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Curatorial Notes
by Daryl Wise
Coordinator, 4th Annual Macworld Conference and Expo
Digital Art Competition 2001

Do you remember watching a computer screen be magically transformed by the first stroke on a drawing tablet? That was nearly ten years ago, and since then digital art has come a long way. Today, there are digital art festivals, digital art companies, digital art magazines, digital art conferences, and stories about digital art in newspapers and on television.

There is no stopping the excitement and enthusiasm for digital art. Welcome to the digital art revolution. This is the fourth year of the Macworld Conference and Expo Digital Art Contest. What started as 200 images entered in the first contest has now grown to over 1000. The amount of creativity and talent represented is overwhelming. So much wonderful art!

The entries were first seen by two panels of judges (one being the Board of the Silicon Valley Art Museum) and an independent college professor. They chose their top images from the entries in the “student” and “non student” categories through a process of elimination.

After the preliminary judging, the artwork went through a final viewing and selection process by a larger panel of judges. These judges represented digital photography, digital graphic and art educators, Photoshop and Painter experts, and industry journalists. They chose the final 31 images*, which are displayed at the Macworld Conference and Expo in New York and San Francisco. These images also travel to galleries and other venues for one year throughout the United States.

Hardware, software, books, and magazines are awarded as prizes to the top 31 artists. The Grand Prize is a trip to Macworld, complete with hotel, airfare, and entry to any of the conferences and classes that are offered.

With the computers getting faster and the software getting easier to use, artists are pushing digital art to new levels. The sophistication of the artwork entered in the last couple of years is evidence of the new, higher standards.

The student artwork is also getting very good. Universities and schools are now teaching the skills needed to create digital art. This is not just how to use the software and hardware, but topics such as the advanced use of color and form.

And once the artwork is created on the digital canvas, artists can take advantage of the Internet to display and sell their art. Type “digital art” into any search engine and the result will be an endless amount of digital art and digital artists. There are also many newsgroups where digital art is the passion that connects.

Some digital artists consider themselves revolutionaries. When photography was in its infancy, the skeptics said it wasn’t an art form and that it had no future. Now we all know differently. There is no stopping this digital art revolution.


Without the support and dedication of the companies that sponsor this contest, there would be no digital art at Macworld or the other venues. The artists would also go unacknowledged and unappreciated and we would be denied the opportunity to view inspiring and beautiful artwork.

Thee following companies helped with finances and prizes for the contest and gallery: Corel, Wacom, Iomega, Xerox, Peachpit Press, Alladin Software companies; Digital Fine Artist and MacAddict Magazines. The images displayed at Macworld are Iris (Giclee) digital reproductions by Electric Paintbrush.

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