Illuminate – Interactive Art Competition for NEON Fest 2023

Join our 8th Annual NEON Festival Interactive Art Competition

Date: Friday, October 20, 2023, from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Theme: Illuminate

We are thrilled to announce an interactive art competition hosted by 757 Makerspace, in collaboration with the NEON District and Tidewater Burners, as part of the 8th annual NEON Festival. This year’s theme, “ILLUMINATE,” invites artists to explore the mesmerizing interplay of light, color, and technology in their interactive artworks.

Calling All Creatives!

All submitted art pieces must be interactive, engaging spectators and fulfilling their artistic purpose through active participation. We welcome artists, makers, and creatives of all levels of experience to submit their ideas, regardless of professional background. Examples of interactive work below.


Winners will receive the following prizes:

  • First Place: $600
  • Second Place: $400
  • Third Place: $300

*All winners will also receive a quarterly membership to 757 Makerspace ($460 value).

How It Works

Twelve artists will be chosen from the submissions to showcase their work outside at the Cofer Lot on W Olney Road during the 2023 NEON Festival. What makes this competition even more exciting is that the public will decide the winners through on-site voting during the event.

Submission Information: 

The competition is open for submissions now through 11:59pm on Saturday, September 23rd. Submissions are to be emailed to THERE IS NO SUBMISSION FEE.

Submission Requirements (you must include all of the following pieces of information):

Please compile your submission into a single PDF

  • Name of artist
  • Name of piece 
  • Description of your work and how it is interactive
  • Photo or Description of piece (must include a sketch or rendering)
  • Materials
  • Dimensions
  • Power requirements (if applicable) 
  • Special Site requirements (if applicable)

757 Makerspace will be holding a “Project Build Week” for ALL selected participants- members or non-members: Wednesday, October 11 – Thursday, October 19th from 9am – 9pm. Participants will have access to equipment, space and staff resources for additional instruction.

The art competition will be immediately followed by a dance party at the Cofer lot to celebrate the participants and artists in our community hosted by 757 Makerspace/NEON District/Tidewater Burners.

Important Dates:

  • Submittal Support, Help & Q&A Session in-person 757 Makerspace NFK 6:30PM, September 20th
  • Concept Proposal Deadline: 11:59PM, September 25th (extended due to storm)
  • Submission Announcements: Tuesday, September 26th
  • 757 Makerspace NFK Project Build Week: Wednesday, October 11th – Thursday, October 19th
    • Free access to use the tools, space and equipment at 757 Makerspace.
  • Art Competition Installation: Friday, October 20th, between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM
  • Art Competition Exhibition: Friday, October 20th, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM at the Cofer Lot in the NEON (Winners announced at 9:00 PM)
  • Art Exhibition Project De-Installation: By Noon on October 21st

Examples of Interactive Projects

  1. Interactive Light Installation: Create an installation where viewers can manipulate the colors and patterns of lights using motion sensors or touch-sensitive panels.
  2. Digital Projection Mapping: Use projection mapping technology to transform a building or object into a dynamic canvas that responds to user input or environmental cues.
  3. Augmented Reality (AR) Art: Develop an AR app that overlays digital artwork onto the physical world, allowing users to interact with and modify the art through their smartphones or AR glasses.
  4. Kinetic Sculpture: Construct a sculpture that moves or changes shape based on the movement of viewers or environmental factors like wind or sound.
  5. Interactive Sound Installation: Design an art piece that produces music or soundscapes in response to the movements or interactions of people within its vicinity.
  6. Virtual Reality (VR) Experience: Create a virtual reality environment where users can immerse themselves in an interactive artistic world, manipulating elements within it.
  7. Interactive Painting or Mural: Paint a mural or canvas with conductive paint and sensors, allowing viewers to touch different areas to trigger sounds, lights, or animations.
  8. Interactive Performance Art: Organize a live performance where artists and audience members engage in interactive storytelling, improvisation, or participatory art-making.

These are just a few examples that illustrate the diversity of interactive art, showcasing how technology, movement, and audience engagement can be integrated to create captivating and immersive artistic experiences. We look forward to seeing your illuminating creations at the 8th annual NEON Festival Interactive Art Competition.

Sponsors Include: 

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