As a rule, I’m not a great believer in self-promotion, however, I also have to admit to being delighted and honoured to be invited by John Huntsman to present some of my images of the places I’ve visited in SL in the opening exhibition of 2021 for Kultivate Magazine’s Loft Gallery.
As I’ve oft – and genuinely – stated, I do not consider myself as “artist” when compared to the many, many talents of genuine artists who have a genuine talent for bring Second Life and its avatars to life; my work is really attempts at illustrating the places I visit rather than trying to be any form of artistic statement. So, when I receive an invitation such as this, I am genuinely (and quite considerably) honoured and flattered. In this case, very, very much so, given the calibre of artist who are generally invited to exhibit at the Kultivate galleries.
I’m also not great with opening events – I prefer to keep to the background and patter / putter around where I can’t be notice. However, and all things being equal, I’ll be at the Loft for the opening John and Tempest have arranged, and I hope that you’ll drop by either for the opening event from 12 noon SLT on sunday, January 3rd, or over the next few weeks and have a peek at the images I’ve selected for the exhibition.
Many thanks again to John and Tempest for arrange this exhibition.
Currently open – for a while longer, at least, given I’m getting to this piece very much on the late side! – are two exhibitions by artists I both appreciate and admire: Michiel Bechir and Sisi Biedermann, who between them present two very different, but equally captivating selections of images for visitors to appreciate and, if they so wish, purchase.
Anyone who is familiar with my coverage of the arts in Second Life knows I am enormously inspired by Sisi’s work, which I categorise as some of the most unique and captivating in Second Life. A digital mixed-media artist, Sisi’s subject matter tends to be wide-ranging, covering everything from the natural world through in-world settings to the fantastical and even touching on the abstract and the near-surreal. This is enough to make her work attention-holding, displaying as they do a richness of imagination, style and colour.
However, what, for me, makes Sisi’s work doubly captivating is her ability to layer her pieces such that whilst each is a static piece, it has a sense of being alive; there is something inherently tactile about it that makes you want to run your fingers over it and feel the life within.
All of this is very much on display with her selection of art on display at the Kultivate Signature Gallery. There, spread over the three floors of the gallery space are 24 pieces that richly demonstrate Sisi’s artistry, including a ground-level display of six pieces celebrating her visits to a number of famous cities around the world. These are particularly engaging as the both capture the very essence of landmarks from the places Sisi has visited – The Elizabeth Tower (originally the Clock Tower) of London’s Palace of Westminster, The Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, and New York’s Empire State Building and Chrysler Building (appearing twice) should all be instantly recognisable.
An aspect of these six in particular that I found particularly attractive is that five appear to suggest they have been physically etched rather than photo-layered, and the sixth – with Elizabeth Tower in the foreground – having an also embroidered look to it, thus making these pieces particularly organic in their styling.
The remaining two floors of the gallery hold further pieces of Sisi’s work waiting to engage and en trace. All are richly textured and coloured, inviting the imagination to take flight.
A short walk (or quick teleport) away is the Kultivate Loft Gallery, where Michiel Bechir is currently exhibiting some 32 pieces of his Second Life landscape art, including several in a panoramic format that truly captures the breadth of the regions they represent, whilst four offer a dip into combining landscape with with avatar studies, featuring a subject in period dress suggestive of a Victorian woman of means on her travels.
What I find attractive in Michiel’s work is the manner in which he brings a location to life through camera placement and use of camera angle, always presenting us with a unique view of a place that brings out its natural beauty. His use of post processing also demonstrates a constrained touch that is just sufficient enough to add an evocative edge to his work without becoming top-heavy.
For this exhibition, Michiel has taken the opportunity to present his pieces as collections: most of the the display areas between the building’s structural support offer three or four images from the same location – the aforementioned Victorian Lady images, for example, were all captured in Witchwood. Thus, these pieces become more than individual pieces (although they can be purchased as such), but also sets of images that can be purchased and displayed together at home, making them very collectable.
I admit to not being too sure as to how long Sisi and Michiel will remain on display at Kultivate – these were exhibitions that started in September, so I really would recommendation that if they tickle your artistic fancy, you hop over to Kultivate sooner rather than later.
