Water=Life is a comprehensive project consisting of a series of free community workshops leading up to a 9-day installation of collaborative art in Riverview Park. The culminating event is intended to look at the history and future of water in the Valley, and more specifically, to consider the numerous canals that nourished the Ancient Sonoran People who built them. 

 

Adjacent to the Salt River and a Mesa wastewater reclamation plant, Riverview Park was once the site of 10+ canals. Through Water=Life, a team of artists will collaborate with local communities through art-making/creative practice to make palpable the legacy of canals that ran there, creating an immersive pathway/multidisciplinary experience evoking the power of water in our lives, past, present, and future.

 

The project is made possible by the Water Public Art Challenge, presented by the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy. City of Mesa was one of five winners in the Water Public Art Challenge. 

 

The project is presented by the City of Mesa and several of its departments, including the Department of Arts and Culture (Mesa Arts Center, i.d.e.a. Museum and Arizona Museum of Natural History), Department of Environmental Management & Sustainability, Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, and the Department of Water Resources. 

 

 

Wednesday, August 21 | 6PM

Traditional pottery techniques and artmaking with Ron Carlos and Rich Littlefield

Location: Mesa Arts Center Ceramics Studio

 

Join us for an artmaking workshop series celebrating the past, present, and future of water as part of the Mesa Water Public Art Challenge “Water=Life.” In this workshop, Native American pottery artist Ron Carlos, a member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, will lecture on and demonstrate traditional pottery techniques. Participants will work with local ceramics artist Richard Littlefield to create their own pottery pieces to take home or contribute to the Water=Life temporary public art piece that will be displayed at Mesa Riverview in late November.

 
About the artists
Ron Carlos: Descended from both Pima and Maricopa tribes, Ron produces paddle and anvil pottery that is constructed from all-natural materials. All his clays and pigments are hand dug and hand processed into a workable paste and he fires his vessels in an open wood fire pit using mesquite and/or cottonwood bark.
 
Richard Littlefield: Richard is an art educator with a background in archaeology. Richard creates vessels inspired by early southwestern culture techniques, such as the coil sculpture method and the corrugated pinch method. 
 
  

Register for the workshop

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 25 | Noon - 2PM

Hoop dancing and flute demonstration with Tony Duncan; ceramics activity with Danielle Wood and Rich Littlefield

Location: i.d.e.a. Museum Atrium Classroom

 

Join us for an artmaking workshop series celebrating the past, present, and future of water as part of the Mesa Water Public Art Challenge “Water=Life.” In this workshop, local Native American artist Tony Duncan will demonstrate and talk about hoop dancing and traditional flute playing while local ceramics artists Danielle Wood & Rich Littlefield lead participants in adding their own designs to pottery pieces to contribute to the temporary public art piece that will be displayed at Mesa Riverview in late November.

About the artists:
Tony Duncan: Tony is a five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer and Native American flute player. He’s released ten albums and toured the world to entertain audiences of all ages.

Richard Littlefield: Richard is an art educator with a background in archaeology. Richard creates vessels inspired by early southwestern culture techniques, such as the coil sculpture method and the corrugated pinch method.

Danielle Wood: Danielle is an art educator and exhibitor raised in Tempe, AZ. Her work involves abstract forms inspired by introspection, ocean life, nature, shapes, and color found in the surrounding desert landscape and also symbolic of the inner psyche.

 

Register for the workshop

 

 

Saturday, September 7 | 10AM - Noon

Collage art activity with Travis Ivey and history presentation with Bruce Nelson

Location: Save the Family Conference Room

 

Join us for an artmaking workshop series celebrating the past, present, and future of water as part of the Mesa Water Public Art Challenge “Water=Life.” In this workshop, local artist Bruce Nelson will talk about the importance of water to the historic Washington Park/Escobedo neighborhood in Mesa, and will ask participants to bring items or photos to contribute to a community collage. Local collage artist Travis Ivey will lead participants in creating their own collages to take home.

About the artists:
Bruce Nelson: Bruce Nelson was born and raised in Mesa’s Washington Park/Escobedo neighborhood. Now an award-winning actor and filmmaker, Nelson has spent years creating a documentary history of his neighborhood.
Travis Ivey: Local Artspace resident and artist Travis Ivey employs an intuitive approach to composition and design using collected materials and varieties of tape to create “paintings.”

 

Travis Ivey: Mesa Artspace resident and artist Travis Ivey employs an intuitive approach to composition and design using collected materials and varieties of tape to create “paintings.”

 

Register for the workshop

About the artists:

Descended from both Pima and Maricopa tribes, Ron Carlos produces paddle and anvil pottery that is constructed from all-natural materials. All his clays and pigments are hand dug and hand processed into a workable paste and he fires his vessels in an open wood fire pit using mesquite and/or cottonwood bark.

 

Richard Littlefield is an art educator with a background in archaeology. Richard creates vessels inspired by early southwestern culture techniques, such as the coil sculpture method and the corrugated pinch method.

 

Tony Duncan is a five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer and Native American flute player. He’s released ten albums and toured the world to entertain audiences of all ages.

 

Danielle Wood is an art educator and exhibitor raised in Tempe, AZ. Her work involves abstract forms inspired by introspection, ocean life, nature, shapes, and color found in the surrounding desert landscape and symbolic of the inner psyche.

 

Bruce Nelson was born and raised in Mesa’s Washington Park/Escobedo neighborhood. Now an award-winning actor and filmmaker, Nelson has spent years creating a documentary history of his neighborhood.

 

Mesa Artspace resident and artist Travis Ivey employs an intuitive approach to composition and design using collected materials and varieties of tape to create “paintings.”

 

Mesa Artspace resident and artist Katharine Simpson loves creating things out of every medium possible and likes to give her previous works new life as new art pieces to avoid waste.

 

Liz Warren is a fourth-generation Arizonan, is known for tales that reflect the heroic journey of life - whether they are stories of growing up in Arizona, folktales, or myths from ancient traditions. She is a storyteller, teacher, writer as well as one of the founders of the SMCC Storytelling Institute.

 

Therosia Reynolds is a multi-genre artist and Phoenix, Arizona native whose deep-held spirituality informs her life and work. She describes herself as growing up “between worship and war stories.” Reynolds is a singer, spoken word poet, and painter.

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