Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deesha Romance and Relaxation Area

By Bixyl Shuftan

Second Life Newser was informed about a place in Second Life set up as a rest and relaxation area for people, one with a unique look. Asked to contact a Trusor Draesia, I did so, and was given a teleport request. Heading over, I found myself around a location with an otherworldly look to it, with the alien-looking trees and grasses. The background music was light and easygoing.

"Welcome to 'Deesha, World of Romance' ," Trusor greeted me in voice. She explained that she had an interest in science-fiction, and so made the place to resemble ancient alien ruins. She showed me around. There were various structures around, such as stones with glowing lines etched into them, or the webbed hand from a giant statue sticking out of the water as if reaching for help. One could wade through the pale alien "grass," which looked more like seaweed growing on land.

 Trusor directed me to the remains of a walkway with a circular hole in the middle, with a red hologram filling it. She invited me to jump in. Doing so, there was a whole new area of the alien region. There were fountains with water running down, with plants in pots and small gardens.  She suggested that I set the view to midnight, and doing so, the place took on a new look. Torches lit up much of the area in light, and a number of the alien plants were  giving off a soft glow. And there were luminous creatures resembling anemones, glowing in the dark as they slowly floated through the air. It was quite a sight not often seen on the Grid.

Trusor told me the place had gotten numerous complements, "I take them to the top platform, and they tell me it's great. Then I invite them below, and they're going 'Oh my God!'"

On the surface, visitors will sometimes find they have company. Residents may find a small flying saucer buzzing about their feet. Trusor chuckled a little, saying she wanted to give the place a little humor. Down below, there are a few round structures in which people can walk inside and find a spot for couples to sit, and the view outside clear. Trusor explained those were for couples who wanted a little privacy, people outside unable to see in, but those inside could see out.

Trusor commented she was feeling a little bored at the time when creating Deesha, but did want to make a place that people could enjoy. She had basically connected two huge skybox rooms into a "double platform," then decorated, "Not bad for a non-builder." She had made not a single item in the place, but instead purchased or was given the contents. She had spent three to four days setting things up before  deciding it was ready for visitors.

Besides a love of science fiction and romance, there was one other reason Trusor made Deesha as it was. "Many romance places have closed," she told me, "others are surrounded by shopping malls. I didn't want to make it commercial. So I built it like this. … I don't charge anyone anything. I'll take donations, sure. But I'm not in this to make money. This is a place to relax."

So who goes to Deesha? "A lot of couples come here," Trusor answered, "Some single people, but for the most part couples." She told me often when dropping by she'd see couples dancing to the music. "I've had weddings here," She told me, saying there would be another in about a week.

Trusor has no plans to change Deesha. "People enjoy it. Three, four couples keep coming back. So that makes me happy. … Everyone who comes here likes it. "

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kelly Yap's Art Show

By Grease Coakes

You may or may not know Kelly Yap in Second Life. She’s a green skinned human in second life like the green girl from the original Star Trek that charmed Captain Kirk. I remember meeting Kelly long ago from the "A List" for an art show best in hats. I’m a lousy builder in SL, but I gave it a shot anyway. She’s currently holding a contest called “These feet are made for walking.” I still qualify for trying out, even though I don’t wear shoes (what furry wears shoes?) She asked me to DJ for an art show of hers. I said sure why not, we were already friends.

 The first floor was created by Trill Zapatero. I saw some pictures of tarot cards what seemed spray painted against brick walls and many grails. The theme itself was grail quest with many framed pictures on the walls. There were grails on the floor that spouted out the letters “Ism” very much like the photo of grails that also said ism on the nearby wall.
The second floor was created by Tani Thor who made scripted art with a few pictures that had a lifelike appearance with 3d scripting. Some of the RL photos looked amazing as well. Kelly Yap seemed afk before her art show so I checked out the third floor. Green feet were the subject of the third floor by Caro Fayray. Her artwork seemed unique as it was centered on what everyone has feet. Kelly later told me that the third floor was not complete.
When the clock hit 3pm SLT, lots of avatars warped out of the blue as if they were hiding behind the pictures. The artist herself Tani Thor warped in wearing an amazing black dress. She spoke Italian but had a text translator to translate into English. She seemed happy that a lot of people were wowed by her art. She also told her photos, which looked realistic, were taken not in real life but in Second Life.
In a short time there was a ton of avatars there dancing along to my music and checking out Kelly Yap’s art show. People were having a fun time checking out Tani Thor’s artwork and/or dancing to my music. Either way from what I could everyone was having fun. Some people spoke Italian but art and fun seemed to break down language barriers.
Kelly Yap had lots of friends check out her art show and Gemma Cleanslate popped in for a sec to look for her friend Trill Zapatero I told her that her buddy didn’t show up. I wanted to DJ for a longer time but my guru showed up online. However I also enjoy Brahma yoga class so it was the greater of two goods. Art is a part of life whether in real life or Second Life, in music or drawings or photography of what goes around us. I may not have a fancy art degree, but I certainly can appreciate art when I see it.
Grease Coakes

