Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) is calling for proposals for the Full Sim Art Series. 
The selected Second Life artists will be given:
  • A full sim (15,000 prims!) on which to create and display their arty master piece for 1 month
  • Coverage on the UWA and LEA blogs.
Interested? Want to apply? 
  • Proposals are due by 10 February, 2013
  • Details on how to apply can be found on Bryn Oh's blog

I was invited to the Premiere of the new Be Encouraged machinima by the ladies of Exquisite Xpressions but unfortunately, due to a commitment clash, I wasn't able to attend. Luckily it's available on YouTube so I managed to watch it a little later. Not only is this a quality production with cool music and very believable acting, it's uplifting too. 

Without giving too much away, the plot centres around three key characters, their families and some serious challenges that life throws in their paths. 

The main message that I took from Be Encouraged was that no matter how hard our lives become or how dark things seem, the sun will shine again. The film has a religious note throughout but, don't worry, it's not all fire and brimstone. 

This worthy machinima took me on an emotional roller coaster but left me feeling empowered and energised. See what you think ... 
In this month's edition of BOSL (Best of SL Magazine) a talented real life and SL artist makes his mark. 
M4SK22 Melody pictured at Lumeria Art Gallery. Photo by Morgana Nagorski for BOSL Magazine.
Known as M4SK22 Melody in SL, David Moss is an artist, writer and musician in his first life. Active in the SL art domain, David's current focus is machinima, including works created to span the two worlds' boundaries by featuring his 1st life band. Additionally, he's the owner of the Lumeria Art Gallery where up and coming artists' works hang proudly beside those of well known artists. The gallery is based firmly on the principle that there's no pecking order, hierarchies or discrimination. 

For more about this interesting and engaging SL entity, click the BOSL link below. The magazine contains even more arty news, so you may find yourself reading this article and beyond - I know I did! 

BOSL Magazine, January 2013: Page 218  
Article Author: Pindar Kanya  
Photographer: Morgana Nagorski
Morgana Nagorski, Palais Orleans Gallery Complex
I tend to blog about Second Life art and artists, after all this is an SL art blog. This time I thought it would be interesting to explore the vital, yet often overlooked, roles of gallery owners and curators. Without these diligent people promoting SL artists we would not get to see the impressive range of art that we do today. These quiet achievers offer vital services - artists gain much needed exposure and SL residents gain the joy of seeing extraordinary artworks. 

To find out more I approached Morgana Nagorski, a tireless champion of the arts within Second Life. Not only does she create quality 2D artworks herself, she's the owner and curator of the highly respected and very modern Palais Orleans Gallery Complex

I asked Morgana about her art space, how she selects and coordinates the frequently changing exhibitions and some of the challenges she faces as an SL art gallery owner and curator. 

Please note: I cleaned up our typos to make this interview easier for you to follow :) 

An artistic Aussie avi

Cirque ~ The Big Top by Morgana
Carmsie: Hi Morgana, thanks for chatting with me today. Let's start at the very beginning. You obviously have a passion for art. Can you tell me a bit about your real life and SL art background? 

Morgana: Hi Carmsie. Well, in real life I live in Perth, Western Australia. I was born and bred here. I've always dabbled in some form of art or craft, whatever my current passion was - silver jewellery, leather work, design classes, painting, ceramics or mosaics . . . whatever.

I came to SL in October 2006 and started taking photos as soon as my hair and skin were sorted out. Then, as many do, I got involved with a guy so I sort of let art go for a bit.  

After about a year and a half of dancing ourselves to death I entered and won a photo competition run by Kelly Yap. The prize was a spot in an upcoming exhibition and the rest, as they say, is history. 

It all started as a gift!

Carmsie: So from artist to gallery owner - that's quite a leap. What made you decide to establish an art gallery in Second Life? 

Morgana: Actually I probably never would have. I'd worked as curator in three galleries but hadn't considered opening one myself. I guess the tier was an inhibiting factor. My many-primmed Bali property was about all I could afford. 

But after the last of the exhibitions I curated at the (then called) Palais Orleans Art Studio and Design, the time-poor owner decided she would give it to me, well it's established name anyway. I thought about it for a while and then accepted. I shifted the gallery to its current location...and there you February, 2012 I became the official owner of Palais Orleans. 

