Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light returns for annual event

Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light, presented by Scottsdale Public Art and Salt River Project, brings together interactive art installations for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience.

Coming into its fourth year, Canal Convergence will take place at the Scottsdale Waterfront between Soleri Bridge and Goldwater Boulevard over four days, from Thursday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.

During Canal Convergence 2016, attendees will enjoy 12 large-scale artworks positioned both in the Arizona Canal and along its banks.

Additional attractions include an “Artist@Work” demonstration area with artist Joshua Dopp and his portable glass blowing hot shop, family-friendly hands-on activities, art and dance workshops and live performances throughout all four days. Friday and Saturday evenings will also feature a beer and wine garden, according to a press release.

“Canal Convergence continues to grow each year, both in the number of installations as well as building the audience’s overall experience,” stated Scottsdale Public Art Director Donna Isaac, in the release. “This year’s event, led by a group of international and local artists, brings exciting, renowned installations to Scottsdale for the community and visitors to enjoy.”

Blooms (submitted photo)

Blooms (submitted photo)

“Blooms,” a specially commissioned light-based art installation by internationally recognized UK artist Bruce Munro, is the featured artwork for this year’s Canal Convergence. The artwork is comprised of seven circular arrays of one hundred, 10-foot multi-colored fishing rods, which glimmer in the daylight and glow throughout the evening.

Set within the entire 700-foot length of the Arizona Canal between the Soleri and Marshall Way bridges, “Blooms” was installed in October 2015 in coordination with the cultural collaboration “Desert Radiance.”

This unique alliance among Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisa Sette Gallery and Desert Botanical Garden brings the presentation of Bruce Munro’s light-based sculptures inspired by the Sonoran Desert to the Valley.

On the west side of Marshall Way Bridge, “Spiraling Droplets” by Los Angeles-based artist collective Aphidoidea, will be featured.

“Spiraling Droplets” features a collection of 10-foot-high buoys arranged in a whirlpool formation, which progressively change shape to mimic the forms of water drops. This installation will also provide a unique form of audience participation, allowing the public to change the color of the buoy lights through Facebook integration, the release stated.

Set in the Soleri Plaza, Canal Convergence will also bring the highly anticipated art installation “Light Origami” to the United States for the first time. Originally commissioned for Vivid Sydney 2015, this life-size structure combines design, light, original music by composer Inga Liljestrom and reflection to delight visitors.

Made from 300 aluminum composite panels within a steel external frame, the dome creates is a giant, three-dimensional, interactive kaleidoscope where viewers are invited to enter.

As visitors walk across the Marshall Way Bridge, they will be met by an interactive installation by experimental performance group Purring Tiger titled “MICRO –Double Helix.”

Originally commissioned for Burning Man in 2014, this piece will consist of 200 translucent spheres suspended from the bridge roof that, when touched, will light up with one of five different colors and produce a unique sound.

MICRO Double Helix (submitted photo)

MICRO Double Helix (submitted photo)

During the four days of Canal Convergence, guests will be able to activate Amy Manning’s installation “True Local Time” by acting as human gnomons for a life-size sundial. Approximately 10-to-12 feet in diameter, this low and round platform sundial will display a map of the Valley and be calibrated exactly for the location of Scottsdale Waterfront.

In addition to this participation-oriented piece, Ms. Manning will also be giving a workshop in which she will teach everyone how to make their own sundial.

Artist Edina Tokodi will display a mixed-media artwork at the Scottsdale Waterfront titled “Billboard Mindscape.” The piece will consist of freestanding wooden panels made with graphic elements and feature triangular modules filled with a variety of living succulent plants. The narrative created by the combination of Tokodi’s images alongside the plant life will symbolically represent the contrasting atmospheres of urban life.

“A river’s passing, 1” by Perry Allen is a projection installation that will consist of a three channel cinematic portrait of the Valley’s extensive canal systems. Each channel will combine the artist’s personal footage with archival media of water journeying from its river origins through the city.

This endlessly looping cinematic triptych will be projected on the north side of the Scottsdale Waterfront over the course of Canal Convergence.

Artist Christopher Jagmin seeks to revisit the wonder of childhood secrecy by creating “Your Secret is Safe with Me,” a social experiment placed in the heart of Canal Convergence in which strangers will share their secrets with each other within the privacy of the artist’s installation.

Two people, after pledging to never reveal the other’s secret, will pass sealed written secrets to each other. A smaller table and chairs would be setup for children to participate as well.

Light Origami (submitted photo)

Light Origami (submitted photo)

Design RePublic, a group of creative strategists, will be supplying Canal Convergence with their mobile airstream studio as an inspirational haven for visitors wishing to develop their own creativity.

In addition to having the mobile studio filled with creative art-making materials, Design RePublic member and local artist Lindsay Kinkade will be creating intricate mandalas along the Scottsdale Waterfront sidewalks, and giving a workshop that will teach members of the public how to design, cut and install street stencils, which they will be able to test at the canal.

In the midst of viewing the cutting-edge works of contemporary public art, guests of all ages will also be invited to participate in a variety of family-friendly, artist-led workshops and watch live performances scheduled throughout all four days of Canal Convergence. Internationally renowned dance collective Pilobolus will also be hosting free dance workshops open to all skill levels at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Canal Convergence takes place and will be open 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, and Friday, Feb. 26, 2016; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb.  27, 2016; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28.

For the most up-to-date information on Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light, visit

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