Alys and the Arts

Alys and the Arts

Alys Beach is set to once again host the Digital Graffiti Festival

Words by Paige Townley

The iconic white walls of Alys Beach will soon be bright and bold thanks to the return of the Digital Graffiti Festival, back in full event format after 2021’s drive-thru configuration.

The Digital Graffiti Festival is an open-air, organic gallery of architecture and landscape for the projections of original artwork by artists and creators from all over the world. The white walls of the scenic 30A community provide a large-scale blank canvas for artists to project their unique works of art under the night sky and surrounded with the scenic beauty of the northwest Florida community’s natural environment and incredible architecture.

Also known as “Photon Bombing,” “Guerilla Projection,” and “Urban Projection,” the technology that allows for design, animation, and projection of images onto buildings and other structures has been used for years. But the uniqueness of Alys Beach’s architecture and audience, combined with the original art, has led to its Digital Graffiti Festival being named as one of the top “24 Unconventional Art Destinations Around the World,” by National Geographic.

This year marks the 15th year of the festival, which is to be held May 13-14. Just as in years’ past, artists, designers, photographers, architects, and other creatives have the opportunity to submit their artwork to be included, which will be projected at night onto the white walls of the community for all to view and enjoy. The festival has received digital submissions from artists across the globe, from Israel and Austria to Germany, France, Italy, and India. The types of submissions vary greatly as well. Over the course of the two evenings, there can be exhibits of projection mapping, generative art, experimental short films, and animation, as well as sound, motion, and light-responsive installations.

The juried festival features numerous awards each year, including Best of Show (which comes with a $5,000 prize), Curator’s Choice ($2,000 prize), and three Special Recognition honors (at $1,000 prize each), which is selected by the festival’s new curator, John Colette, and a highly esteemed panel of judges. The annual event is sponsored by the Alys Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to support the long-term community values of the town that over the last 14 years has donated more than $200,000 in awards and artist stipends to help further the impact and success of Digital Graffiti, its artists, and their works.