The Best Art from Canal Convergence 2016 in Scottsdale

Water, art, and light. That's the typical triad for the annual Canal Convergence, presented by Scottsdale Public Art along the Scottsdale Waterfront. This year's ran from Thursday to Sunday, February 25 to 28. Light figured prominently in most of our favorites this time around, including floating sculptures made with fishing rods and video projections of the Phoenix landscape. Here's a look at the 10 coolest things we saw.

Light Origami
Tokyo artist KAZ Shirane's giant compilation of origami shapes, which looked like a cross between a giant geode and a freshly spit-shined disco ball, lured event-goers with its exterior illumination in shifting colors. Once inside, people realized that their movements could influence the appearance of the domed structure, which includes more than 320 mirror panels that create a kaleidoscope effect.  Plenty of people took selfies amidst all that shine.

Your Secret is Safe With Me
Informed by childhood memories of telling secrets inside a treehouse and the Roman Catholic confessional box, local artist Christopher Jagmin created an environment for safely revealing secrets with strangers, friends, or family. His installation featured three spaces, all candlelit by night, designed to help pairs of people exchange secrets. But it also included a laundry-type line hung with pages bearing secrets revealed through his project-related website. 

Bruce Munro's installation has been up for many weeks, but that didn't dampen its impact during Canal Convergence. Comprising several sculptures created with fishing rods, lures, and light — which float atop the Arizona Canal between a pair of pedestrian bridges — it delivered entirely different effects by day and by night. 

a river's passing, 1
For more than five years, local artist Perry Allen has been taking video exploring urban and natural landscapes in and around Phoenix. He culled 8 minutes from 200 hours of footage to create film shown on three side-by-side screens curved in towards their center. Intending to create an interactive installation, he expected viewers to approach the screens, and perhaps contemplate their own relationship to these landscapes. But they also did something more, moving behind the screens to make silhouettes — thus becoming part of Allen's filmed environments. 

Billboard Mindscape
New York  artist Edina Tokodi created a mixed media work referencing the ubiquitous billboards that punctuate contemporary landscapes, using materials that included small living succulent plants. It's a piece that prompts reflection on how urban landscapes could be quite different if society took a more conscious approach to creating them.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble