The ninth annual Digital Graffiti Festival at Alys Beach came to a close on Saturday, May 14 and announced “Son Lux-Change is Everything” by Los Angeles-based artist Nathan Johnson of the Made Shop as “Best of Show”. The projection art festival welcomed artists from around the world to Northwest Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton County to showcase original digital art pieces on Alys Beach’s vivid white walls.

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The list of winners includes:

  • Best of Show ($5,000 prize): Son Lux-Change is Everything, The Made Shop/Nathan Johnson (Los Angeles, California)
  • Curator’s Choice ($2,000 prize): …what is seen was not made out of what was visible, Jinku Kim (Walpole, Massachusetts)
  • Special Recognition ($750 prize): MMPI, Katina Bitsicas (Columbia, Missouri)
  • Special Recognition ($750 prize): Green , Jiyen Lee (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Special Recognition ($750 prize): Yonder, Emilia Forstreuter (Berlin, Germany)
  • Special Recognition ($750 prize): 1/1500, Yandell Walton (Melbourne, Australia)

“Winning Digital Graffiti completely caught me off guard,” says Johnson. “When I first heard about the festival, I was so excited to be selected, and it sounded like a dream event. It is really encouraging as a visual artist to have a festival like this that exists to shine a spotlight on our work. In many cases, these pieces are created alone, for weeks in dark rooms, so it’s incredibly meaningful it is to have such a great environment to bring all these people together. My wife and I basically locked ourselves in a little studio for weeks with nothing but push pins and thread to create the Son Lux piece. There were definitely some dark days when we weren’t sure it was even going to work at all, so this feels like a much-appreciated answer to those doubts!”

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A panel of art and industry experts led by curator Brett Phares served as the jury for the festival and selected the winners. The panel included Research Associate at Florida State University College of Communication Lucia Fishburne, Alys Beach Town Architect Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, urban planner Mark Schnell, and Seattle-based creative professional Steve Farrell.

“From social and environmental awareness, to the beautifully formal and incredibly expressive, the range of work for Digital Graffiti 2016 made for a visually and audibly exciting event, and made the judging of the work decidedly more challenging than years past,” says Phares. “The award for Best of Show to The Made Shop for their contributions to the music video ‘Son Lux-Change is Everything’ was a unanimous choice for the judges: the mastery in stop action, the range of super-short narratives threaded together by a highly expressive audio track, all contributed to the popularly received work.”

In addition to the juried competition, a select group of artists who participated in the DG2016 Visiting Artist Residency, were invited to project at Digital Graffiti. Yandell Walton, Digital Graffiti 2015 Best of Show winner, of Melbourne, Australia, Keaton Fox of Detroit, Michigan, and Sean Capone of New York, New York participated in the 2015 Digital Graffiti Artist Residency Program. Also, digital studio Nota Bene from Istanbul showcased their recent work “In Order to Control”.

Digital Graffiti was held May 13-15, 2016 at Alys Beach. We will be celebrating 10th Anniversary at the 2017 festival held May 19 – 21.For more information about the festival, please visit digitalgraffiti.com.

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