PAC at Holly Kai: mini-update

Holly Kai Park: PAC gallery village

Just over a week ago, I wrote about Holly Kai Park becoming part of the new home for the Phoenix Artists Collaboration (PAC). At that time, most of the major work in preparing the park for PAC’s use had been completed, although there were a few more things to get done before we’d be ready for people to start moving in.

Since that time, there have been one or two unexpected changes to plans – largely down to me having a couple of those three o’clock in the morning ideas that tend to leave you thinking, “now, why didn’t I think of that to START with?” However, the major building work is now complete, and with 32 individual studio spaces for PAC artists.

The work has started in transitioning people across to the Park from the current PAC location, which will be shutting down on March 25th (so as to give time for the buildings and facilities there to be packed away before PAC’s lease on the region expires on April 1st).

Teleport boards at strategic points around the park offer an easy means to get around

We’re going to be transitioning people over in stages so that region performance can be monitored and adjustments made, if required, but on the whole, things are looking good. In the meantime, Audie has commenced work on providing the PAC sky platform as well, so that eventually PAC will have two centres of operation in SL, with cross-teleporting between them.

If you are an artist is SL looking for space to display your art, you might want to considering joining the Phoenix Artists Collaboration. Gallery spaces are provided free of charge, and we’re in the process of creating a social calendar for group members as well, with relaxed events to be launched at Caitinara Bar at Holly Kai.

The PAC Welcome Centre (l), open rezzing area for boats, and the east side galleries with Holly Kai Gallery above them

We’ll be planning an official opening for April, once all artists are settled in at the Park, which will include a group exhibition within the main gallery as well. News on this will be posted through the PAC in-world group, as will info on social events as they are developed. And for those interested in on-line news on PAC, Holly Kai Park and Seanchai Library, the Holly Kai Park website is being re-vamped and will be carrying new on PAC activities, as well as resuming coverage of Seanchai Library events.

So, please do feel free to drop-in to Holly Kai Park and have a wander! Follow the signposts or use the TP boards!

North galleries and interactive sculpture lawns

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Providing a home for PAC in Second Life

Holly Kai Park: the new east side with welcome area / landing point (foreground) and updated re-brick gallery spaces in the tiers rising to the main gallery

At the start of February I blogged about the The Phoenix Artists Collaboration (PAC) and its search for a new home / partners as a change in circumstance meant the group would lose their current in-world home from the the end of March 2020 (see Seeking ownership or sponsorship: the Phoenix Art Collaboration). Since that time, a couple of things have happened that mean the group now has new opportunities beyond April 1st 2020 – and I’m pleased to say I’ve been able to play a part in bring one about.

In short, starting later this month PAC will be relocating core operations to a new location: Holly Kai Park, and there will also be an additional set of studio spaces that will be made available for the group as it expands.

The Gallery Village – 19 single and two-storey studios units for artists

After thinking about my own  – being frank – failure to ensure the arts programme at Holly Kai Park continues to move forward and so leaving the park largely dormant, and the situation PAC faced, it struck me that both PAC and Holly Kai Park could mutually benefit one another, the latter providing a home for the former, and the former providing the much needed visual arts programme for the latter. So, discussions were started, and both Nber and Mark, owners of HRE, the parent estate for Holly Kai Park, and the core leaders of PAC Luke (Marshmal), Anibrm Jung and Will (Willyharris) were equally positive about the idea, so I started putting together a more formal set of ideas and a plan to revise Holly Kai Park’s layout to better suit PAC’s needs.

One concern with this was that at its launch, PAC had no fewer than 42 exhibiting artists (see: The Phoenix Artists Collaboration in Second Life) – and the numbers had since grown. Obviously, given its location and the fact that the region on which it sits is something of a shared environment, there was no way Holly Kai Park could provide a home to such a volume of artist – and fortunately, it doesn’t have to: thanks to the support of Audie Spade, additional exhibition space is being made available on a separate sky platform.

