Scottsdale Public Art Canal Convergence Events
7380 E Second St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Entry Deadline: 7/24/13
Application Closed


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Request for Proposals (RFP)—Temporary Artworks for
Canal Convergence 2013/14 Events

Deadline – Midnight PDT July 21, 2013
Projects – Up to 18 Project Opportunities for Two Events
Budget – Variable range of $4,000-$20,000
Eligibility – All Local, National and International Artists (Including Individuals and Collectives/Groups/Teams)

Scottsdale Public Art (SPA) seeks existing work and new concepts for performance, temporary installations, sculpture, and participatory artwork with the express interest in its series of Canal Convergence events—a community tradition of artwork in and around the water of the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Overview and History

Canal Convergence is a bi-annual series of engaging and inspiring free events at the Scottsdale Waterfront featuring innovative large scale installations by local and national artists, hands-on activities, live music, performances, and Artisan Market's urban marketplace experience.

Scottsdale is home to Arizona’s first and only urban canal waterfront, featuring aspects of the local commercial, corporate, and residential communities; it draws new audiences and locals downtown. The Arizona Canal offers many rich topics, but the focus of the Canal Convergence events and artworks is on the canal’s architectural form—its function as a power and water utility corridor, and its history as a lifeline for humans in the Sonoran desert. This also includes our connections to water within many contexts—life-sustaining, recreational, conservation, and protection.

Sonoran Desert Canal Culture
The Valley’s canal culture is rich in history reaching back to the Hohokam civilization of 300 B.C. –A.D. 1400. The ancient inhabitants developed a system of waterways that enabled their ability to farm the desert. Water channels were also a source for community gathering for recreation and respite. Today’s canals are still desert lifelines for human inhabitation managed by Salt River Project (SRP). SRP’s 132 miles of water and power utility corridors enable our modern cities to live, thrive, and grow. For many modern city dwellers the canals are a place for walking and running, but for others the canals are invisible infrastructure—barely noticed and underappreciated. More information available at

Scottsdale Waterfront
The 2006 construction of the Scottsdale Waterfront was another milestone for Arizona’s canals—becoming the first development in the Valley that turned the canal into a waterfront destination with commercial, retail, residential, and cultural amenities. While this kind of use along waterways is common in other cities across the world, this was a first for Arizona. Over the years, the web of canals across the Valley has been used informally as a neighborhood amenity for recreational purposes—picnicking, jogging, and biking. In Arizona’s early days, people were known to canoe and water ski along the canals, generally unsafe activities that are no longer allowed. Many canals now have improved sidewalks that run for miles, creating safe and enjoyable pathways for both commuting and recreational purposes.

SPA has worked closely with city departments as well as private developers to commission original works of art and to provide free community events at the Scottsdale Waterfront. SPA works to: celebrate the natural qualities of the canal, bring community awareness to the canal waterfront as a unique asset, and use the entire canal space (the water channel itself, air-space, and surrounding infrastructure) as a forum for artistic expression.

Scottsdale Public Art

Live the art. Love the place. The mission of Scottsdale Public Art is to serve as a leader in defining art in the public realm through creative place-making, signature cultural events, exhibitions, and installations — contributing to the community’s creative, cultural, and economic vitality.

Selection Process | Schedule | Eligibility & Application

All local, national, and international artists including those who have previously applied for and/or completed a Canal Convergence project are eligible to apply. Artists will be selected through a public process selection panel conducted by SPA including representatives from SRP, key event stakeholders, and local Scottsdale Waterfront business owners.

The chosen proposals recommended by the selection panel will be vetted and presented by SPA staff to the Scottsdale Public Art Advisory Board (SPA Board). The SPA Board approves art concepts, project scope, and budget—allowing the artist creative license within the established project plan. Contract and project plan to be negotiated with the Scottsdale Public Art Program. SPA reserves the right to reject any and all applications.
Selection criteria include: the applicant’s professional qualifications, applicability of submitted proposal, artistic merit as evidenced by the submitted materials, and proven ability to undertake projects of a similar scope.

Scottsdale Public Art aims to provide opportunities, experience and education to emerging and established artists. These opportunities are intended to be tenable for those who may not have previously applied for a public art project in addition to providing a fresh approach to artists who have public art experience.

