Water tanks on the tops of buildings are a New York City icon, and starting in the spring of 2013, 300 of these tanks will be transformed into public art installations for all New Yorkers to enjoy from afar. The Water Tank Project has already enlisted big names like Jay-Z and Thom Yorke to design towers, and the group will also be holding open calls, asking talented artists from around the globe to submit their work to be immortalized in this unique public art project. All of the chosen artworks must aim to increase public awareness of the need for water conservation.
Water towers have a historical significance to New York City, with many standing since during the Industrial Revolution. These landmarked reservoirs top each building over six stories and were built to control water pressure. Over the course of 12 weeks, 300 carefully chosen water towers around the city will be treated with wrap around art that calls attention to water as a precious resource. By increasing appreciation of NYC’s high quality drinking water, the Water Tank Project hopes to increase water conservation and education about the negative consequences of plastic waste that comes from bottled water.
Artists such as Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Marilyn Minter, E.V. Day, Tony Conrad, Andy Goldsworthy, and Tony Oursler will be giving New Yorkers a taste of their magic by adorning their own water towers. Capping off buildings of all sizes, the colorful installations will be visible from one neighborhood to the next, creating new views and juxtapositions from different vantage points in different areas.
The large scale public art project mixes the work of world-class established artists, celebrities, emerging artists, and even high school students from the New York City area. Some art world hard-hitters are also behind the project: Sotheby’s chairwoman Lisa Dennison, Senior Curatorial Adviser of MoMA PS1 Neville Wakefield, and filmmaker Mary Jordan. The project will commence in Spring of 2013, and open call information will be updated on the project’s Facebook page. The only prerequisite of the design proposals is that they are about water!