Artful Expressions in Second Life: Maxie and Cyoko

Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon
Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon

Sorcha Tyles opened the next exhibit at Artful Expressions, her boutique gallery, on Saturday, March 4th, featuring the work of Maxie Daviau and Cyoko Xoon (AkomoXoon). Once again it’s a fascinating pairing of styles.

To give full disclosure, I’m familiar with Maxie’s work; she’s both a friend, and recently exhibited her work at Holly Kai Park; as such, I might be said to be a tad biased. But only a tad: Maxie’s work carries enough depth of its own to stand without prompting from me, and I’m delighted to see her exhibiting at Artful Expressions.

Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau
Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau

Nine pieces of her work are on display, the majority of them landscapes, and all fully demonstrate Maxie’s eye for an image and her ability to take a picture of a location and create an evocative story through considered use of cropping and post-processing. These really are pieces which each tell a story, whether it is one of a journey along old railway tracks, as the shadowy form of a steam train emerges from a tunnel with all the mystery of where it might be going, and who might be occupying the carriages it pulls; or whether it is musing about all the stories the aged and bent trees featured in a number of her shots might be able to tell us, if only they could speak.

Rounded-off by an equally evocative self-portrait, this is an excellent selection of Maxie’s work, and one I have no hesitation in recommending.

Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau
Artful Expressions: Maxie Daviau

Cyoko Xoon, I have to admit, is a name I’ve not previously encountered – and am possibly the poorer for not having done so. Like Maxie, she has an eye and talent for taking a snapshot and turning it into an extraordinary work of art.

As with Maxie, nine pieces of Cyoko’s work are on display, these with a strong emphasis on wildlife  – and the angles Cyoko has chosen to capture them adds a depth of life to each one which is fabulous to see. Careful Contact, Aggressive and Care in particular are utterly captivating, with Care (seen at the top of this review) in particular the kind of piece I would have no hesitation in hanging in my physical world home, were it possible. Landscapes  also feature in Cyoko’s select, and these are as equally captivating as her wildlife pictures, expressing the same depth and life in each and utilising a similar approach to camera positioning and angle.

Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon
Artful Expressions: Cyoko Xoon

Maxie and Cyoko are two more artists with exceptional ability to bring a new perspective to the world around them, and they will be on display at Artful Expressions through until the end of March 2017. Not to be missed – and don’t forget Sorcha’s own art on display on the ground floor.

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The Calas Skate-o-Rama in Second Life

Calas Skate-O-Rama
Calas Skate-O-Rama

“We got bored!” Ty Tenk of Calas Galadhon fame laughed, passing me an invite for Caitlyn and I to visit the Calas Skate-o-Rama. “Rolling skating in the middle of the desert. But be careful crossing the highway!”

It actually took us a couple of days to get the opportunity to visit, but with Friday night sitting with us, we hopped over to find out more – and in Typical Ty and Truck style, the venue is fetchingly presented and a lot of fun.

Calas Skate-O-Rama: line dancing - on roller skates!
Calas Skate-O-Rama: line dancing – on roller skates!

Visitors arrive at a roadside stop on Route 66. The moon hovers low in the sky, and sandstone mesas break-up the horizon. Across the road, resplendent in neon and  art deco styling, sits the Calas Skate–O-Rama, searchlights sweeping the darkening skies. This is a poplar place: the asphalt car park is almost full. Once across the road, the deco style doors to the arena beckon – and hide a secret. Step through them, and far from leaving the desert skies behind and you going indoors, you enter an open-air rink, a 50’s style diner to one side, and a live performance stage on the other.

Between them sits the skating floor, and it is built to take a fair few! Roller skates can be obtained from the giver just inside the arena entrance – you just need to join the Calas Announcements Group if you’re not already a member. Swap your shoes for the skates, turn off your AO and you are all set.  You can then free skate or – using the pose and dance system (instructions supplied in the air over them) – you can skate and dance.

