Looking back at Sensory Overload: Scholarship winners & event highlights


David Serna of Ringling (Digital Illustration); Candace-Rae McCurry of IADT (Graphic Design);


Stacy Testa of USF (Digital Photography);


Drake Arnold of the University of Tampa (Animation);


and Thomas Pregiato (Video). You can still view all the entries here; the voting, however, is over.

Many, many thanks to all of the students who entered the competitions, all the readers who cast votes, all the staffers from CL who volunteered, all the fine folks at The Honey Pot, which turned out to be an ideal venue, and to CL's art critic Megan Voeller, who curated the professional artists in the show and overall did a magnificent job coordinating the whole shebang.

I don't know which was more fun (and yes, this was an art show where fun was the operative word); Santiago Echeverry's playfully interactive cellphone videos; Giancarlo Giusti's futurist vision of a pedestrian-friendly I-275; Aaron David Cook and Julianna Stoll's aptly titled Enlightened Chandelier (which played on a screen suspended from the ceiling); Deon Blackwell's video-game Wii-controlled music/video mashup; or the amazing drums-and-laptop duo of Valerie George and Felecia Carlisle. Joran Oppelt and Jack Spatafora made inspired choices for the musical acts; if you had any fears that an evening of electronic music would be all chilly beeps and ambient fuzz, Elliott Lipp, Michna and Soft Rock Renegades blew that notion completely out of the water; the place rocked. IADT, the Dali Museum, the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Kina Couture and Audio Visions South all brought their own digital sensibilities to the party — and, in addition to the money for the two student scholarships, we raised $500 for CLIP Film Festival.

If you haven't checked out the photos of SO 4.0 taken by CL photo blogger Chip Weiner, do so here; he did a great job capturing the fabulousness of the 600-plus attendees (love those feathers, Miss Minyon!) as well as the many Honey Pot regulars who found themselves in the midst of a multi-disciplinary arts event. Blogger Denis Baldwin also reported on the event: find his post and photos here. See you all next year!

Urban Exploration from Thomas Pregiato on Vimeo.

I left for a week's vacation right after Creative Loafing's spectacular Mar. 28 party, Sensory Overload 4.0. But I didn't want to let too much time pass without congratulating the winners of the two $1,000 scholarships we presented to student artists. A panel of arts professionals chose one scholarship recipient: Thomas Pregiato of Ringling College of Art and Design, whose video (above) translated the theme of "urban exploration" into a compelling interplay between images of a restless sleeper and rapidfire glimpses of a Sarasota dreamscape.

The other winner was selected online by readers, who submitted close to 5,000 votes via The Daily Loaf and a live Twitter feed the night of the event. The winner of the popular vote was Dan Robinson of the International Academy of Design and Technology; his witty concept for a billboard (right) sends a mixed message about heaven and music.

The judges who selected Pregiato as best in show were Amanda Cooper, curator of exhibitions at the Arts Center in St. Petersburg; Chance Chanthalansy, post-production director at Pyper Paul + Kenney; and David Meek of Philip Gary Design, aka Illuminations 33701 (who did magical things with light and sound the night of the event). The judges also cited winners in individual categories, recognizing high achievement in a competitive field. They were:

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