The Park Walks remain, but have been vastly cleaned-up to form more obvious links between the east and west art areas

Instead, the park can become something of a focal point for PAC activities, provide space for artists, room for 3D and Featured Artists exhibitions within the main gallery complex, as well as a primary Welcome & Information centre serving both PAC and the Park, and provide a social venue for PAC members,

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I’ve bee re-working the park to better suit PAC’s needs and serve as a base of operations (hence why my blogging has been a little slower than usual). While there is still a little more work to be carried out / finalised, we’re now just about at the point were artists can start transitioning from the current PAC facilities, which will vanish come April, and the park.

The Park retains some “permanent” 3D exhibits, notably the interactive Ice Castle by Giovanna Cerise (above) and Frankx Lefarve’s Reflections at Midnight

I’m not going to bore you with  litany of changes, instead I’ll just say that the park now comprises three distinct areas for visual arts:

  • East side: retains space for boat moorings and provides 4 individual studios for artists, together with Caitinara Bar and a new landing point / welcome centre (which I freely admit I ripped from the “skytower” home design I put together for Isla Pey).
  • Centre: the Holly Kai Gallery, retained for feature exhibitions and a further with eight east-facing artist studios built-in to the hill on which it stands, while the lawns to its front façade have been re-worked to provide space for up to 2 3D art exhibitions.
  • West side: the Art Village, with nineteen individual studio spaces in two designs, with open spaces and boulevards so as not to feel overcrowded.
Another look at the landing point / welcome centre (r) that will be housing information on the park, PAC and exhibitions as well as teleport options to go directly to any given studio gallery, with Caitinara Bar, (l)

At the same time, much improved links between the east and west sides of the park (including via Holly Kai Gallery) have been put in place whilst retaining the park like feel to the north and south of the gallery hill. Improvements have also been made to the park / Seanchai Library space so that the latter feels and looks to be more included in the park as a whole.

For artists who have exhibited at PAC’s original venue, the spaces at Holly Kai park are admittedly smaller, and the LI allowance per head has been reduced as a result, but the hope is this will encourage more variance / update in and of displays within the studios. Discussions are currently in hand as to how best to handle studio allocations and display periods, and to ensure a good flow of traffic between PAC at Holly Kai Park and the upcoming sky platform space.

A view of some of the gallery spaces tiered under Holly Kai Gallery. The bridge to the lest links directly with Seanchai Library, as does the path under it, which also connects to the west side Gallery Village

With the potential to offer space to up to 35 artists at a time, together with representation by Seanchai Library – with whom it is hoped joint events such as Stories at the Park can be (re)initiated, and with Caitinara Bar as a possible social centre for PAC, we  – the PAC Board of Trustees (of which I’m also now a member) and the HRE management team – Holly Kai Park will hopefully become a worthwhile home PAC artists and activities.

I’ll have more about any formal re-opening / exhibition launch in the near future. In the meantime, anyone wishing to visit the Park is welcome to do so via the SLurl below – but please keep in mind it’ll likely be another week or so before art starts to be displayed there.

The lawns to the front of Holly Kai Gallery now offer better space for 3D art installations

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The Art of Lu in Second Life

Holly Kai Gallery: Art of Lu: Fantasy and Nature

Now open at Holly Kai Gallery, in the first exhibition of our new season, is The Art of Lu: Fantasy and Nature, featuring the art of Lu Anne Anatine (LeeLu Anatine). It’s an exhibition I am absolutely delighted about, as I’ve been enthralled by Lu Anne’s art since I first encountered it at an exhibition at Diomita Plaza Gallery / R&D Gallery (read here for more).

A professional illustrator and digital artist in the physical world, Lu Anne produces some of the most stunning art I’ve had the privilege to see in Second Life. Her work is deeply nuanced; each image stands on its own as an incredible work of art, while many of them suggest that are actually a frame of a much broader story or tale we are invited to let our imaginations weave.

Holly Kai Gallery: The Art of Lu

This is particularly evident in the fantasy images. They offer us glimpses into other worlds, some of which may be from fiction, as with the marvellous Alice, other of which might be born straight from Lu’s own imagination and which feature elven folk and merfolk and more.

The use of birds and flowers within these images links them directly to the selection of nature art Lu has provided for the exhibition – and I was delighted to see Colours of Winter among the latter: this hangs in our lounge at home. It’s a piece that ably illustrates Lu’s use of colour – even when used almost minimally or in muted tones  – as a means of giving a generous depth to her work.

