‘Canal Convergence’ in Scottsdale binds love of art with an environmental message

Field Trip Friday is sponsored by Sanderson Ford
We caught up with two local artists who are having their works featured.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 8:41 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Every year, thousands of Scottsdalians and Valley families visit “Canal Convergence,” which draws mesmerizing world-class sculptures and art installations to help bring an important message.

As southwestern states, including Arizona, deal with historic, almost Biblical-like drought, water conservation groups and water utility providers are working on teaching the community about their role in preserving water. This partnership between the City of Scottsdale and the Salt River Project (SRP) helps bridge the education gap through a family-friendly event.

Good Morning Arizona talked with Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega about the festival's 10th year.

How did it come to be?

SRP, which runs as a not-for-profit, wanted to teach the public about its water management processes and how Arizonans could collectively help conserve our precious water allocation. In exchange for waiving a permit at the Scottsdale Waterfront, the city came up with the idea of a “canal festival,” and thus, Canal Convergence was born.

Local artists featured

In this first piece featured during Good Morning Arizona’s Field Trip Friday, we caught up with Kirk Strawn and Jeff Zischke, who created “SunDrops,” a brand-new installation, and “Desert Strider,” which was repurposed from a previous show in 2014.

Rare artwork from Canada

It’s called STARQUARIUM and is called a “one-of-a-kind, intergalactic aquarium.” This massive 22-foot tall, 16-foot wide structure features 3D animated content in 360 degrees. From all angles, you can see the “flora, fauna, and other mysteries from faraway worlds,” the artists say.

“Making dumpsters beautiful.”

It’s no surprise to see sustainability-minded artwork at a show designed to draw importance to environmental efforts. But this piece is a little, dare we say, extravagant. Arizona-based artist Jon Arvizu used dumpsters as his canvass. After all, Canal Convergence is designed as a zero-waste event... and no parts are left behind.

Dip into the meta-verse with some augmented reality art...

Into the tech-verse: AR artwork

In 2020, the show first dove into the world of augmented reality by using an app.” This year, artist Fausto Fernandez recreated “Flowing Overlapping Gesture” from a physical piece he showed over a decade before.