Currently on display at the Kultivate Signature Gallery, curated by Johannes Huntsman, and running through until the end of August 2020, is an exhibition of art from the physical world painted by KismaKSR – or Kisma K. Stepanich-Reidling as she is known outside of Second Life.
Defining Kisma isn’t easy, as she is a woman of many talents – artist, published author, curator (notably working with Reiner Schneiber, head curator for various worldwide Biennales), gamer, therapeutic art life coach, immersive 2D / 3D artist, and currently a creativity teacher-in-training! As an artist, she works in a range of mediums including acrylics, watercolours, gouache, pastels, coloured pencils, graphite, texture paste, stencils, and more.
I paint what I see inside. I love working in art journals, creating altered book art journals, and taking my creations from the page to the canvas… and on occasion from the canvas to the page! My creative journey is based in watercolours but has taken me into so many mediums that I believe I love acrylics the most.
I love working in layers… lots and lots of layers, distressing paintings, vibrant colourful paintings, collage paintings and sketch paintings. I also work with encaustic wax and fibres, throwing in the making of journals and fibre weaving to create embellished covers.
– Kisma K. Stepanich-Reidling
For her exhibition at Kultivate’s Signature gallery, Kisma presents 16 reproductions of her physical world art that fully embody her approach to her subject: all richly expressive, some offering hints of expressionism, others perhaps leaning a little towards surrealism and still others more abstracted in nature. Every piece speak of Kisma’s Intentional Creativity approach to her work: the act of being aware of thoughts, ideas, feelings, and of self, and allowing all of this to inform and shape whatever task is being undertaken – be it making a soup to writing a musical score or – as in this case – producing works of art.
These are pieces that also include subtle cultural undertones to them that can be form in form, style, colour and symbolism. These touches add further depth to Kisma’s work, infusing them with a sense of of humankind’s cultural heritage through the ages – something we tend to too easily lose sight of in the modern age of technology and bustle.
Running from Friday, July 10th through Sunday July 12th is the Kultivate Dene Gallery’s latest exhibition, Resolution. This is a special 3-day event curated by Tempest Rosca-Huntsman, and forms Dene Gallery’s first exhibition as a part of the Kultivate family.
Some 30 artists are taking part in the event, as follows: Beuanna Banana, Brian2 Werefox, ByrneDarkly Cazalet, CalebBryant Resident, Giselle Chauveau, Inara Pey, Ivyana Szondi, Johannes Huntsman, Kacey Macbeth, Kalina Sands, Ladycharis, Lam Erin, LawrenceD, Morgaine Blackrain, Myra Wildmist, Nugget Ichibara, Paradox Mercury, PinkRayne, Reya Darkstone, Rockcail Resident, Roman Godde, serenaelia, sirspanking, Skip Staheli, Skye Fairywren, Sugarfairy88 Resident, Tempest Rosca, TrishaSrose, Whata Conundrum, & Wicca Merlin.
The event will feature live entertainment across the three days, with the schedule lining up as follows (all times SLT):
Friday, July 10, 2020:
15:00-16:00: Samuel James.
16:00-17:00: Abby Jaidov.
Saturday, July 11, 2020:
14:00-15:00: Wolfie Starfire.
15:00-16:00: Jesie Janick.
Sunday, July 12, 2020:
11:00-Noon: Max Kleene.
Noon-13:00: DimiVan Ludwig.
13:00-14:00: Samm Qendra.
About Dene Gallery and Kultivate
Dene Gallery is located in Rosehaven. The gallery is curated by Tempest Rosca-Huntsman and highlights one artist each month. As a part of the Kultivate brand, it joins the Windlight Art Gallery, The Edge Gallery, Kultivate Loft Gallery, Kultivate Signature Gallery, & Kultivate Select Gallery. To mark Dene Gallery’s joining the Kultivate family, Resolution is being held at Kultivate’s home region of Water Haven.
Kultivate’s goal is to promote and support the cultural aspects of Second Life. Kultivate is also the official sponsor and media partner of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team of The American Diabetes Association. Learn more by visiting their website.
