Motion Graphics Festival (MGFest) has been touring the U.S. for nearly 5 years, but you may not have heard of it until now.
Co-organized by Troy Milstead and Julee Wood of PSYMBOLIC and partner Jameson Wallace (known as artist Mason Dixon), MGFest saw it's start in Chicago in 2006 and has spent the last few years touring Boston, Austin, Atlanta, Orlando - and now DC.
Nightly audio/visual arts events focused attention on local DC arts and culture sponsors - including DC Commission on Arts & Humanities' Art Salon, Electric Cabaret at Aqua, Letelier Theatre's Sunday Motion Graphics Screening - and support from 88 and PinkLine Project.
Weekend workshops featured a full spectrum of talent in motion design and animation, digital painting, and an immensely practical lesson in Photoshop for Motion Design from Adobe guru Richard Harrington.
Recent Co-author of Video Made on A Mac and Photoshop for Video, Harrington boats a seemingly endless amount of practical creative knowledge in Photoshop - most of it available in handy PodCast format on his forum at CreativeCow.net, and on his Photoshop for Video Blog.
Sunday's MGFest included a digital painting workshop by Shantell Martin - an internationally touring visual performance artist with an "inside look at the technology and aesthetics of live painting software," whose work appeared later that night in the annual submissions screening.
Sunday night's MGFest official 2009 event screening, sponsored by STASH, a DVD magazine, saw a reel of best work from 2008 and the 2009 selected submissions screening of new creative digital animation, including work by Shepard Fairey in N.A.S.A.'s "Money" video.
For the conference organizers, MGFest is about expanding opportunities for artists and creative professionals. "There are lots of events already in New York and L.A., " said conference co-organizer Jameson Wallace. "Instead of flying everyone to one place, we try to go where the talent is."
Wallace wants to see MGFest travel to cities people may not expect - preferring Portland, San Francisco and Seattle to Los Angeles, he said at the Sunday night screening, during conversation about finding a west-coast city for MGFest.
For now, you can add and find photos of MGFest 2009 in DC and other cities on Flickr (tagged MGFest09), including a photo set of slides from the Sunday night screening.
Follow Eric Shutt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eshutt