There’s nothing better than a positive transformation of perspective. Watching something become something else; caterpillars becoming butterflies, seeds becoming trees, babies becoming full grown adults. But what if this transformation can happen to a town? Well, we’d like to welcome you to Alys Beach.

In the light of day, the uniform blank white walls of the houses around this luxury town glow in the sun. While already a striking visual, the real magic happens when the sun falls behind the horizon on a certain weekend in May. The vacant walls of these carefully tended houses transform into dynamic, colorful, out-of-this-world entities, as artists from around the world use them as canvases.

On this Saturday’s Around the World, we’d like to show you what happens when a town comes together to create something entirely new. You’ve never seen anything like this.

Image: digital graffiti projected on trees and house at Alys Beach. Viewers are taking photos

Courtesy of Alys Beach

Using what you have to create something new!

For the majority of the year, Alys Beach, a town located on the Florida Panhandle’s coast, is manicured to perfection. Everything about it—from the housing to the greenery—has been planned out to work in harmony and bring the best experience to their residents.

These features make it all the more interesting that this so immaculately groomed place is home to the biggest—and only—digital graffiti festival in the world.

This first video gives us a taste of this incredible event, take a look:

Isn’t that awesome?

The Digital Graffiti Festival on Alys Beach—happening this year from May 17 through the 18th—has been opening up entirely new experiences for artists and patrons alike for over a decade. Moving, fluid artwork is projected onto the man-made objects, welcoming an opportunity for us to see our world a little differently for a period of time.

It’s always awesome when we’re able to do that, isn’t it? When what we see, over and over, every day, suddenly transforms into something fresh.

There’s a tendency to become blind to what we’re used to—kind of like how we don’t notice a smell once we’ve sat with it for a while. We all do it! But stepping back and seeing how something can be played with and used differently can bring in new energy. It helps us see novel potential in something we thought we knew so well.

When art is in places that weren’t intended for art.

There are examples of this everywhere, and often, this is the most impactful art out there. It plays with our environment and beckons us to see the potential in it beyond the surface.

We’ve curated quite a few of these artists out there who show us, in unique and direct ways, that it’s still an amazing world. Here are three of them:

19 minutes

Through the Eyes of a Creative Outsider

Art has a powerful way of shifting our perceptions. Today, we get to see that creative magic unfold along the Canadian shores when visited by the artist, Hula.

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11 minutes

Trolls We Can All Come to Love!

What if we slowed our impulse to create new "stuff", and instead, focused on using what we already have in excess? Take trash for example. Is there endless potential in the things we are discarding? Here's is someone who is pointing to possibility in a wondrous way!

Read More

18 minutes

Graffiti: The Language of the City

Discover the impact that taking art to the streets can have on a city, and why this expression is so important!

Read More

Take a tour through our entire art category to see what else you can find!

Using projections to change perceptions

Digital graffiti, like what you’ll find projected at Alys Beach, doesn’t just offer us a different experience with our environment. It also brings something new to explore in the works of art. Even those we think we know well, like works from the hands of Van Gogh or Gustav Klimt, can be illuminated in new ways when projected in a digital format. (Take a look at what Atelier Des Lumières [Workshop of Lights] in Paris has been doing with these works by clicking here!)

This offers artists a new way to approach their work and gives viewers the opportunity to become more engaged with the creations. We’re able to interact directly with them. See a little more of what the Digital Graffiti Festival has inspired artists to create in this short video:

Explore even more of the art projected on the walls of Alys Beach in the past over on their website. Their gallery goes back all the way to 2008! Click here to explore.

How could art impact your own community?

Communities around the world are seeing transformations in their inhabitants by incorporating art into their culture. It encourages communication, creates a surprise moment of calm, and speaks about what they, as a collective, care most about.
How could your community benefit from a bit of art?
Stay open to new possibilities!
  • Sam
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein 

Have you interacted with art in an interesting way?

Share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! We’d love to hear the different ways art plays into your life, or have inspired you to see your day to day life a little differently. #itsstillanamazingworld

Notes:

  1. “Digital Graffiti Festival 2017.” YouTube, Alys Beach , 17 July 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_10JPvoH6M. Accessed 3 Apr. 2019.
  2. “Florida Travel: Painting with Light: Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach.” YouTube, Visit Florida, 9 July 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8y8Ks3xYQ4. Accessed 3 Apr. 2019.

Sam Burns

Chief Administrative Officer, Head Staff Writer

Sam is a listener, creator, collector of knick-knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.