LAA14-ARR Here at the Living Art America offices, a gracious cascade of compliments regarding this year’s event has been pouring in from a wide variety of sources. Artists, assistants, models, photographers, media representatives, audiences, sponsors and members of our esteemed jury are offering praise and constructive commentary from far-reaching corners of the globe and we couldn’t be more pleased. 
The overriding, stand-out sentiment is that 2014 truly showcased the artistic merit of bodypainting and WHAT a showcase it was! The level of the work created, whether in 3-D chroma-vision on the bodies of Atlanta Cabaret Company Dancers for the Cameleon-sponsored UV/Fluoro Show, or the dazzling details that bedecked burlesque performers adding pizzaz to the Body Art Cabaret, audiences thrilled to the spectacle. 
Exceeding all expectations though, was the work created for competition, as an international pool of talent pulled out all the stops to take their shot at the North American title. Our 2014 jury, comprised of artists of only the highest international qualifications (all either former World Bodypainting Festival champions, or the founder of the Festival, itself) had their work cut out for them, as team-after-team presented impassioned presentations of their finest 6.5-hour creations on the theme: “Future Vision”, in turn.
 HyunYongJin-winA gala evening of stage presentations came next and The Georgia Freight Depot building fairly crackled with electric anticipation as a fashionably turned-out audience settled into their seats. What followed next did not disappoint! Models pranced, preened and performed feats of gymnastics, acro-balance and danced ballet on pointe. One even flouted the obvious perils of the high stage to perform on a skateboard! Artists’ eyes blazed with pride as their names and countries of origin were announced as their creations commanded the catwalk before them. Flashbulbs popped in a paparazzi-like frenzy and the amazed crowd gasped and gushed, finding it a near-impossible task to choose a favorite for the audience vote. A “Skin Wars” television producer scouting talent, took copious notes from her vantage point. Four “Skin Wars” Season One alumni competed this year, all originally discovered at Living Art America, 2013.
 CherylwinIn the end, both jury and attendees had spoken and the new winners were crowned in what was the toughest, the closest and undeniably the finest championships to date! Winners representing South Korea (1st Place – Hyun Yong Jin), the United States (2nd Place – Cheryl Lipstreu and 4th Place – Amy Young) and Italy (3rd Place – Johannes Stotter and 5th Place – Giusy Campolungo) captured the five coveted top spots in the Professional Category, while the first three placements  awarded in the Emerging Artist Category were all claimed by US-based artists (Breanna Cooke, Rio Sirah and Ren Allen, respectively). A sweet victory was also bestowed upon the audience-favorite Angela Rene Roberts, an American artist featured recently on the reality-TV hit “Skin Wars”.
 Saturday night was the climactic event of an intense week for all involved. Many artists arrived early to Atlanta to take advantage of the Mehron-sponsored Living Art Academy,, featuring workshops presented by  industry-leading, international instructors. For many, travel to Atlanta hinged as much upon learning and growth opportunities as it did for a chance at a title and a trophy.
 LAA14-AYCommunity is the other component that many seek, when arriving to spend so much time in the company of fellow artists and appreciators of the art form. Nowhere was this more apparent than at Wednesday’s opening reception, or at Sunday’s farewell brunch. Acquaintances were renewed and friendships forged and future working relationships perhaps fostered. Living Art America even boasts a love connection, as a favorite artistic duo celebrated the anniversary of their romance, which flourished upon their meeting at the Championships, last year.
 Certainly, it is a point of pride to witness the growth of individual artists and the community-at-large, as well as to take a strong position on the leading edge of the promotion of bodypainting as a fine art form in North America. We are honored to create Living Art America to celebrate art that is truly alive! We commit to presenting the very best that bodypainting has to offer, with your help, now and in the future!