Artscape: a cosy community arts venue in Second Life

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022

Early in August 2022, Chic Aeon dropped me a note concerning a new venture on her part – Artscape Gallery Village, designed to be a small community hub for artists, offering (among other benefits) free gallery spaces to those interested located within an landscaped location and surrounding a central gallery.

Artscape Village is public arena for both established and new artists.   
The village goal is to be a realistic rendition of our corporeal world, and possibly a stepping stone to connections beyond our keyboards. Gallery space is provided free with Pay It Forward quarterly gifts for art lovers. The aim is to enhance visibility for virtual artists as well as act as an introduction to pixelated creativity for those new to Second Life.

– Chic Aeon on Artscape Village

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022

Located on a Homestead region, Artscape Village is intentionally small, the emphasis being on fostering a community feel to the setting, whilst encouraging artists both new and established within Second Life with a modest space in which to display and sell their work. Some 24 boutique galleries are offered in little blocks of four apiece. Built by Chic herself these have something of an adobe pueblo look took them, and sit as two groups of twelve around three sides of a pair of terraces which in turn bracket the central gallery.

The latter takes the form of the Zujin Modern Estate by Cory Edo, which as Chic explains, helped to push her into developing Artscape Gallery Village:

My inspiration in part was the new build from Cory Edo of Trompe Loeil, a brand who I have been blogging for continuously over the last ten years. It is spectacular and as I was taking photos I couldn’t help envision the modern structure as a gallery. A few days later I went out looking for land and found that a region I had rented before was one of the few homesteads out there. Serendipity and I are good friends.

– Chic Aeon on Artscape Village

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022 – Main Gallery

The boutique galleries come with 35 LI in which can be used to display art and put out suitable supporting décor. In addition, and for those who may need them, Artscape Village offers group members a choice of unfurnished and furnished skyboxes for those in need of a small home, together with a communal arts sky platform when working.

The unfurnished skyoboxes offer a 50 LI allowance for furnishings, and the furnished versions a 25 LI allowance for additional décor. They are also offered for free, and artists displaying at Artscape should contact Chic if interested in obtaining one.- but again, please note that they are intended for those without a regular home in Second Life.

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022 – furnished skybox

Applications for gallery spaces – there were a number still available when I visited while writing this piece – can be made via note card; click the Application board at the signage within the gallery’s landing point. The application card includes a series of guidelines and rules for the Village which should obviously be read, and completed cards should be dropped onto the Leave A Notecard board within the same signage as the Application board.

In addition the guidelines / rules set out within the Application note card, there are some additional points of note to be found within the Artscape web pages (both within the Rules page and elsewhere). These include points such as Artscape being reserved for human avatar artists (to enhance the “real life” feel to the setting), and that the skyboxes cannot be used as additional gallery space and the galleries cannot be used as any form of living space. Given this, a look through the web pages is encouraged when thinking of applying.

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022 – terrace and boutique galleries

As  well as the boutique galleries spaces and skyboxes, benefits in getting involved with Artscape include the opportunity to be a part of a small community of like-minds (at least in terms of art!); being able to display and/or sell your art in an environment which is somewhat optimised for a good experience (one not cluttered with dozens of unique meshes and textures (outside of the art itself!), etc.), and the potential for group activities:

There may be classes in the future. I have experience teaching colour theory and composition along with leading critique groups that aren’t too painful (always start with the positive).

– Chic Aeon on Artscape Village

A unique aspect to the setting is the gallery itself. Rather than being the home to rotating displays of art, forms a central display area in which pieces by group members are displayed, together with a name board of the artist. Clicking the latter will open the World Map and allow you to teleport to their little gallery. At the time of my visit, the upper levels of the gallery were given over to communal social spaces, offering further opportunities for artists and visitors to mingle.

Artscape Gallery Village, September 2022 – gallery discussion room

With 3D sculptures from Chic’s personal collection occupying some of the garden space, Artscape Gallery Village is an engaging and (given Chic is covering the tier cost) generous idea for helping foster arts and arts communities in SL, and is well worth a visit whether you are an artist or a patron of art in Second Life.

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