Scottsdale Arts’ Canal Convergence — Water + Art + Light will celebrate its 10th anniversary Nov. 4–13, at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
The free, 10-night event features large-scale public artworks created by artists from around the world alongside augmented reality artworks and experiences, live music and dance performances, creative workshops, educational activities, food trucks, and a beer and wine garden. In addition to the event’s perennial focus on interactivity and sustainability, this year’s featured theme is “Celebrating 10 Years of Water + Art + Light,” according to a press release
“This November we will celebrate Canal Convergence’s evolution since 2012, its recognition today as a destination event and what we can look forward to seeing in the future as Canal Convergence continues to evolve,” Kim Boganey, director of Scottsdale Public Art, said in a press release. That is the branch of Scottsdale Arts that launched the event at the Arizona Canal a decade ago.
Since the first official Canal Convergence in 2012, the event has embodied an ever-evolving conversation about site-specific public art, light art, community engagement and more, the press release stated. For Canal Convergence 2022, each artist was directed to present an artwork that celebrates Water + Art + Light, interactivity and sustainability, while also drawing from past themes like “Reconnect,” “The Story of Water” and “Art and Technology.”
This year’s event will celebrate the vibrant global artist community that has made Canal Convergence so memorable over the years by selecting local, national and international artists who have exhibited work at Canal Convergence in the past alongside new artists. Scottsdale-based artist Jeff Zischke, one of the original 2012 artists, will be creating a new work for Canal Convergence called “Sun Drops,” according to a press release.
Zischke said his 2012 artwork, “Nodal Water Garden,” presented a challenge as he and the Scottsdale Public Art team installed more than 200 illuminated shapes on the surface of the Arizona Canal. But “Sun Drops,” which will be suspended above the canal, offers a different set of creative challenges, the press release stated.
“There will be five units designed like sun shapes installed in an ascending and descending order, representing sunrise and sunset in our desert environment,” Zischke said in the press release. “There are many new problems to be solved, such as engineering of cable structures and design and programming of the computer controlled LEDs that will power the sculptures at night. I look forward to working with the Canal Convergence team to create another spectacular public art installation in the canal environment.”
Canal Convergence will also commission original augmented reality artworks from Arizona artists in addition to AR experiences that correspond to the physical artworks. As in the past two years, visitors to Canal Convergence can view the AR artworks and experiences through the ScottsdalePublicArt+ channel on the Hoverlay app, which also offers a portal to learn about permanent artworks throughout the city via AR, according to a press release.
Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts, noted in the press release the massive growth of Canal Convergence in recent years, from a four-day spring gathering which maxed out at 80,000 visitors to a fall event that now typically draws about a quarter-million people to the Scottsdale Waterfront over the course of its 10 days.
“This was supported by significant investment of resources by the city of Scottsdale, via its Tourism Development Commission, as well as our own private and corporate fundraising,” Wuestemann said in a press release. “Ten years ago we embraced the idea of activating this waterfront as a public space to bring community together. I think this made Scottsdale a better place to live, while making our community stronger.”
In the coming months, additional Canal Convergence artworks and information about performances, workshops and other aspects of the event will be added to the event website at CanalConvergence.com.
Canal Convergence is made possible with annual support from the city of Scottsdale. Additional support is provided by Billie Jo Herberger, SRP, Nationwide, Christine and Richard Kovach, Magnum Companies, Hannon Rigging & Production, Hoverlay, SOAR Foundation, Sirius Structures, Walter Station Brewery, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, FirstBank, Cosanti Foundation, and Dollar Radio Rentals.
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