Holly Kai Gallery: The Art of Lu

Throughout all of her art, Lu offers a wonderful mix: these are richly digital images, and yet each one is alive; as alive as it might have been if the subject had been captured in real life via a photograph. It’s not hard to image the coal tit of Colours of Winter flittering rapidly away from its perch a moment after its image had been captured, or to have the merman reach out a hand to help guide you in Swimming Lesson. This breath of life is achieved through Lu’s compositional technique with her work.

The materials I use are a traditional and digital mix of mediums. I will render in graphite the line work for the paintings then scan them into Photoshop so then I can paint digitally. I use a Wacom Cintiq to paint and the programs I use cross between Photoshop and Corel Painter. I may even use other traditional mediums like water-colour as an under painting that gets scanned as well the possibilities are endless …

– Lu Anne Anatine on creating her art

Holly Kai Gallery: The Art of Lu

It’s an honour to have Lu Anne with us at holly Kai Park, and The Art of Lu will be open through until October 13th, 2018, and I invite you all to come along to Holly Kai Gallery and witness her work first hand – you will not be disappointed!

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All change at Holly Kai Park – again!

Seanchai Library with the gallery in the background

I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks re-working Holly Kai Park. This came about for a couple of reasons: I found that trying to run this blog, spend time relaxing in-world with Caitlyn (and running the bar) as giving time to that “real life” thing, meant trying to organise up to six artists per month to exhibit at the park each month got to be just a little too much. So for the last several months I’ve been mulling over precisely what to do with the park and pulling at the threads around the edges with little changes here and there.

In the end, it was a visit to Erebos Harbor (which you can read about here) that spurred an idea for me. Not to try to replicate that outstanding build by Leaf and Julz, but rather take the idea of an observatory and use that as the focal point for a new gallery space and revised park layout. And not just any observatory; there is one in particular I’ve always loved visiting when on the West Coast of the USA, which has a design I find captivating: Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. So a lot of my time for around the last 10 days has been focused on in-world building and poking and prodding with ideas.

Another view of the new gallery building, as seen from the lawns of Seanchai library. The steps linking the two with one another and the waterfront are visible in the foreground.

Things still aren’t entirely finished – there are the inevitable nips and tucks, and one or two things may yet be tweaked, but hopefully the news design and layout for the park is now complete.  This being the case, and allowing for said tweaks and the cleaning-up of sawdust from prim cutting and the shavings from mesh trimming, I’d thought I’d offer a note about what’s been done so far.

As noted above, the gallery building has been inspired by the major elements of the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles California – as I hope those familiar with that building will recognised. It’s not an exact replica of the Griffith; essentially I’ve taken the two main wings with their telescope domes, the main entrance and the rotunda of the planetarium and cut away some of the structure to the rear of the original (and all the underground bits!). I’ve also (for now!) left out the external stairways up to the roof and the telescope domes.

Holly Kai Gallery from the upper terrace, which will be used for displays of 3D art, such as Giovanna Cerise’s Ice Castle, seen left

Inside, the design encompasses four linked parts: the foyer / entrance area, two gallery spaces contained within the building’s wings and an events space in the rotunda at the back of the building for exhibition openings. The gallery spaces can either be used for individual exhibits of art (allowing Holly Kai to display two artists at a time) or for a single display spanning both wings. It’s a little Spartan inside as of now, as I’m still mulling over interior fixtures and lighting.

Just below the gallery is a large terrace area with lawns and cypress trees. This is currently home to two interactive 3D art installations: Ice Castle by Giovanna Cerise and Reflections at Midnight by Frankx LeFarve; a smaller piece by Frankx is also displayed on one of the lawns. This terrace and lawns will be used to present 3D art from various artists and friends quite separately from any exhibitions within the gallery.

Given this is a radical makeover for the park, we have a new landing point. This is located within a new information centre, which might be a little cramped, so we’ll see how it goes and perhaps move it outdoors if people find it an issue. The info centre is still being equipped, but there is a large map of the park on one wall to allow visitors to get oriented, and which has information on the park and on Seanchai Library, whom we’re honoured to have as partners sharing the grounds with us.

