Peace is a Choice: the art artists of Second Life

Peace is a Choice, January 2023

In 2016 I visited the wrote by the Peace is a Choice Gallery, founded and curated by Dove (TheDove Rhode) and located on the north coast of Nautilus. Originally founded as the the S&S Gallery of Fine Art more than 15 years ago, the gallery has grown to a region-wide centre of 2D and 3D art, both collected by Dove and provided by the artists, the displays of art both indoors and out with event spaces.

At the time of my 2016, the focal point for the gallery was its impressive glass-and-steel main building (one of Calpo Wrexler’s extraordinary designs) which was bracketed by outdoor display areas and a dance studio. Whilst the main hall remains, the external facilities appear – at least to my eyes and a memory that is admittedly dimmed by the intervening years – have increased to offer more space for artists, including what appear to be dedicated parcels.

Peace is a Choice, January 2023

Within the main gallery building – the entrance to which forms the landing point for the centre – visitors may find 2D and 3D art, animated and static, by the likes of Cica Ghost, Bryn Oh, CioTToLiNa Xue, Chao’s’Chen (sChen), Moya Patrick (Moya Janus), Nessuno Myoo, Morlĭ (MORLITA Quan), Alo (Aloisio Congrejo), all of which have been provided by way of Dove’s personal collection of art, which are joined by pieces donated / exhibited by some of the artists named above and also the likes of Daco Monday, Robin Moore, Noke Yuitza, Russel Eponym, Gleman Jun, Fuschia Nightfire, and Ink van Helsinki (Instincta Starchild).

Beyond the main hall are additional installations of 3D art, together with some indoors and 2D gallery spaces. These outdoor areas present works by Vroum Short, Kerupa Flow, Haveit Neox, Kicca Igaly, Tansee, Igor Ballyhoo and several of the already-named artists above, together with dedicated spaces by Paula Cloudpainter (paula31atnight), Rage Darkstone and TerraMerhyem, Cherry Manga, and Vincent Priesley (sweetvincent).

Peace is a Choice: Vroum Short – January 2023

As I noted in August 2016, such is volume of art and its placement across the centre’s land, Peace is a Choice offers one of the most engaging displays of art:

Whether you start your explorations inside or outside the gallery is entirely a matter of choice; there is no set path to follow, and Dove has wisely placed the art so that there are no assigned areas for individual artists. This allows for some interesting juxtapositions of art, technique and expression, allowing visitors to gain a strong feel for contrasting styles among artists in Second Life.

– Myself, August 2016

Peace is a Choice, January 2023

Getting around the various installations can be a little bewildering – during my 2016 visit I found myself flycamming a lot, and did the same this time around. However, explorations during my original visit were also aide by the presences of a teleport system; while it is entirely possible I missed it this time around, I did try to keep an eye out for it. On the plus side, this encourages exploration on foot,

A further complication to easy exploration is that some of the parcels, such as by walking around the front and sides of the main gallery to reach the beach and and outside deck display areas. However, it was disappointing to note that some of the connecting exhibition parcels are restricted to those with Payment Information On File (PIOF). Whilst once a common practice to discourage griefing, used within what is intended to be a public space does run the risk of itself being seen as unwelcoming by those new to Second Life who are simply exploring and seeking places of interest to engage their curiosity, but who have not yet registered a payment method with Linden Lab.

Peace is a Choice, January 2023

This aside, Peace is a Choice makes for a fascinating visit, with much to see and and appreciate, with one of the richest cross-sections of art past and present to be found in Second Life.

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