Every year the Scottsdale Waterfront comes alive with large, unique and engaging public art installations with their annual Canal Convergence. It returns this spring, February 23–24 and March 2–3 from 4–10 p.m. daily. Canal Convergence inspires the public with art that focuses on water, light, and nature.

One of my favorite exhibits this year is Flawless by Studio ALEX. With illuminated leaves tumbling gracefully through the air one can’t help but feel peaceful. As the sun sets the leaves slowly begin to illuminate with a fairylike jade glow, twisting in the fresh breeze, surrounded by the shimmer of the water in the canal. It is truly magical to see.

Canal Convergence

Canal Convergence installation Flawless, by Studio ALEX. Photo by Kamilla Graham

There is also interactive art! If you have ever taken a stroll through Scottsdale you are familiar with pieces like Los Trompos, by Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. It is one of my personal favorite Scottsdale public art installations. Take a spin on a bench and watch the world flash by through brilliantly colored cords is always a whimsical way to rest. This year there is a delightful living piece called Barter Boat.

Barter Boat is a fantastic experience presented by RADAR. The Barter Boat travels from city to city and is fun and side-splitting! The installation is about “reuse, renew and recycle” and discovering that what you may think of as junk in your purse or pocket could be a treasured found object to someone else. I traded a blue ribbon and a spare eyeglasses cleaning cloth for a “bag of red.” Inside my bag, I found a red pipe cleaner, red stencil bookmark, red ticket, red Sorry game piece. Everyone had a good laugh and I looked forward to taking them home to my kids to see what they trade for! It's fun to see what your friends will get for their found treasures.

Canal Convergence

Canal Convergence installation Barter Boat, by RADAR. Photo Courtesy Kamilla Graham

When You Go to Canal Convergence

Canal Convergence can be experienced in its entirety February 23–24 and March 2–3, 4–10 p.m. daily and it will return to Scottsdale again this fall. There are several exhibits and multiple workshops available including a “Print Your Own Merch” workshop, dance performance, and artist talk by Nicole L Olson. For more information about events, the beer garden and the installations themselves visit their website at canalconvergence.com.

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