Water=Life Installation

Nov. 16-24, 2019


Mesa's Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ 85201**

**The installation is next to the spiral mound by the lake.**


Discover, explore and celebrate the history and future of water in the Valley, at the 9-day public art installation in Mesa’s Riverview Park (Nov. 16-24, 2019).


The Water=Life temporary public art installation consists of visual, storytelling and interactive components and visitors to the installation will be encouraged to explore a "stream," guiding them to an inner circle where a soundscape and story walk highlight the relationship we have with water in all stages of our lives and the legacy of the ancient canal system that is the foundation for the modern system in use today.


“The project installation is intended to be symbolic of collaboration, with people coming together to share stories and memories of water,” said Tony Duncan, lead artist on the project. The installation was commemorated in an opening celebration free to the public, Saturday, November 16. See images from this event, here


Learn more about the project in this blog post published to the Water Use it Wisely site.


Please use the following hashtags to share your experiences with the project!  #waterequalslife #immerseyourself. 

Water=Life is a comprehensive project consisting of a series of free community workshops, events and demonstrations leading up to a 9-day installation of collaborative art in Mesa's 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. 


Please use the following hashtags to share your experiences with the project!  #waterequalslife #immerseyourself. 

Riverview Park is located at 2100 West Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ, 85201. The public park has ample free parking. 

Share with us your experience of the Water=Life project installation. 


Click here to take the survey


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. For more information, see Porch Stories on Amazon or visit the FB page


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, a fourth-generation Arizonan, is the director and one of the founders of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. 


Martha Ludlow-Martinez is a native storyteller. 


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.

Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere

September 27, 2019-January 19, 2020


Experience the wonder and artistry of weather – with a special emphasis on water and sustainability – this fall at the i.d.e.a. Museum’s Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere exhibition. Through art and hands-on activities, curious kids of all ages will embark on a fun, scientific adventure and learn about the water cycle, the difference between climate and weather, rainbows, types of weather, and more.

The exhibition features an activity where visitors are able to experience a realistic mini tornado and enjoy the soothing sounds and smells of a real rainstorm.


Hands-on learning

Planned activities for children of all ages include:

  • Experience hands-on exploration in the Water Cycle Room (featuring evaporation, condensation and precipitation)
  • Be the Meteorologist (green screen activity) – dress up and deliver the weather forecast in the studio and on location – just like a weather reporter
  • Create weather art – make artful representations of snowflakes, watercolor rain paintings and fluffy clouds
  • Experiment with light and color at the rainbow arch and prism activity

Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere is included with regular museum admission, which is $9 for ages 1 and older; i.d.e.a. Museum members are free. Learn more at ideaMuseum.org.


The exhibition is supported by:

City of Mesa Water Resources Dept., CORE Construction, POGO Pass, City of Mesa, i.d.e.a. Museum Foundation and Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Water - Use It Wisely Display

Mesa Main Library

now through November 30


There's more to check out at the Mesa Main Library, 64 E. First St., besides books (audiobooks, movies, and more) this month. From now thru the end of November, the library will feature a 16-foot tall, 120-gallon water jug pyramid display that represents how much water one person consumes each day in their home. The towering display will include water leak detection guides and many other free booklets on how to save water.


“This impressive display illustrates the need for all of us to be more aware of how much water each of us uses on a daily basis,” Mesa Water Conservation Coordinator Donna DiFrancesco said. “We hope this urges our customers to be more mindful of how they use water in their household and to learn about the easy ways to reduce their use in order to protect this valuable resource.”


Typical residential water usage in Mesa ranges from 90 to 190 gallons of water per person per day, including indoor and outdoor use. Water use is broken down in the following categories:


  • Consumption – 7 gallons
  • Showers and Baths – 13 gallons
  • Toilets – 14 gallons
  • Household Cleaning – 21 gallons
  • Outdoors – 65 gallons


During the summer, water bills reach their highest due to outdoor use such as landscaping and swimming pools. By November, if homeowners don’t overseed their lawns with winter grass, their water use should be much lower. The City is promoting the value of water in everyday life and raising public awareness about water conservation while underlining the importance of using water wisely. The best part is that the action of reducing water use will not only lower our customers water bills but will also save them money.


The water tower display travels to city halls, libraries, community centers, and other locations across the valley each month. It is part of the Water - Use It Wisely campaign, launched by Mesa in 1999 to promote an ongoing water conservation ethic among Arizona's rapidly growing population. Today, twenty partners drive Arizona's coalition, sharing a commitment to sustaining our most precious resource by reducing water use.


For more information on how to save water, visit www.mesaaz.gov/conservation.

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