Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light announces dozens of workshops, performances, informational tours and a few additional artworks for the free, 10-night event Nov. 4–13 at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Though Scottsdale Public Art created Canal Convergence 10 years ago and still curates all the artwork and coordinates the overall event each year, as the temporary, light-based public art event has grown, other branches of Scottsdale Arts have joined in to provide organizational support for the programmatic elements of Canal Convergence, according to a press release.
Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation facilitates a wide variety of both free and paid workshops presented by local and visiting artists, as well as other activities. And Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts draws on its relationships with local performing artists to create a stellar lineup for the Herberger Stage at Soleri Plaza and site-specific dance performances.
“Be sure to make the Nationwide Innovation Zone a stop during your Canal Convergence experience,” said Natalie Marsh, director of Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. “There will be drop-in and free activities every night of the event. The themes of these workshops and drop-in activities celebrate 10 years of Canal Convergence by bringing back some of our past favorites, like screen printing with Eli Richard, creating polyhedrons with HYBYCOZO, and art and science workshops with Walter Hive, in addition to offering our always-popular art and history tours.”
The history tours are led by employees of Salt River Project, and they focus on the history of the canal system in Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area. The art tours begin around sunset and include information about the large-scale, light-based installations and augmented reality artworks.
Exhibiting artists who are also offering workshops include Kristin Bauer, Angela Fraleigh and Josh Miller, HYBYCOZO, Pneuhaus and Walter Productions. Additional local artists and organizations offering workshops or other activities include Arizona State University Learning Futures, Jon Arvizu, Lora Barnhiser, Jennifer Britz, Cosanti Originals, Dig It Gardens, Shari Keith, Amber McCrary, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Kathleen Stanberry and Xico Arte y Cultura.
These artists and organizations will lead workshop participants through a wide variety of activities, from creative writing, zine making and the language of flowers to ceramic bell carving, Japanese paper marbling and botanical drawing. Some, like Light-Up Squiggle Sculptures and Glowing Fabric Flowers, even play on the light-based theme of Canal Convergence.
The Herberger Stage at Soleri Plaza will host nightly music during Canal Convergence. Headliners include The Senators, Gabriel Bey and Friends, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and Jaleo. The stage is conveniently located within the Beer and Wine Garden. Most of the nights will feature live music, while Wednesday, Nov. 9, mixes things up a bit with poetry readings by Amber McCrary and Cynthia Hogue, presented by Scottsdale Poet Laureate Lois Roma-Deely.
Additionally, Canal Convergence invites local dancers to perform and interact with the artworks.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, Rosy Mack and Jukebox Ground will offer site-specific dance performances at various locations around Canal Convergence.
NicoleOlson|Movement Chaos, a perrenial performance group at the event, will return on both Saturdays for two different performances, “Empyrean” on Nov. 5 and “Wishful Thinking & Starry Nights” on Nov. 12.
While beer and wine will be available nightly at Soleri Plaza, the first weekend of Canal Convergence will feature the return of the One Water Brewing Showcase, presented in conjunction with Scottsdale Water. The drought-friendly beer festival will feature craft beers brewed with ultra-purified, recycled water from Scottsdale’s Advanced Water Treatment Plant. For younger attendees and those who don’t drink beer, Scottsdale Water will also have a limited amount of the direct potable reuse water to sample.
Though most of the artworks have already been announced, a few more have recently been added. New York City-based artist Jen Lewin, who previously exhibited at Canal Convergence in 2015 with “The Pool,” will return this year with “The Last Ocean,” a series of platforms that will glow with a vibrant, oscillating brightness that cycles through a complex palette of curated colors, programmed to change as people walk on the platforms and interact with the work.
Additionally, Scottsdale Public Art is announcing three augmented reality artworks by local artists. To view these artworks, attendees will need to download the free Hoverlay app for their mobile devices.
The AR artworks include “Poetics of Impermanence,” by Kristin Bauer, which features multiple activation sites, each based on the four elements: water, earth, fire, air. Fausto Fernandez will offer a nod to a 2010 event that laid the groundwork for Canal Convergence with “Flowing Overlapping Gesture 2.0,” based on his physical artwork that appeared at that event. And Jen Urso, who was among the first AR artists to be a part of Canal Convergence in 2020, will present “What Grows Here,” a virtual, layered map showing more than 1,000 years of water use in the Scottsdale area.
For information visit CanalConvergence.com.