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 | 6-8PM

Traditional pottery techniques and artmaking with Ron Carlos and Rich Littlefield

Location: Mesa Arts Center Ceramics Studio

 

Acclaimed traditional artist Ron Carlos, a member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, will talk about and demonstrate traditional Native American pottery techniques. Participants will work with local ceramic artist Richard Littlefield to add their own designs to small ceramic pieces that will be used in the Water=Life installation

 
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. 
 
Registration for this workshop is full, however walk-up attendees are welcome! 
  

Registration is full

 

 

 

 

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

 

Five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan will demonstrate and teach hoop dancing techniques and share Native American flute playing, and ceramic artists Danielle Wood & Rich Littlefield will lead participants in adding their own designs to ceramic pieces that will be used in the Water=Life installation.

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

 

 

Monday, September 2 | 6-8PM

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstration with Tony Duncan

Location: Mesa's Artspace Lofts

 

Five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan will demonstrate and teach hoop dancing techniques and share Native American flute playing. Participants will also experience and participate in storytelling and story generating activities around the role of water in our lives.

 

About the artists

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.

 

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: 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

Monday, September 9 | 6-8PM

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstration with Therosia Reynolds and Katharine Simpson

Location: Mesa's Artspace Lofts

 

Music and spoken word artist Therosia Reynolds will lead a spoken word workshop and multidisciplinary visual and performance artist Katharine Simpson will lead participants in creating small pieces out of different textiles. 

 

About the artists 

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.

 

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.

 

Register for the workshop

Saturday, September 14 | Noon-2PM 

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstration with Tony Duncan and Katharine Simpson

Location: Arizona Museum of Natural History Auditorium

 

Five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan will demonstrate and teach hoop dancing techniques and share Native American flute playing. Multidisciplinary visual and performance artist Katharine Simpson will lead participants in creating small pieces out of different textiles.

 

About the artists

 

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.

 

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.

 

Register for this workshop

Wednesday, September 18 | 5:30-7:30PM

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstration with Tony Duncan

Location: Mesa Main Library Saguaro Room

 

Five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan will demonstrate and teach hoop dancing techniques and share Native American flute playing. Participants will also experience and participate in storytelling and story generating activities around the role of water in our lives.

 

About the artist

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.

 

Register for this workshop

Saturday, September 21 | 6-8PM

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstration with Danielle Wood and Rich Littlefield

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

 

Ceramic artists Danielle Wood & Rich Littlefield will lead participants in adding their own designs to pottery pieces to contribute to the Water=Life installation.

 

Register for the workshop

Tuesday, September 24 | 6-8PM

Spoken Word Workshop with Liz Warren & Martha Ludlow-Martinez

Location: West Mesa CDC

 

Liz Warren, Director of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute, will lead participants in a storytelling workshop around the role of water in our lives.

 

About the artist

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.

 

Register for the workshop

Saturday, September 28 | 10AM-Noon

Spoken Word Workshop with Liz Warren & Martha Ludlow-Martinez

Location: Mesa Arts Center Music Studio

 

Liz Warren, Director of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute, will lead participants in a storytelling workshop around the role of water in our lives.

 

About the artist

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.

 

Register for the workshop

Sunday, October 6 | Noon-3PM

Artmaking Workshop with Katharine Simpson

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

 

Multidisciplinary visual and performance artist Katharine Simpson will lead participants in creating small pieces out of different textiles to contribute to the Water=Life installation. Participants are invited to drop-in and come and go during the session.

 

About the artist

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.

 

No registration required! Those interested in attending are invited to drop-by and/or come and go as they please! 

Saturday, October 12 | 10AM-Noon

Artmaking Workshop and Demonstrations with Jacob Butler, Tony Duncan, Danielle Wood and Rich Littlefield

Location: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) Garden

 

Learn about traditional and contemporary agriculture and gardening techniques and their impact on water use, experience and create ceramic art and a shell pendant, enjoy hoop dancing and Native American flute playing, and explore the importance of water within the SRPMIC history and community.

 

About the artists

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.

 

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.

 

Registration for this workshop is not required. All are invited to attend! 

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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