Long-term Second Life resident DimiVan Ludwig – Dimi to his friends – is a man of many talents: business owner, musician and photographer. As a business owner, he created and ran the Hummingbird Café between 2006 and 2011, and is also the owner of the Duval Pub. As a musician, he was a regular performer at both, and at venues across SL, including Menorca, the first live music venue in Second Life (2005) and recently re-created in-world.
As a photographer, DimiVan works both in the physical and digital worlds, and his work from both is currently the subject of an exhibition at the Kultivate Signature Gallery.
The introduction to the exhibition notes:
He calls himself a novice, but those who have seen his photographs would say otherwise. He frames his shots with the final product in mind, editing very little in post production. He uses his Nikon d3500 to shoot real life landscapes. In Second Life, he prefers to snap portraits utilising the features provided by LUMIPro.
On witnessing the pieces on display, I would have to agree to the first part of this statement: there is a natural framing to the pieces, whether avatar study, physical world portrait or landscape (from either realm), that presents the subject matter in singular depth that is a delight to witness and marks Dimi as having a natural eye for photography.
Presented across the three floors of the gallery space, there is also a certain thematic approach to way they have been laid out. On the lower floor, the focus is predominantly from Second Life, presenting on the one side avatar studies (although with a couple of portrait images from the physical world), and on the other Second Life landscapes. On the middle level are photos from the physical world, whilst the upper is reserved for Second Life images of a more intimate / adult nature and which should probably be regarded as NSFW.
I admit to being particularly drawn to the pictures on the mid-level. This is not to say I do not appreciate the SL photographs – I do. But there is such a depth and marvellously natural set to each of the images from the physical world, that they naturally draw the eye; in fact I’d go so far as to say that one in particular demonstrates that as well as having a flair for capturing the natural world, Dimi potentially has a keen eye for astronomical photography.
Another excellent exhibition for Kultivate, featuring a gifting artist.
Friday June 12th, 2020, marks the opening of the Kultivate’s Magazine 5th anniversary art show in Second Life, with the event running through until Sunday June 14th, inclusive, which art, music and entertainment for all who visit.
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life, its goal is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. The brand includes the magazine, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Edge Gallery of Black & White Imagery, The Kultivate Loft Gallery, Signature Gallery, AIR Gallery and the Select Gallery. It addition, Kultivate Magazine is the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorised fund-raising team for The American Diabetes Association.
For the anniversary weekend, Kultivate presents a 2D and 3D art exhibition with some 31 artists participating, including: aht1981, Akiko.Tripsa, AlexAvion, Angel Heartsong, Anibrm Jung, Anouk Lefavre, archgothica, DrusillaGwind Resident, Elle Thorkveld, Francis Bagration, Hana Hoobinoo, ilyra chardin, Inara Pey, Jamee Sandalwood, Johannes Huntsman, Kapaan, Karma Weymann, KismaKSR Resident, Myra Wildmist, Reycharles Resident, Rissy Feiri, Sabine Mortenwold, Sheba Blitz, SkinTrader Greyskin, softandred, Syphera Inaka, talligurl resident, Tempest Rosca-Huntsman, Vanessajane66, Veruca Tammas, Vita theas, & wintergeist.
Obviously, with so many artists participating, the range of art on display is broad, with avatar studies, landscapes, colour images, monochrome, physical world paintings, mixed media, and more. All of the art is displayed in the open air, with the region’s default windlight providing a strong neutral background light to fully appreciate the pieces on display.
Entertainment for the weekend comprises (all times SLT):
Friday June 12th:
16:00-17:00: live performer Nina Setner + 10 slide show frames giveaway, 1 Templar Poses poseback giveaway, & L$1,000 Trompe L’Oeil Gift Card giveaway.
17:00-18:00: live performer Melenda Baptiste + 10 slide show frames giveaway, 1 Templar Poses posepack giveaway, & L$1,000 Trompe L’Oeil Gift Card giveaway.
Saturday, June 13th:
16:00-17:00: live performer Samuel James + 10 lucky winners of L$250 each & Templar Poses posepack giveaway.
17:00-18:00: live performer Aislen Sings +10 lucky winners of L$250 each & Templar Poses posepack giveaway.
Sunday, June 14th:
13:00-14:00: live performer Max Kleene + 1 Lumipro giveaway.
So be sure to hop along and join the celebrations and enjoy the art!