H2O Yeah! The Water Tank Project Makes NYC Cooler

Like rainwater flowing from rooftops to roads, The Water Tank Project seeks to artistically enhance New York City‘s gritty skyline from the top down.


Spearheaded by artist/activist Mary Jordan, The Water Tank Project does double duty as both a cool art installation and an innovative awareness campaign spotlighting the global water crisis.



Compared by one of the participating artists to “a museum waiting to happen,” NYC’s rooftop water tanks expand the 2D format of advertising billboards into the next dimension!



Over 30 artists including Jay-Z and Jeff Koons signed on to transform dozens of otherwise nondescript rooftop water tanks into colorful examples of activist art. The tanks themselves won’t be painted – preparing the exterior surfaces alone would be expensive, time-consuming and environmentally unfriendly.



Instead, the artists will work on vinyl “canvases” customized to fit each individual water tank. Once imprinted with the artwork, the rectangular pieces will be wrapped around the tanks and secured against wind and weather. As The Water Tank Project is neither a permanent nor a fixed exhibit, works can be removed and/or replaced quickly and easily as required.



The Water Tank Project was organized by Word Above The Street, headed by Mary Jordan, who was inspired to shine a spotlight on wasteful water use after visiting Ethiopia in 2007. “Water is our most challenged but taken-for-granted resource. It’s all around us but virtually invisible,” explains Neville Wakefield, a member of the project’s curatorial team. “By drawing attention to the water tanks, we hope to alert the world to the wastage of our most precious commodity.”