Calas Skate-O-Rama: the burger bar fuels engery - and help keep you warm under that clear desert sky!
Calas Skate-O-Rama: the burger bar help keep your energy up – and keep you warm under that clear desert sky!

It’s surprisingly a lot of fun, particularly if there are a number of you; and as is always the case at the Calas regions (the arena is on the Calas special events region of Erebor), the music is superbly selected. There are regular live music events planned throughout March as well, so check the Calas Galadhon blog for details.

Should you need a break from the dancing, you can enjoy a burger at the bar (or have it delivered to you by one of the roller skating staff 🙂 ), or take a seat on the couches to the side of the skating floor. And if you fancy a wander, the desert is worth seeing, and has one or two surprises!

Calas Skate-O-Rama: take care when crossing the road - there are big rigs passing!
Calas Skate-O-Rama: take care when crossing the road – there are big rigs passing!

As we skated, I asked Ty what would be happening at the end of March. “Oh, we have a few things planned for over the summer!” he said with a smile and a wink, but without saying more. We look forward to finding out – and to hopping back to the Skate-O-Rama well before then!

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RFL 2017 season kick-off weekend

RFL of SL 2017 theme
RFL of SL 2017 theme

The weekend of Saturday, March 4th and Sunday March 5th see the official kick-off weekend for the 2017 Relay for Life of Second Life season. It marks the start of the season’s major events, with three taking place over the course of the weekend:

  • The season’s opening ceremony.
  • The start of Paint It Purple.
  • The opening of Fashion for Life.

Kick-Off Event

Festivities will commence at 09:00 SLT on the morning on Saturday, March 4th, with the opening ceremony at 10:00am SL. A track has been laid, passing through all the years that RFL of SL has been active, and the stage reflects the event’s theme: Passport to Hope.

Paint It Purple

Saturday, March 4th, 2017 marks the start of RFL of SL’s Paint SL Purple week.

Running through until Sunday, March 12th, the campaign is aimed raising awareness and excitement as the official launch of the year’s fund-raising season for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society draws near, by encouraging residents to paint the grid purple, the official colour of RFL of SL.

So how does it work? The official description of the campaign explains:

Turn your world purple. Wear purple clothes, purple hair, even purple skin. Turn your house purple, paint your grass purple! Do you own a store? Paint your store purple. The goal is for people to take notice!

And why purple? Because it’s the official colour of Relay For Life, and is the colour representing  every type of cancer, while RFL raises money for research into all types of cancers.

There will be purple-themed events at the special Purple zone, to the west of the American Cancer Society region, and sitting between it and the kick-off celebration grounds. Events launch at 09:00 SLT on Saturday, March 4th with the Paint SL Purple Party!

If you fancy going purple for the week in support for RFL of SL, you can get a Paint SL Purple kit in-world at the American Cancer Society region.

The Paint it Purple Stage
The Paint it Purple Stage

Fashion For Life

RFL of SL’s major fashion event, Fashion For Life, launches on Sunday, March 5th and runs through until Sunday March 19th.

Fashion for Life aims to provide an incredible shopping and entertainment experience featuring unique items, runway shows and music. Past themes for the event have included: I(2007); St. Patrick’s Day (2008), Pirates (2009), Fashion Capitols of the World (2010), Beyond Black and White (2011) … all te way up to 2016’s That’s Entertainment! This years theme is: Glam, and styles will range from formal to bohemian in a beautiful high fashion glamorous setting to the south of the American Cancer Society region.

The Fashion for Life catwalk
The Fashion for Life catwalk

About Relay For Life of Second Life

Relay For Life of Second Life is an annual fund-raising event that takes place in Second Life in July each year. Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fund-raising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build camp sites and walk a track, just like a Real World Relay. Since 2005, RFL of SL has raised over US $2.5 million for the American Cancer Society.  Since 1985, Relay For Life has become an international movement with over 5,000 Relays being held around the world. As of July 2014, RFL of SL ranks 17 out of 5,000! In fact, RFL of SL is the most global Relay event with teams and volunteers and supporters from more than 90 countries, worldwide.

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