Friday, June 3, 2011

Raglan Shire, and the 2011 ArtWalk

In May, the Raglan Shire area had it’s annual art show, or “ArtWalk.” The sims are most noted for being the home of Second Life’s best known community of “tinies,” but the ArtWalk attracts attention throughout the grid. The “sim cluster,” as the Raglan region called itself, boasted an open-air art show with “the works of 120 artists over two sims. ... Artists gridwide have converged to exhibit their RL photography and art and SL photography and sculpture in this annual arts festival.”

It was the final day of the ArtWalk in which I was able to port over to see things for myself. Raglan itself has an appearance that reminded me of a storybook with it’s treehouses, small homes and furnishings, and all that greenery. There was quite a bit of hedgerow around, which the two-dimensional art was displayed on. At the spot I ported to, there was a rezzer for a “hedge boat,” with one seat for tiny avatars, another for normal-sized. One could use it to take a little tour around the part of the sim with the show’s paintings and photographs. There was indeed *a lot* of artwork on the hedges.

Besides the paintings, drawings, and photos, there were also some examples of three dimensional artwork. In the Heron Shire sim, there were a number of sculptures. Some looked like what one would find at an art museum. Others were designed in part to be interactive, such as a four-chambered meditation chamber. I would later be told there were about “70 sculptures from 24 artists.” The third part of the exhibit was the Director’s Show in the Raglan Tree Gallery. There were two artists featured there, Teal Freenote, and Tia MacBain, both from the Tiatopia sim (which featured an autism event last year). Among the art was a hollow globe which was cracked open and a crystaline figure peeking out.

While looking around, I ran into one of the tiny feline residents, Jillian McMillan. Talking about the art show, and it’s hedgerows, “we love our hedge!” she mentioned the greenery had it’s origins from a real life art show, “The entire ArtWalk idea was inspired by Raglan owner Zayn Till's visits to Seattle's Art Walk. He wanted to recreate the experience, art in a park.” Another tiny, a bunny, soon stopped by, Karmagirl Avro. Asked by Jillian if she knew more about the art show, “Yes, I know a ‘ tiny ‘ bit more. (grin) That a joke.”

Karmagirl told me a little more about the displays, “I myself have a few pieces of real-life photography, one real-life painting, and several Second Life photographs up.” Karmagirl also mentioned some artwork was up for sale, and she had spent quite a bit, “anything that makes me smile and laugh out loud, I buy.” She pointed to one section, which had a number of elephant faces, including a spoof of “American Gothic,” “ I bought this whole collection here. It’s just so whimsical, it catches the spirit of the Shire: funny, creative, silly, very well paw crafted. Two paintbrushes up. Wayyyy up!!”

Karmagirl offered to teleport the artist over, saying of the elephant faces, “that is her avatar,” saying she had worked herself virtually into the artwork. And soon the tiny elephant appeared, with a golfing bag over her shoulder, “oh, she was golfing, look at that.” The tiny pachyderm introduced herself as StainlessSteelRat Solo. Karmagirl commented, “StainlessSteelRat is one of the newer tinies here, but fits in quite nicely. She won the ornament contest for the Winterfest. ... we here in the Shire encourage everyone to participate, explore, and create.” “Especially flaming cheese!” StainlessSteelRat commented. When I asked what she meant, the small pachyderm produced a stick with a wedge of cheese stuck on the end with tongues of flame licking from it. It seems peppers worse than habenaroes were mixed in. “On a stick!” Jillian quipped, “keeps the fur on our paws clean.”

There had been something else going on besides the art show, Karmagirl saying, “Today we had a SL weddin’ of a couple who met in Second Life and got married in real life a few weeks ago.” They also mentioned a “Prehysterical” event, “ Prehistorical - but in Raglan, everything is a bit hysterical.” “It was basically dinosaurs and cavetinies.” “We have events continuously.” “We always have something new.” They mentioned a “Haiku Speed Build” event, and a “prim charades” game.

They also mentioned they had classes available at a building christened Raglan U, “Loads of classes n’ stuff. Last class I went to, was to make your own fireworks.” There was also a place at the Artwalk in which freebies and near free items were available, including freebie tiny avs, “... our assimilation of the grid is nearly complete!” “One of us ... ONE OF US!” “Your culture will adapt to service us, resistance is futile.”

There was a bit more funning around with the three tinies before we parted ways. For those interested in the next event in Raglan, there isn’t much longer to wait. June 10 marks the start of the “Tiny World Fair” in Raglan Shire, which lasts until June 26th.

“Tinies are the most creative helpful bunch in all of Second Life.”

Bixyl Shuftan

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