New York City Water Towers Converted into Works of Art

Arts & Culture

300 original rooftop water tanks spread the word about global water issues

Ross Brooks
  • 14 august 2014

Last year, we saw one New York water tower converted into a private speakeasy, but this year the focus is on large-scale public art projects. “The Water Tank Project” aims to transform 300 rooftop water tanks into original works of art. Dreamt up by filmmaker Mary Jordan, the project also aims to make people more aware of the global water issues that could pose a serious threat in the near-future.

Even though the project is dealing with a serious issue, it want to create meaningful and long-lasting change by inspiring people, not instilling them with fear. As it says on their website, they want to “inspire awe and joy, to educate, and to alter attitudes and habits among those who experience The Water Tank Project.”


Apart from acclaimed artists such as John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Maya Lin and Andy Goldsworthy, the initiative will draw on the talent of public school students. The mix of established and emerging artists will help to target different parts of the community, and incite a reaction from as many people as possible.


As explained on the project’s website, It’s not just art that will carry the message:

The Water Tank Project is part art exhibition, part awareness campaign. For the duration of the project, art above will be complemented by action on the ground through educational programs, public tours, social media activities and a symposium dedicated to inspiring fresh views on global water issues.

Hopefully the project will be able to draw people’s attention to some very real issues, and inspire them to take action in whatever way possible. Assuming it goes well, it’s unlikely to be last we hear of Word Above the Street, a non-profit dedicated to fostering environmental awareness and social advocacy through art.

Word Above the Street

[h/t] Junk Culture

Images by Word Above the Street

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