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Artwork lights up downtown building

Artwork lights up downtown building

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GREENSBORO — Colorful electronic artwork lit up the downtown Guilford Building Thursday, signaling today’s start of the city’s 17 Days arts and culture festival.

The brick side wall of the South Elm Street building became the canvas for three artists from Austria, who demonstrated their digital art technology called Tagtool.

Their animated artistic projections will appear on different center city structures on at least five more nights through Oct. 3.

“We want to show the environment people are familiar with in a new light,” said Markus Dorninger, who invented the app for iPad with his brother, Josef Dorninger, and Matthias Fritz.

The Public Art Endowment of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro brought the artists to Greensboro.

This was the first time they demonstrated their invention in the United States.

Their appearance launched the annual 17 Days festival organized by ArtsGreensboro, which will feature more than 100 visual and performing arts events through Oct. 5 at venues throughout the city.

Tagtool allows users to create and animate art to be displayed in large-scale outdoor settings using high-powered projectors.

Artists use their fingers like a crayon or paintbrush, drawing art on the iPad screen, selecting colors and setting the art in motion.

On Thursday night, Fritz and the Dorningers set up iPads and created art on the patio at Cheesecakes by Alex. A projector on the roof displayed the images on the Guilford Building across the parking lot.

They plan to return to the same site tonight.

On Saturday night, artwork projected onto the Bennett College water tower will be visible from downtown, said Cheryl Stewart, the endowment’s public art consultant.

The public will learn how to use the app in two workshops at Elsewhere, the living museum in a former thrift store downtown. Some of their work is expected to be displayed.

Workshops for children and teens at the Greensboro Children’s Museum have already filled.

To Stewart, the Tagtool project gives its audience a new view of public art.

“Public art isn’t just a sculpture or a mural,” she said.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at (336) 373-5204, and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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