Canal Convergence 2023: Your complete guide to the Scottsdale arts festival | Phoenix New Times
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Your guide to the Canal Convergence art festival in Scottsdale

The popular 10-day arts festival is back beginning this weekend. Here's everything you need to know, including hours, parking, workshops and more.
"Spectrum Swing" by Lindsay Glatz is one of this year's Canal Convergence artworks.
"Spectrum Swing" by Lindsay Glatz is one of this year's Canal Convergence artworks. Scottsdale Arts
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The concept of play is something we often associate only with children: recess, playdates and games of dress-up or make-believe are integral parts of being young.

But the onset of adulthood doesn't have to mean the end of fun and creativity, and it's that philosophy that inspired the theme of this year's Canal Convergence art festival, "The Power Play."

Canal Convergence, which is produced by nonprofit organization Scottsdale Arts, will be held Nov. 3 through 12 around the Scottsdale Waterfront. Besides the individual theme each year, the event operates in accordance with the themes of water, light and sustainability, which are reflected in a number of the artworks.

For 10 days, attendees can observe the art, take tours, listen to music, engage in workshops and make art of their own.

"From playing music, to playing with junk, this year's workshops showcase the diverse ways we play with art," Lyndal Pleasant, Canal Convergence engagement consultant for Scottsdale Art Learning & Innovation, said in a press release. “Play is a critical component for artmaking, and it's also just so relatable. Therefore, it was important to have workshops in an array of art mediums for a diverse audience.”

Here's your complete guide to 2023's Canal Convergence festival.

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"Sym" by AlexP is one of this year's Canal Convergence artworks.
Scottsdale Arts

Basic Information

Days/Hours: Most Canal Convergence programming takes place Fridays through Sundays, Nov. 3 to 5 and Nov. 10 to 12. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 to 9 p.m. all other nights. Concerts happen every evening except for Nov. 8. Public artworks can be viewed at any time during that 10-day period.

Location: Public artworks will be installed along the Arizona Canal and the Scottsdale Waterfront between Camelback Road and Goldwater Boulevard. Look for the Herberger Concert Stage on Soleri Plaza near Scottsdale and Camelback roads.

Accessibility: Paved pathways line both sides of the Arizona Canal, making the entire event wheelchair accessible. You’ll find limited seating and benches at Soleri Plaza. The art installations span a distance of approximately three-quarters of a mile.

Transportation and Parking: There are a number of free parking garages and parking spaces in the area. Organizers recommend using the address 7025 E. Via Soleri Drive for rideshare drop off and pickup, then entering Canal Convergence at Marshall Way. You’ll find bike racks on the northwest side of the Community Roundabout on Marshall Way. In addition, there are buses and trolleys that cover the area.

Food and Drinks: There will be a beer and wine garden at Soleri Plaza, where you’ll also find assorted food trucks on the weekends.

Augmented Reality: Download the Hoverlay app if you plan to view augmented reality experiences using the +ScottsdalePublicArt channel.

Cost: Most Canal Convergence offerings are free, but there are some exceptions. Bring money for food and drinks if you want to explore local eateries around Old Town, and don’t forget about money for buying local art, souvenirs or holiday gifts.
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"Octavius" by Peter Hazel is one of this year's Canal Convergence artworks.
Scottsdale Arts


2023 Artworks

There are 13 works to explore at Canal Convergence this year.

"Aquatics" by Philipp Artus (Berlin)
In this participative, projection-based work, the audience designs sea creatures via tablet before releasing them to interact with each other.

"Dice" by Iregular (Montreal)
"Dice" is an interactive sculpture consisting of five white cubes floating above the Arizona Canal. Viewers to play with their own shadows, which react with different shapes, colors and patterns that change with each cube.

"Flario" by Walter Productions (Phoenix)
This interactive fire-shooting installation is inspired by classic side-scrolling video games. Attendees can interact with "Flario" to "play the game," but the piece also puts on shows with fire, color and sound.

"Flora" by Philipp Artus (Berlin)
"Flora" is a projection-based artwork that consists of ever-evolving abstract lines, complex structures and delicate shapes that resemble the growth cycle of a plant. Participants can control the animation movements with a touchpad placed near the base of the projection.

"Light Forest" by Liquid PXL (Los Angeles)
"Light Forest" is a series of 16 pillars that emit light and sound to create unique audio-visual experiences for viewers. Unlike the rest of this year's Canal Convergence works, "Light Forest" will be on display on the Soleri Bridge through Dec. 31.