SL's Avenue Magazine is always a quality publication and January's edition is no exception. (To access Avenue online you'll need to sign up for an Issu account.)  It contains some great articles this month but there are a couple, in particular, I'd like to draw your attention to. They feature two of SL's most esteemed artists and profile the women behind the avatars. 
The Arrival - inspired by real life events
The Arrival  (page 255)
SL artist Rose Bochovski (real life Saskia Boddeke) speaks frankly about her installation, 'The Arrival' which I blogged earlier this month, explaining its origins and its meaning. 

Rose also provides insights into her real life art and its relationship to her SL work. 

Author: Quan Lavender  
Photography: Eve Kazan 

Imogen and the pigeons. Photo courtesy of Wuwai Chun (Flickr)
The Bryn Oh Art Project (page 265)
This article introduces Bryn Oh's latest installation, 'Imogen and the Pigeons' in the context of her larger body of virtual artworks and real life oil paintings. 

Like Rose Borchovski, Bryn's SL art - immersive 3D and machinima - have received international acclaim. 

Author: Flora Nordenskiold  
Photography: Bryn Oh and William Weaver

My thanks to Quan Lavender for the heads up on these articles. 
Cristina García-Lasuén from ArtPulse Magazine discusses various forms of video art, in particular the latest of these, Machinima. 

Interestingly she explains that the word 'machinima' relates to the techniques used: machine + animation + cinema. You machinima buffs may have known that, but I'd always wondered where the term came from. 

You can read Cristina's article here

Click to set custom HTML
I'm resurrecting an article to post today that's far from new, having been written in 2009 by Nettrice Gaskins for the Art 21 blog. This is one of those articles that deserves to be dusted off and redistributed because: 
  • it's as valid as the day it was first published
  • it's well written and covers current virtual art issues, particularly immersion 
  • it features several renoun SL artists that are still in world, such as DanCoyote, Bryn Oh and others, and 
  • new SL residents may have not had the opportunity to see it yet. 
Enough of my blah, blah, blah. If you're interested in SL art take a few minutes to read (or perhaps
re-read) Virtual Artists’ Immersive Discoveries in a Virtual 3D Frontier

This post is not directly related to SL Art, but I feel it's important nonetheless...

I mentioned Second Life to a work colleague recently. He’s a corporate educator so I thought he might be interested to know that many Universities have in-world campuses and some large companies even run international meetings in their virtual office. My colleague had never visited Second Life nor did he have any first hand experience of ‘virtual life’. Even though he was completely ignorant on the topic his immediate response was, “You play in Second Life? That’s just plain sad!” 

This experience was a real eye-opener for me. I knew SL had a poor reputation but I hadn’t realised how prevalent this view was. So I’ve decided to write a list of my top three misconceptions to set the record straight. 

Misconception 1: All people in SL are virtual-sex crazy
Wrong! I am an active SL resident and I do not indulge in virtual sex. Not that I have an issue with others jiggling their pixels, whatever rocks ya boat. It’s just not my thing and I’m not particularly unusual in that regard. There are so many creative and fun things to do in Second Life - like making art - that, frankly, sex isn’t on my list of priorities. 

Misconception 2: Second Life is full of paedophiles
Sadly, there are likely to be a few sick types in SL who try to lure youth (SL is intended for people aged 16 years and over), just as there are weirdos in online chat rooms and in ‘real life’. But I must stress that this is the rare exception, not the rule. Personally, I’ve yet to hear the name of a single avatar that’s known, or suspected, of having these tendencies. It’s far more common for the SL community to be protective of the young and vulnerable, offering advice and warnings to keep them safe in a virtual environment. 

Misconception 3: Second Life is expensive
Second Life is 100% free to join and I know loads of people who don’t spend a cent/euro/lira in-world. The currency in SL is called ‘Linden Dollars’ and these can be bought by credit card. There are certainly in-world shops here, there and everywhere to buy clothes, vehicles, homes and more. But there are also many, many places to go where all goods are free. So, unless you want to rent land or get yourself some up-market goodies, there’s absolutely no need to spend any money in Second Life. It’s really a matter of choice. 

That's the end of my Top 3 List although there are lots more I could add. Hopefully I've managed set a few things straight. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, SL residents are not all sex-crazed, latent paedophiles who'd let our own kids go hungry because we just had to buy a virtual Maserati. Most of us are just normal folk who enjoy the creativity and freedom that an alternative reality offers. After all - we can fly! :) 

What's the number 1 SL misconception that you'd like to have cleared up? 
SL Art Article (page 44) in The Best of SL eZine.
The Best of SL (eZine)
The April 2012 issue contains a great article titled, 'State of the Arts' (page 44). It shines a light on art in SL today, along with some of the challenges artists are facing.