We recently had the opportunity to interview one of our very own, Fairgrounds St. Pete’s Creative Technologist and FLORIDARAMA artist, Josh Campbell. His diorama MOONSHINE, is aptly titled, as that’s exactly what it depicts!
Josh is a Creative Technologist at Fairgrounds St. Pete. He is originally from Los Angeles and has always been intrigued by recording interesting sounds. For twenty years, Josh served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the California Institute of Concert Sound Engineering, Armed Forces School of Music and The University of Tampa holding a BFA in New Media and a Masters in Instructional Design & Technology. In addition to his degrees, he is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Josh has been a member of Fairgrounds St. Pete’s Technology Team since Summer 2020.
Read on to learn more about what the experience of being part of our inaugural exhibit is like for him!
What do you want the public to take away from experiencing the FLORIDARAMA diorama you have created for Fairgrounds St. Pete?
JOSH CAMPBELL: I’d like people to use their imagination to reframe the backstories of the scenes that surround them in everyday life. I want people to remember what it’s like to play with a childlike spirit.
What inspired this FLORIDARAMA?
JC: MOONSHINE is an inspired work based on the intersection between the Fairgrounds St. Pete narrative, and prohibition and small moonshine distilling operations in Florida.
How did thinking about Florida influence your artwork and approach in creating this diorama?
JC: I felt compelled to create a scene based on prohibition and the production of moonshine. The aptly named MOONSHINE is a dairy-based moonshine distilled by a small rogue faction of space cats that are trying their hand at organized crime. The space cats have been supplying the Merpeople with “Mooshine” in exchange for tuna for quite some time. However, the authorities have been on to this racket and recently conducting an undercover sting operation. What you see now is the aftermath of a recent raid at the Cat’s Meow night club, which serves as a front for the space cat’s “Mooshine” operation.
How did working within the confines of a diorama box affect your approach?
JC: I wanted to show a split level, which the box didn’t lend itself to at all. To accomplish my goal, I cut the top level in half, showing only what was necessary to convey the broken-up poker game.
What is your favorite FL destination or landmark?
JC: My current favorite spot in Florida is the riverwalk in Tampa. There are so many amazing places to stop along the river. My favorite time to go is early morning before the sun comes up. The lights reflecting off the water and overall peaceful vibe makes it worth it to wake up early and start the day.