"Octavius" by Peter Hazel (Reno, Nev.)
"Octavius" is a giant octopus sculpture covered in 250,000 handmade, handpainted ceramic tiles, with suckers and eyes created from fused glass. The public can touch the sculpture in addition to admiring it.

"Ripple" by Ithaca Studio (Brighton, U.K.)
Attendees can create light and sound with the interactive work "Ripple." By standing on touch-sensitive pads, viewers will send colorful lights up the columns to create ripple effects.

"Spectrum Swing" by Lindsay Glatz (New Orleans)
"Spectrum Swing" is a series of swings suspended below a trio of rainbow sculptures. As participants swing, they activate specific colors in the sculptures above.

"Sym" by AlexP (Uithoorn, The Netherlands)
This piece allows attendees to create temporary light-based works using a flashlight.

"Welcome to Figment Land" by Isaac Caruso (Phoenix)
"Welcome to Figment Land" is a series of augmented reality-activated murals based on Caruso's "Sam & Sara" children’s book. Murals from "Welcome to Figment Land" can be found in three different locations throughout Old Town Scottsdale. "Welcome to Figment Land" will be on view along the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront throughout Canal Convergence, Nov. 3–12. "Daydreaming at the Mall…" can be found Nov. 3 to 12 near the lululemon store at Scottsdale Fashion Square. "Imagymnation" will be on view one day only, Nov. 12, at Scottsdale Civic Center’s 360 Stage for the lululemon 10K Tour.

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A dance performance by Nicole Olson | MovementChaos during a previous Canal Convergence.
David Blakeman

Canal Convergence Events

Scottsdale Public Art has curated a full lineup of activities and performances every day of the festival. We've divided them up into free and paid events. See the Canal Convergence website for tickets. We've only included the events that were not sold out on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 2.

Free Activities and Performances

Friday, Nov. 3

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 10 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 9:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Grace Hayes (solo pop, folk) and Pleasure Cult (indie pop).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 10 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

Mini-Rainbows with Lindsay Glatz
7:30 to 9:45 p.m.
Explore the connection between water and light as the ingredients for rainbows. Learn about the science of prisms, and create your very own rainbow.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 10 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 9:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Smokestack Lightning (blues), churchmusik (indie-electronic) and Tropa Magica (tropical cumbia).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 10 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

Mask-Making with Zarco Guerrero
7:30 to 9:45 p.m.
Participants will use colored card stock to cut out various shapes and create a personalized, wearable, paper mask.

Sunday, Nov. 5

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 9 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 8:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Anamieke Quinn (alternative) and Earth Surface People (soul).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 9 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

Recycled Fabrics with Anya Melkozernova
7:30 to 9 p.m.
Utilize an array of plastic bags, irons, wax paper and scissors to fuse their own textile that can be used to create a small bag, ornamental flower or an invention of your choice.

Monday, Nov. 6

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 9 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 8:30 p.m.
The evening's performers are Eden Cislo (folk-pop) and Kenyon France (rock).

Patch Printing with Xico
6:15 to 9:15 p.m.
Participants in this free, drop-in workshop — led by Esai Calles and Julián Miranda from Xico — will choose a design and color to print their own take-home patch.

Tuesday, Nov. 7

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 9 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 8:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Japhar Pullen (R&B, soul) and Inkblot (alternative jazz).

Patch Printing with Xico
6:15 to 9:15 p.m.
Participants in this free, drop-in workshop — led by Esai Calles and Julián Miranda from Xico — will choose a design and color to print their own take-home patch.

Wednesday, Nov. 8

Dress Up With Crummy Clothes
6 to 9 p.m.
The Crummy Clothes Dress-Up Space will allow fashion-forward guests to play dress-up and explore new looks while learning more about the world of upcycled fashion.

Canal Convergence Mini Film Festival
6 to 9 p.m.
Short films based around this year's festival theme, "The Power of Play."

Mask-Making with Zarco Guerrero
6:15 to 9 p.m.
Participants will use colored card stock to cut out various shapes and create a personalized, wearable, paper mask.

Thursday, Nov. 9

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 8:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Grace Rolland (Americana) and Bogan Via (synth-pop).

BeKind Crew Interactive Dance Performance
7 p.m.
Join BeKind Crew for an interactive dance performance at Canal Convergence.

