Lonely Planet Writer

Digital Graffiti festival transforms a Florida town into a work of art

For three days next month, the white walls of a coastal town in Florida will be awash in vibrant artwork, and then it will quickly vanish. Alys Beach hosts the tenth annual Digital Graffiti art festival from 19 – 21 May, bringing a roster of international artists together to project their works onto the blank canvas of beach community homes.

Digital Graffiti festival, Alys Beach, Florida.
Digital Graffiti festival, Alys Beach, Florida. Image courtesy Digital Graffiti

Digital graffiti is a form of artwork that relies on digital technology, replacing the traditional (and more permanent) paint with ephemeral installations projected onto a surface. “Going into its tenth year, Digital Graffiti has come to define the intimate immersive experience,” Brett Phares, curator of Digital Graffiti, tells Lonely Planet.

Digital Graffiti, Alys Beach, Florida.
Digital Graffiti, Alys Beach, Florida. Image Courtesy Digital Graffiti

“Drawing on some of the most accomplished and dynamic visual artists the world has to offer in projection art, onto an incredibly unique architectural environment, DG2017 will unleash a combination of digital sight, sound, and excitement onto the crisp white walls of Alys Beach.” The innovative way art, technology, and architecture merge is unique to the festival. “There is nothing like it—we’ve checked.”


Last year’s festival included the winning ‘Best of Show’ entry Son Lux-Change is Everything. Created by The Made Shop’s Nathan Johnson, the work is a stop-motion video that uses 200 push pins and 500 feet of rubberized thread. Jinku Kim won the curator’s choice prize with …what is seen was not made out of what was visible, drawing on an oscilloscope to visualize sound, and creating a hypnotic black and white projection. The roster of 2017 artists hail from Brooklyn, Wisconsin, Germany, and Australia, among other locales near and far.

Digital Graffiti, Florida.
Digital Graffiti, Florida. Image Courtesy Digital Graffiti

Situated in South Walton Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, Alys Beach is a quaint beachfront community known for its stark white structures. (Besides being visually cool, the walls and rooftops were designed to reflect the sun’s heat and keep the temperatures down inside the homes.)

Digital Graffiti, Alys Beach.
Digital Graffiti, Alys Beach. Image Courtesy Digital Graffiti

The Digital Graffiti festival will kick off on 19 May at 8 pm with an opening night, family-friendly street party featuring food trucks and music. The 20 May is an adults-only event that includes samples from local chefs, winemakers, brewers, and distillers.

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.