You’ve been invited to be a contributing artist to ART FÜD’s Silk City Fest Zoetrope Project!

What’s a zoetrope? A zoetrope is a device that predates motion picture as we know it, but offers the illusion of motion by showing a sequence of changing images, sort of like an elaborate flipbook. There are various designs, but a zoetrope is typically a cylinder with slots cut in the side. A strip of pictures is placed inside. An animation is created by viewing the pictures through the slots while spinning the cylinder.

Here are a couple of pages if you’d like to learn more in depth:

So, what exactly is the Silk City Fest Zoetrope Project?

Silk City Fest 2021 is happening on August 28 in Manchester, Connecticut, and is a day of live music, art and craft vendors, local craft beer and cider, food trucks, games, and fun. This year, we are incorporating the Zoetrope Project into the festival. The plan is to build three zoetropes like the own shown here. Each is approximately 30″ in diameter with a circumference of 8′. They will be of similar construction but will vary somewhat in exterior design. They will be placed on stands of different heights to accommodate all viewers. Each will show different art that will be rotated and changed throughout the day. There will be signs posted that will describe the history and use of the zoetrope as well as a little about the art in each.

Zoetrope Photo
A Silk City Fest Zoetrope

“What does this have to do with me?” you might be wondering.

The festival committee came up with a list of local artists that we thought might be interested in this project and whose work might be adapted to the format, and your name came up. Here is what we are asking of participating artists:

  1. Come up with a concept for a simple, short animation.
  2. Create 16 pieces that will create this animation if they were to be viewed in rapid succession.
  3. Type a very brief explanation about who you are as an artist and about this particular piece.
  4. Deliver the work to us for the final steps.

And now for a little clarification:

The art should be simple. There is no need for fine detail as it won’t be seen spinning by at a fraction of a second. Backgrounds should be minimal or non-existent. You can use any 2-D medium you want—photography, paint, charcoal, pen, crayon, digital art, whatever. Each piece should be approximately 6″ wide x 9″ high or in those proportions, and no bigger than 7.25″ x 11″. There is no need to use your finest materials. We will scan your original art, size it to fit the zoetrope, and print them together in one long strip. This strip will be used in the zoetrope. If you are using a digital medium, we don’t need original prints at all—just the edited digital files.

Zoetrope sample Art
The art in our prototype as printed

“What’s in it for me?” is your next obvious question.

Well, this project won’t make you rich and famous (or poor and infamous, just to be balanced in this solicitation). It will make you $100, because that’s what’s in the budget for the dozen or so artists we’d like to include. We’ll also make the print available for sale at the festival for $75 or so. If yours sells, you can have that money also. And if we’re printing one, we might as well print two so that you can have one for yourself. Lastly, the biggest thing that’s in it for you is to be a part of a fun art project at the best little festival in Connecticut.

We’d really like to have all the art by August 1 with all of the artists committed by July 1. We realize that this project isn’t for everyone and that we should have given you more time, but we’re not perfect. If you want to be involved, please take a quick minute and fill out the contact form below. Thanks for reading!