Play with Plastic with Shari Keith
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Join artist Shari Keith, The Junk Lady, to create a whimsical hanging sculpture from upcycled plastic. Appropriate for all ages.

Friday, Nov. 10

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 9:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Surfing Godzillas (J-pop) and Veronica Everheart (indie-rock).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 10 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

Under-Cover Portraits: Hidden Contour Drawing and Watercolor
7:30 to 9 p.m.
Join The Walter Hive at the Walter Big Red for a playful take on hidden contour drawing.

Storyteller Printmaking with Kathy Cano-Murillo
7:30 to 9 p.m.
Using stamps carved from pencil erasers, you can create your own story of play with a printing press and leave with a one-of-a-kind storyteller print.

Saturday, Nov. 11

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 9:45 p.m.
The evening's performers are Miguel Melgoza (folk-pop), Love Noka (indie) and Jaleo (Latin).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 10 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

Under-Cover Portraits: Hidden Contour Drawing and Watercolor
6 to 10 p.m.
Join The Walter Hive at the Walter Big Red for a playful take on hidden contour drawing.

Mini-Monster Dolls with Abby Aspen
8 to 9:45 p.m.
In this workshop, you will create a fun plush doll with the guidance of Abby Aspen to create your own plush doll.

Nicole Olson | MovementChaos: Wave Play
8:15 p.m.
Gather on the Marshall Way Bridge for another captivating performance by Nicole Olson | Movement Chaos.

Sunday, Nov. 12

Herberger Stage Performances
6 to 8:30 p.m.
The evening's performers are AJ Odneal (folk-pop) and The Tumbleweeds (bluegrass, folk).

Scottsdale Arts Roundabout Activities
6 to 9 p.m.
Come play with community partners to learn about the Power of Play through drop-in activities.

"Anima"
7 p.m.
A performance by members of the Scottsdale Community College dance department.

"Innocence Is Bliss"
7:30 p.m.
A performance by members of the Scottsdale Community College dance department.

Let’s Make Instruments with Shela Yu
7:30 to 9 p.m.
Join multidisciplinary artist Shela Yu to make instruments out of common objects and learn to play them from the perspective that everything is music.

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Audience members enjoy a music performance during a previous Canal Convergence.
Scottsdale Arts


Paid Activities and Performances

Friday, Nov. 3

Rainbows with Lindsay Glatz
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: $10
Explore the connections of water, color and light, and learn the magic of rainbows while designing the rainbow of your dreams.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Canal Convergence Opening Celebration
6 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $30
Raise a toast to Canal Convergence with an evening of unforgettable art and ambiance along the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Sound Cards: A Workshop by urbanSTEW
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: $10
Create a simple electronic music synthesizer using paper, electrical components and other art supplies.

Sunday, Nov. 5

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Monday, Nov. 6

Spanish Language Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Arts staff on a one-hour, Spanish-language walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Tuesday, Nov. 7

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Scottsdale Professionals Converge
6 to 8 p.m.
Cost: $20 in advance, $30 day of
Join professionals from across the Valley! Scottsdale Leadership, Scottsdale Rising Young Professionals and NextGen@Scottsdale Arts invite you to join them for an evening of unforgettable art, ambiance and networking along the Scottsdale Waterfront. Each ticket includes light hor d’oeuvres, a cash bar, complimentary cocktail samples and access to The Lounge.

Wednesday, Nov. 8

American Sign Language Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Arts staff on a one-hour, American Sign Language walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Thursday, Nov. 9

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Play with Junk with Shari Keith
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: $15
Join artist Shari Keith, The Junk Lady, to create a funky upcycled windchime using a treasure trove of found objects.

Friday, Nov. 10

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Mixed Media, Message, and aMusement: Basquiat-Inspired Art with The Walter Hive
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: $25
Play like the artist Jean-Michael Basquiat as you channel your playful style and create a mixed-media statement piece.

Saturday, Nov. 11

Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

Monster Dolls with Abby Aspen
6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Cost: $15
Design your own pattern, cut and embellish your fabric, then stuff and sew your monster plush doll in this fun workshop lead by Abby Aspen, a professional teaching artist with a specialty in fiber art.

Sunday, Nov. 12
Canal Convergence Art Tour
6 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Take in the sunset and join Scottsdale Public Art staff on a one-hour walking tour of the artwork at this year’s Canal Convergence.

You’re a Creative Force with Shela Yu
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Cost: $15
Join multidisciplinary artist Shela Yu for an opportunity to access your creative force via music, dance and art.

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