The streets are always buzzing here in NYC and there are tons of things happening in the city at any given time. So when I attend an inspiring event in support of a great cause, I definitely want to share it with you. Last Thursday, I was invited to a super cool event at Wallplay (a global art exhibition platform built to activate and document art campaigns and collaborations that don’t fit into a box). They provide physical and virtual space for exhibitions to launch and they’re hosting WAT-AAH!’s Taking Back the Streets art exhibition, which ends today. The campaign is in honor of Drink Up, an initiative of Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and its honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama, that encourages Americans to drink more water, more often.
These organizations are a perfect pairing because WAA-TAH! is a line of functional bottled water targeted to kids and teens. Rose Cameron who was alarmed by the fact that today’s generation of kids are predicted to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents largely due to childhood obesity, founded the company in 2008. Cameron, further inspired and challenged by her two sons who identified water to be “boring”, set to create WAT-AAH! with its screaming boy logo coupled with a mission “to be the first brand to make water relevant and cool to kids.” Since its launch 6 years ago, WAT-AAH! has been successful in the marketplace and has been identified as “one of the fastest growing brands” in the beverage industry, ranking among the top 10 in its category. The “Taking Back the Streets” initiative is a national art campaign that intends to reclaim the space where kids live, by replacing the information and visual stimulation that bombards them every day with new messages about healthy hydration. The most powerful messages that connect to kids and teens are not only found in magazines or on social media and television, but in the streets. For the first time, street art is being harnessed to reach this most important demographic. (bevnet.com)
The exhibition features the work of 13 artists including Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Maya Hayuk, Trey Speegle, Damien Mitchell, Metro Zu, Lichiban, Tony Concep, VESA, Damon Johnson, MENT, Smurfo and a special tribute to Keith Haring. Each artist will showcase an original piece of artwork inspired by WAT-AAH!’s iconic screaming boy logo, Drink Up’s water drop logo and/or communicate water in general; then these pieces will be transformed into label art for WAT-AAH!, creating a new series of limited edition WAT-AAH! bottles.
So I happily made my way to the gallery, with my camera in hand, to document the artistic deliciousness on display…
The campaign initially kicked off on February 18th at the New Museum. FLOTUS was in attendance, engaging with kids, touring the exhibit with Rose and even autographed one of the artist’s paintings. She commended the initiative for its creativity and visibility. “You guys are going to make a huge, huge impact on the health of our nation,”.photos above by James Keivom of New York Daily News
I’m super excited about this initiative and psyched that I got a chance to see the exhibit. We were given bottles as parting gifts so I gave a few away and will be sure to continue to spread the word. We’re all working on keeping H2O at the forefront of our diets, because drinking enough water is not just a challenge for kids and teens but for adults too.