Holly Kai Park Information Centre and Landing Point

The map has a couple of active web links in it – click the blue URLs to go to either the Holly Kai Park website and blog or to Seanchai Library’s website. Once things have settled down and the sawdust from cutting prims has been cleared away, active teleport links will be added to the map as well.

Also in the centre is a donations kiosk for Feed A Smile. We don’t take venue tips at the park, but we do ask that those who enjoy a visit to consider making a donation of L$100 at the kiosk (one the others to be found at various points in the park and its facilities) to help feed a young child in Kenya – and yes, as incredible as it may sound, L$100 is enough to provide a Kenyan child with a hot meal!

Between the information point and the Gallery terraces, is a “mid-level” terrace. This is home to the Holly Kai Café, with seating indoors and out (and I may be expanding the outdoor area to create a little more room! I also have a small studio area on this level for my SL photographs.

The Holly Kai Café

Getting between the terraces is achieved via the stairways – just look for the stone steps on the east side waterfront and follow the grass paths – everything is signposted as well!

One of the things that has bugged me about the park design – and it’s been entirely my fault – is that on the east side it’s always felt as if it’s not a single park area, but three distinct parts of a region that aren’t really related other than by position: the Art Hill, with Seanchai Library to the south, and Caitinara Bar and the Medici Collection – 2D and 3D art from Nber Medici’s personal collection – to the north.

Replacing the Art Hill with the new design has allowed me to rectify this. Paths from the gallery and its terraces now directly link to Seanchai Library and to the Medici Collection (the former path also giving access to the Park Walk that leads via an under-tree trail to the Pavilion and our bumper boats pool). This will, I hope mean that these three elements now feel part of a contiguous park looking out over the water.

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Caitinara Bar

Caitinara Bar, meanwhile, has been re-oriented to face the park’s bay with its piers for visiting boats. It also has an expanded outdoor seating area which linking it to one of the ways up to the gallery terraces. All of this will hopefully again make the bar feel more a part of the park as a whole. As a result of this, there’s also an updated landing point for Caitinara Bar.

The piers have mooring for up to 2 hours – small to medium-sized boats are welcome. Boats can be re-rezzed in the waters between the piers, if required.

There have been some revisions to the Pavilion events area on the west side of the park. At the time of writing, this is still a work in progress, with potential further changes to be made as we strive to make this a more flexible area of a wide variety of events. The landing point, however, remains unchanged and also serves the park’s bumper boats.

The Pavilion has been revised with a new stage area and the removal of the glass domes

These changes have obviously resulted in some extensive changes to the park itself. However, the park walk looping around the base of the gallery hill remains in place, and offers the way to various secluded spots visitors are free to enjoy.

So that’s it! I’m still working on bits here and there, as noted, but if you fancy dropping by, you’re welcome to so so and as of today unlike to find the grounds cluttered with bits of mesh or face the risk of a building suddenly rezzing overhead  – or the ground beneath you suddenly moving (or vanishing!).

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All location are on Holly Kai Estates, rated: Moderate

Feed A Smile at Holly Kai Park, April 14th 2018

Feed a Nautical Smile, April 14th 2018 The Pavilion, Holly Kai Park

The Second Nautical Smile event in aid of Feed A Smile / Live and Learn Kenya takes place on Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Organised and hosted by Rossini Events.

The event will take place at The Pavilion, Holly Kai Park, and will feature seven hours of live music starting at 11:00 SLT, from some of Second Life’s top entertainers.

Event Schedule

The event schedule at the time of writing is as follows. For updates and the latest news, please follow the Rossini Events link above. All times SLT.

11:00 am
Thera Singer
12:00 Noon
Hedy Patrucci
1:00 pm
Neomaximus Brandenburg
2:00 pm
Viviana Houston
2:30 pm
MichaelJackson Follet
3:00 pm
Max Kleene
4:00 pm
Quartz
5:00 pm
Jacq Luik

All proceeds go directly to Feed A Smile via the donation kiosk.