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

VMA Spring Build-Off Winners Announced

By Grey Lupindo

The Virtual Museum of Architecture held its Spring Build-Off at the Builders Brewery Sandbox at Builders Resource (127, 131, 22).    The theme was Homes of Feudal Japan.   Colorful cherry blossoms and flying kites added a festive note to the competition.    The first picture, taken by SL photographer Sanfroggy, shows an overview of the competition area.
       This Build-Off was very different from past competitions.   Djinn Dasmijn, Co-Director of the VMA, said, “This has been one of the Virtual Museum of Architecture's most unique build-offs yet. ... Builders had asked for something off the wall, different, non-Western. Well, how better to be non-Western than to go East.”    

       There were a total of 10 entries, five in the Pro category and five in the Novice.   The number of entries was intentionally kept smaller for this event so that the builders could have more room and prims to use for the houses.   Many of the homes featured traditional Japanese gardens, rice paper walls, bamboo, and beautiful murals.   The photographs taken by Sansfroggy show the exterior of the First Place winning entries in each category.  The winners Pro Category were 1st - Celestine Ghiardie   (House 4);  2nd - Terra Tepper  (House 2); and 3rd -  Granelda Oh (House 1).   The People's Choice Award also went to Granelda Oh.    Also building in the Pro Division was Rottin Dean and Sandi Glas.    
           The winners  in the Novice Category were 1st - Winter Nightfire; 2nd -  Rage Quintessa; and 3rd - Vencat Boxen.   The People's Choice Award went to Winter Nightfire.     Bartimaeus Brandenburg and LunaEnigma also built in the Novice Category.     

           An Honored Sponsors Village was designed and built by Garvie Garzo.  In addition to Builder’s Brewery, which donated the use of the sandbox and provided other assistance, the Build-Off was sponsored by  XD – Gadgets, Creations for Parkinsons, Ashira's Aerie,  [zED]ge-NeticS, MeadowWorks,   Lucid Design, MrMultiWriter, Smiling Faces Entertainment, Look REAL w/Starla Farella, Top Jobs,  DRUM, and Affection Island.     

           On Sunday, March 3, the Museum held an awards party, complete with entertainment.   Twostep Spiritweaver, DRUM, Mr.Multi “Mic” Writer, and Ed Lowell performed.    The viewing time was limited at Builders’ Brewery because the event was being held on their sandbox.   However, Djinn Dasmijn hopes to find another location where the Homes of Feudal Japan will be able to stay longer to allow more SL residents to view them.

Grey Lupindo

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Farewell to Gracie Kendel's "Ce n'est pas une peinture"

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday February 24th, noted artist Gracie Kendel held a farewell party for her three-dimensional art exhibition "Ce n'est pas une peinture." Known as Kristine Schomaker in real life, had created the artwork after hearing comments that artists in Second Life were simply uploading photographs of their work and not using the Grid's ability to fuller potentials to display art and decided to "play with the concept." The name translates to "This is not a painting."

For some months, the exhibition was in LEA 15 for anyone to come by and either look at from the teleport spot, or jump right in it. Unlike other examples of modern art, one could float around and experience the colors, and background music, from the inside.

Eventually, it came time for the exhibition to close. On the weekend before it, Gracie invited her friends to drop by for one last party for the place. And at 11AM SL time a number of residents dropped by. Some were decked out in some artistic-looking avatars themselves. It was a fun time for both the artist and her friends.

Asking her about her future plans, Gracie answered, "Well working on some more RL/SL plans," mentioning she needed to finish her current project: mannequins used as canvases for modern art. … I am creating 16 in RL but also creating 16 avatars in SL with painted skins that I will project in RL. So it will be another mixed reality thing (smile)." Would that be the only thing? Gracie herself wasn't sure, "who knows, maybe something else will come up ... you never know. (laughter)."

On Feb 28th came this announcement from Gracie:

LAST DAY to enjoy Ce n'est pas une peinture. It has been an amazing 6 months but it is time for it to end. Please come and enjoy the sim while you can  this one last day. I will be letting it all fall tomorrow morning slt :)) Have a wonderful day!!! Thank you so much for your support :))

And so, "This is not a painting" was now a part of Second Life history, gone with the nether. But one can still see the artwork in pictures and videos, such as this one: .

Gracie Kendel is perhaps best known for her 1000 Avatar Project, which made news in 2011. One can read more about her and her works at .

Bixyl Shuftan