Press Release

November 7, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626

Canal Convergence Offers Creative Programming and Entertainment for All Ages

girl screen printing
Artist Eli Richard will bring his screen printing workshop back to Canal Convergence. Photo: Sean Deckert

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light is a free, 10-day, public art event from Nov. 8–17, 2019, at the Scottsdale Waterfront with creative programming and entertainment for all ages.

“Attendees of Canal Convergence will be treated to a number of unique and exciting workshops delivered by local, national and international artists,” said Natalie Marsh, director of Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. “From printmaking to technology, these workshops not only engage visitors in the themes of the event, but also involve them in the artistic practice used by the artists.”

The theme for Canal Convergence 2019 is “The Story of Water.” In addition to large-scale artworks that reference that theme, many of the creative workshops also look at water in unique ways. Among them are the following:

  • The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will offer a workshop teaching about the Sonoran Desert watershed while participants create their own 3D watercolor art and magnets.
  • Tempe-based artist Amanda McGlothern will lead a gyotaku (traditional Japanese method of printing fish) workshop and help participants create their own prints using molds of underwater creatures.
  • The Continuum, a trio of O’odham artists who created one of the large-scale artworks featured at Canal Convergence, will lead hands-on painting and coloring workshops that encourage participants to reflect on the original inhabitants of the Valley and our contemporary connection to water.
  • Paris-based artist Antonin Fourneau will help participants in his workshop create stamps they can use on his large-scale “Waterlight Graffiti” installation, where contact with water makes individual LEDs illuminate.
  • Scottsdale Water will teach attendees about artistic container gardening and water conservation in two separate workshops that feature step-by-step instructions.
  • And Colorado-based artist Nicole A Banowetz will show participants how to make sculptures of microscopic organisms found in water and display them in petri dishes.

Additional workshops are connected to other aspects of the large-scale artworks, like a DIY Laser Show patterned after “Soleri, So Laser” by Michigan artist Mike Gould or Light-Up Clouds, which are smaller versions of the Louisiana-based Miracle Wonderland Carnival Co.’s “Cumulus Connection.” Attendees can also learn various art techniques likes silt casting (Arcosanti and the Cosanti Foundation), screen printing (Eli Richard), stenciling (Toy Studio), cymatics (Eric Buchner), and basic LED circuitry (Paradise Valley School District).

Frequent Canal Convergence presenter, the Scottsdale Artists’ School, will return with two crafty workshops. Desert Creatures Reimagined will use upcycled fabrics and plastics for a collaborative community sculpture while Shape the Light teaches participants how to create their own designs based on traditional cut-tin lanterns.

Other activities include tours of the artwork, canal tours led by representatives from event partner Salt River Project, and a special Night Lights Bike Ride that visits some of the permanent public artworks around Old Town Scottsdale.

Multiple artist talks will provide insights to the installations featured at Canal Convergence. With one exception, all the talks will be held at the artworks during the 10 days of Canal Convergence. The UK-based artist studio Squidsoup, which has two installations—one at the canal and one at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)—will hold its artist talk on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Because of limited space, certain activities require an RSVP, and some will have a nominal fee to cover the cost of materials.

Last year, Canal Convergence drew out more than a quarter-million visitors, thanks in part to a nightly, choreographed fire show from one of the art installations, “Floatus” by Scottsdale’s own Walter Productions. That artist studio is returning this year with another fire-producing installation, “Water Serpent,” which will again offer nightly fire shows set to music.

That’s only one aspect of the entertainment. There will be nightly productions on Soleri Stage at the Mural Oasis Beer and Wine Bar, including concerts by local musicians, storytelling and comedy — a first for Canal Convergence. With more than two dozen musical acts, there’s something for just about everyone, with genres ranging from Americana, jazz, and Latin music to R&B, rock, and the blues.

The opening performance on Friday, Nov. 8, will be a special presentation by Native Trails, featuring music and dance from various Southwest tribes, following a welcome and blessing from Miss Salt River, Manderee Jose. There will also be dance performances at different locations throughout the 10 days. All performances, like admission to the event itself, are free.

There is, however, a new event this year to help Scottsdale Arts raise money for Canal Convergence 2020. Light Up the Night is a closing celebration at 6 p.m. Nov. 16, the second-to-last day of Canal Convergence. Held in the event’s VIP Lounge, Light Up the Night offers attendees the chance to mix and mingle with artists, eat tasty appetizers and desserts, and experience exclusive, one-night-only installations. Tickets to this fundraiser are $50 and include valet parking and a cocktail and champagne toast with Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts.

Light Up the Night is our one opportunity to celebrate Canal Convergence, have fun and also raise funds in support of the event,” said Kim Boganey, director of Scottsdale Public Art.

Canal Convergence — winner of the 2019 Gold Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festival & Events Association — is presented by Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, two branches of Scottsdale Arts, along with the City of Scottsdale, Salt River Project, Billie Jo + Judd Herberger and Mural Oasis.

Visit for more information, including detailed artwork descriptions, artist information and the schedule for workshops, performances and other activities. Check the event pages and the daily schedule to RSVP for workshops or purchase tickets to Light Up the Night.


Through its dynamic partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually. In conjunction with the City of Scottsdale, we also host more than 200,000 people annually on our campus through a robust rentals program.

The mission of Scottsdale Public Art is to make Scottsdale one of the most desirable communities in the country in which to live, work and visit by incorporating art and design projects throughout. In 1985, the City of Scottsdale established Scottsdale Public Art with the goal to enhance the quality of life for its residents and visitors. Since then more than 100 permanent and temporary public artworks have been commissioned throughout the community. Scottsdale’s program and projects have won local, regional and national awards.

Scottsdale Arts’ Learning & Innovation initiatives build a strong, vibrant community through the arts. The high-quality exhibitions, programs and events foster dialogue, promote tolerance, invoke wonder and build connections to each other. Matinee performances, guided museum tours, hands-on workshops, artist residencies and creative aging programs serve more than 40,000 students and adults annually.

MEDIA: For interviews, digital photographs or additional information please contact:

Brian Passey
Senior Communications Specialist
Scottsdale Arts

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 480-874-4626