Local Light Brings Canal Convergence To Old Town Scottsdale

Not only is Canal Convergence moving to November, expanding to 10 consecutive days and dramatically increasing the amount of artwork, programming and performances, it's also extending its atmosphere beyond the Scottsdale Waterfront to the Old Town Scottsdale businesses south of the Arizona Canal through a new initiative called Local Light.

Beginning Oct. 25, this initiative from Scottsdale Public Art will place additional light-based installations along Fifth Avenue, Stetson Drive and Marshall Way in Scottsdale's Gallery District to create a path of art and light between the businesses and the canal. All of the installations, which will be created by local artists, will remain on display through Dec. 31.

Local Light will begin with an opening reception from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Blue Clover Distillery, 7042 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale. This event will also celebrate One-Eyed Jack, a 26-foot-tall rabbit sculpture by John Randall Nelson, which is scheduled to be installed on Sept. 19 in front of Blue Clover Distillery on the corner of Marshall Way and Indian School Road. This joint Local Light Opening Reception and One-Eyed Jack Celebration will include refreshments and a poetry reading by Alberto Ríos, a regents' professor at ASU who became Arizona's first poet laureate in 2013.

Additionally, Scottsdale Arts staff will lead a tour of the Local Light installations. Other tours and events associated with the Local Light initiative will be announced during the reception.

For this inaugural year, Scottsdale Public Art has commissioned local artists to enhance eight different sites in downtown Scottsdale with light-based art installations. Those locations include LDV Winery (in its new location near the Waterfront), On The Edge Gallery, Vintage by Misty, The Herb Box, XO Confections, and Carlson Creek Vineyard Wine Tasting Room, in addition to Scottsdale Public Art's storefront space on 5th Avenue.

Artists participating in Local Light include Mike Butzine, Casey Farina, Lynn Gustafson, Lisa Von Hoffner, Michelle Meyer, Mike Miller, Craig Randich, Lily Reeves, Jenny Willigrod, Danielle Wood and Eli Richard, whose Sun Lanterns will be reinstalled following their removal from Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.

The Sun Lanterns were installed on the pedestrian overpass above Drinkwater Boulevard near Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture in February, but the discovery of structural problems with the overpass has tasked Scottsdale Public Art with finding new locations for the artworks there. The Sun Lanterns have already been removed and are in storage until they are reinstalled as part of Local Light. LOVE will be moved to a new location at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall in the near future.

Jennifer Gill, public art manager for Canal Convergence and Local Light, said the initiative is designed to support businesses in Old Town Scottsdale by using the public art installations to lure more potential customers downtown. Some of the installations will be outside the businesses while others will be inside. It also provides local artists more opportunities to be associated with Canal Convergence, which draws from regional, national and International Artists.

In addition to Canal Convergence, Local Light will also play a role in Scottsdale Contemporary Month from Oct. 21 - Nov. 21 and Scottsdazzle from Nov. 24 - Jan. 1.

Check ScottsdalePublicArt.org/temporary-art/local-light throughout the initiative for updates on Local Light-related events and for information about the artists and artwork.

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.

Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement 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 Education & Outreach - serving more than 400,000 participants annually.

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