About Feed A Smile

Feed A Smile is a programme run by Live and Learn Kenya (LLK) to provide nutritious warm lunches for over 400 children every day, paid for entirely from donations to the project. It is part of a broader programme managed by LLK, which includes finding sponsors to finance the education of children in Kenya, helping to provide them with everything they need: uniforms, shoes, text books, school supplies, etc., and even building a school in Nakuru, Kenya.

In addition, the organisation also provides medical and dental care for children, including check-ups and vaccinations. 100% of the donations received by LLK are transferred directly to Kenya to care for children, provide education, medicine, food, shelter and foster care. Nothing is lost to salaries, fees or administrative costs at LLK.

About Rossini Events

Rossini Events was established in July 2016, and is managed by MichaelJ Rossini. Organising private and public events in Second Life. Rossini Events especially prides itself on charity fund-raising, with monthly events supporting Feed a Smile, Relay for Life and Making Strides. Everyone involved in Rossini Events donates their time free of charge, and every penny raised goes directly to the charity concerned. For further information, please contact MichaelJ Rossini in-world, or email to michaeljrossini-at-gmail.com.

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Holly Kai Park: Caitinara remodelling

The new Caitinara Bar façade (with thanks for the inspiration to Dandy and Belle)

In February, Holly Kai Park went through a revamp, which included the introduction of a new subterranean Caitinara Bar. When I started on the park re-design, Caitlyn and I mulled over numerous ideas for taking the bar underground, including looking at various ideas for containing an entire building within a rocky structure. In the end, nothing seemed to fit until we opted for the “subway” style of layout we’ve had in place since February.

However, if I’m totally honest, the front façade of the club hasn’t entirely sat well with me; the cave-like entrance fitted the broad theme of the club being within a rocky plateau, but it didn’t really draw attention to the place. Simply put: if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there; Which is a bit of a shame, given the public waterways passing by the park. The problem has been what to do about it.

The new saloon bar sits within its own façade to one side of the dance floor

I didn’t really come up with an answer until CAitlyn and I visited BarDeco and Kekeland, the fabulous region designed by Dandy Warhloll (Terry Fotherington) and Belle des Champs (Bridget Genna) (see my review here). As soon as I saw the façade they’d created, I realised what Caitinara Bar was lacking. So taking their idea, I set out to see what I could do with it, and dropped them both a line to let them know what I was doing.

My first port of call was to ArmyStone’s store. He produced the façade used at BarDeco, and frankly, I wanted to use the same item, just modified somewhat to suit our needs. It comes in a pack of units, and I wasn’t sure if it would be something the creator would be prepared to modify as a one-off. My concern was ill-founded. Not only was he more than willing – the work was done within 24 hours of my request being made, the only condition being I bought an entire version of the kit (for the same retail price – L$600) containing the updated section. This also turned out to be a benefit, as looking at the other items, the idea of a complete rebuild of the club presented itself to me, from dance floor, through bar to art display area.

The Gallery area overlooking the dance floor – staircase by

So, cutting a long story short, the new bar design is now up and running. For those familiar with the “old” design, the club is smaller than it was – which is no bad thing. It’s also now spilt into three areas: the dance floor (with a mezzanine gallery above the entrance), flanked on either side by a new saloon bar and the art display area.

The idea for the snug-style saloon bar came as a direct result of another of the buildings in the pack from ArmyStone: a wall with an ornate lintel over the doorway simply demanded to be used. I also had a wall panelling set from LISP I’d never put to use, and that fitted the idea of the saloon bar perfectly. With additional table and wall lighting from Maxwell Graf, we were all set.

The Saloon. Panelling from Apple Fall, lighting by Maxwell Graf

We’re not planning any kind of grand opening or suchlike, but we do hope those visiting the park will pop in to Caitinara and have a look around – and if the mood takes, hop along to either our Wednesday or Friday music evenings, both of which start at 4:00pm SLT. Should you do so, projected lighting is used throughout the design (as it was in the “old” bar), so a visit with Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled is recommended (you doe not have to enable performance-killing shadows to see projected lighting effects). If your Windlight doesn’t change on entering the bar structure, please flick over to Midnight as well.

SLurl Details

  • Caitinara Bar, Holly Kai Park (Holly Kai Estates, rated: Moderate)