Canal Convergence is an annual series of engaging and inspiring free events at the Scottsdale Waterfront featuring innovative large scale installations by local and international artists, hands-on activities, live music, performances, and Artisan Market's urban marketplace experience. The Canal Convergence events build community through interactive and socially engaging artist installations.
The goal of Canal Convergence events is to provide free cultural events that draw the community from the greater Phoenix area as well as visitors to the Scottsdale Waterfront—the only section of canal in Arizona that has mixed-use development facing the canal. Commissioning temporary public artworks at a reoccurring series of events is an ideal way to create awareness of and attraction to this vital park-like area in the heart of Scottsdale’s downtown. Unique, large-scale, and interactive artwork provides many benefits in this context. Attendees are drawn to these events by the immediacy of temporary installations and the special experience of interacting with them. In turn, the artworks themselves help illustrate the importance of this area and the canals to our community.
Each annual Canal Convergence series begins with a call to artists that has been carefully crafted by Scottsdale Public Art (SPA) staff with input from leading event partner Salt River Project (SRP), the utility company that manages Arizona’s canals. The selected artists work closely with SPA and in some cases SRP staff to accomplish challenging installations both in the canal channel itself and on the banks.
Scottsdale is home to Arizona’s first and only urban canal waterfront, featuring aspects of the local commercial, corporate, and residential communities; it draws new audiences and locals downtown. The Arizona Canal offers many rich topics, but the focus of the Canal Convergence events and artworks is on the canal’s architectural form—its function as a power and water utility corridor, and its history as a lifeline for humans in the Sonoran desert. This also includes our connections to water within many contexts—life-sustaining, recreational, conservation, and protection.
Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light
Canal Convergence takes place annually on the banks of the Arizona Canal.
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.