy Goldsworthy and graffiti artist Fab 5 Freddy, a lot of people will likely be looking up. The goal of The Water Tank Project is to “produce art as social intervention and bring about changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior among those who experience it,” the Kickstarter page says.

If they meet the goal to raise $1 million, water tanks would be legally secured, art could be printed and more. Plans to expand to Mumbai, Rio, Mexico City and Sydney are in the mix if all goes well in NYC.

Find out more about The Water Tank Project at

Image courtesy of The Water Tank Project.

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