Ocean Reef likes to keep our welcomed rental guests aware of exciting cultural events, festivals, art shows and concerts that take place here along The Emerald Coast. It is amazing how many wonderful opportunities exist here for entertainment besides enjoying our beautiful beaches, boating and buying designer labeled treasure at the myriad of stores nearby. A one of a kind, state of the 30A art extravaganza debuted here in 2007 and has now become an unusual, exotic annual tradition and a South Walton Event that is not to be missed.
For those of you who have not heard of this latest, greatest technological fad, it’s called Digital Graffiti and is very “high tech.” Unlike the traditional version, digital graffiti is not permanent but rather a projection of art on the sides of buildings composed of computer generated images. This colorful new art form, also known as Urban Projection and even Photon Bombing, is changing the way artists create and display multiple images as we are well on our way into the 21st century. George Jetson's family would approve! The popularity of this new art form probably means that it will not remain a fad but indeed, become a brand new field of artistic imagery. Images are designed by graphic artists and then computer generated as a projection on a blank wall. Most of them have multicolored, animated illustrations that seem to vibrate and glow as they are being displayed. These vibrant images look like a Disney fantasy mixed with ethereal images of Heaven with contemporary carnival type uplighting thrown in for extra effect.
Digital Graffiti was founded by a computer guru named Mike Ragsdale several years ago as he decided to combine technology, art and architecture as a kind of mixed medium. Digital artists create original masterpieces that are computerized for enhancement and projected in light. In 2007, Ragsdale premiered this new art form in Alys Beach which provided a perfect canvas since all of the walls in this preplanned community are stark white. Since that time, the once a year event has attracted thousands of visitors who walk around the village after dark to view the incredible village wide production. This new art form has flourished in a short period of time and now many of the images have become interactive. Visiting guests can be filmed as participants and then transformed into beautiful, almost surreal imagery on the town walls as modernistic, moving murals. The event has become an international sensation including digital artists who vie for cash prizes that are awarded by a jury of judges each year. Last year Bala Boyd, a former Ocean Reef Staff member even took home Best of Show Award! For one entire evening the whole village lights up with visual displays projected upon the walls, towers, roof tops, court yards, palm trees, pools and even some of the guests themselves. The images are almost alive and meld one into the other in a most mesmerizing manner.
This year a total of $10,000 will be awarded in the following five categories: Best of the Show ($5,000); Judge's Choice ($2,000); Most Innovative, Best Animated and Best Local Submission ($1,000 each). Artists have been selected as finalists in a competition to participate. Thus far some have international origins around the world including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Senegal, Turkey and the United Kingdom. In the United States, digital art finalists are coming from such diverse areas as Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. Two local resident artists have been selected so far that include Erin Stevens from Destin who is doing a work called Boyson and Russell Beans from Panama City Beach who is doing The Path EYE See. The esteemed panel of judges includes Lucia Fishburne, the State of Florida's State Film Commissioner and Jason Eppink, the Assistant Curator of Digital Media in New York City.
This wonderful, futuristic art extravaganza is scheduled in Alys Beach on Scenic Highway 30A for Saturday, June 11th from 8:30 until midnight. (This will not be rescheduled due to inclement weather.) Tickets purchased in advance of the event are $25 but children up to twelve years of age are available for only $5 each. Advance purchases can be obtained on line at Digitalgraffiti.com Tickets sold at the gate the night of the event will be $35 and tickets for kids three to twelve years old will be $10 each. Each ticket is non refundable and entitles the guest to stroll around the entire grounds of the opulently decorated, glowing village.
Be sure to check out our wonderful Ocean Reef Resort private vacation rental properties nearby at Seacrest Beach which is within walking distance of this awesome show. You, your family and friends will have one of the most amazing evenings of your life. These fantastic memories will last forever as a treasure trove of happy times and become one of those “remember when” moments for all of you.