Following the artist selection process, Canal Convergence events are curated and programmed by Scottsdale Public Art. If one of the events does not fit into your current schedule, please include this information in your proposal narrative. Compensation for further development of selected proposals will be made on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply
All applicants are required to submit an electronic application through CAFÉ (link?). All proposals are due by midnight PDT on 21 July 2013. SPA recommends that you do not wait until the deadline hour to submit. The uploading and sizing of images may take you longer than anticipated.

*PLEASE NOTE* - An additional information packet is available as a downloadable PDF via CaFE. SPA recommends that applicants use this information to assist with their application process.

There are up to 18 project opportunities for two events:
November 7-10, 2013 Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light
March 20-23, 2014 Canal Convergence | Spring Equinox

Temporary artworks for both events can include participatory and performance art, light installations and projection, or spectacle/action in and around the Scottsdale Waterfront from Soleri Bridge and Plaza to Goldwater Boulevard encompassing the Marshall Way Bridge, activating both sides of the Arizona Canal.

Canal Convergence events are family-friendly and last over a four-day period with day and night-time elements for different age and audience groups.

Consider when making your proposal:

• Artworks may be in and around the canal water— floating, hovering, releasing, revealing, and/or emerging.
• Light, video, or suspended installations may use the surrounding infrastructure, architecture, and/or canal channel and airspace.
• Artworks may be physically anchored to the canal banks, canal floor or bridges, or occur at a scheduled moment in time.
• How would your project activate the Scottsdale Waterfront and draw people along the canal banks?
• Water and human interaction, sustainable source of water for the desert environment, laws of nature, and the intersection of contemporary art and human existence in our desert city.
• Seasonal & solar events including the spring equinox, and the human connection to the natural Sonoran Desert environment.

Proposals should convey overall project intents, ideas, and generally how an installation can function along the Scottsdale Waterfront and how it appropriately responds to the context of Canal Convergence events. Selected proposals will be developed in close coordination with Scottsdale Public art to ensure best curatorial match with the site and events described below.

Submit the following:
• Proposal Narrative: If you are applying as a team, identify the team leader in your narrative. This person will be the main contact to communicate with SPA on behalf of your team.
o Describes the initial design concept and how it responds to the overall vision and intention of Canal Convergence events as well as potential materials and fabrication methods.
o PLEASE NOTE-These are intended to be initial proposals and once an artist is selected, concept, scale, and technical details will be refined.
• Resume or CV: Current professional resume or curriculum vitae (CV) including artist address, email, and phone number. Teams must submit one resume/CV per team member.
• Digital Images: 6 digital images of previously completed artwork, proposed artwork or renderings.

*Schedule is subject to change

JUNE 4, 2013 Canal Convergence Cycle 2 RFP Released

JULY 21, 2013 Deadline for response to RFP
Midnight PDT

JULY 22-26, 2013 Artist Selection

JULY 29, 2013 Notification of selection results via email

Artists selected for Canal Convergence │ Water + Art + Light (Nov. 7-10 2013)

JULY 29-NOV 7, 2013 Proposal development, contract negotiation and project execution by selected artists with event manager and other SPA representatives

OCT 28-NOV 6, 2013 Installations period – Individual project schedules to be determined during proposal development

NOV 11-NOV 15, 2013 De-installation period – To be scheduled on an individual basis

Artists selected for Canal Convergence │ Spring Equinox (Mar. 20-23 2014)

DEC 1-MAR 20, 2014 Proposal development, contract negotiation and project execution by selected artists with event manager and other SPA representatives

MAR 1-MAR 19, 2014 Installations period – Individual project schedules to be determined during proposal development

MAR 24-MAR 28, 2014 De-installation period – To be scheduled on an individual basis

*Canal Convergence Cycle 3 RFP slated to be released MAY 2014


Interested artists with questions are encouraged to contact the Event Manager prior to submittal deadline with any questions:

Sophie May Hook
Events Manager
Scottsdale Public Art

*PLEASE NOTE* – Telephone contact arrangements will be made on an individual basis. Please email with any requests for this type of communication.

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