Avalon Town

April is halfway to Halloween!

Celebrate the season with the Knights of Avalon and raise funds to benefit Relay For Life of Second Life.

Prizes for the best Halloween Costumes. Raffle items, music and fun!   

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Scary Art Auction to Benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Avalon Town is hosting it’s annual Halloween Charity Art Auction on The Labyrinth Sim, this year to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year’s theme was “scary art” and artists from across Second Life rose to the challenge and unleashed their spooky skills to contribute art for the cause.

The auction features works from Scottius Polke, Eliza Wierwight, Fuschia Nightfire, Stephen Venkman, Alexx Fenstalker, PJ Trenton, Rowan Derryth, Fiona Leitner, Texanna Schumann, Tricia Aferdita, Sledge Roffo and more…

The Halloween Party and the final two hours of the Auction will be Friday, October 28th at 7pm SLT in The Labyrinth Dungeon in Avalon Town, Second Life.

About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. They fund more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support.

They are a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Their focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately to find a cure.

The Foundation’s drug development model has been recognized by Harvard Business School and by publications such as Forbes, The New Yorker, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is one of the most efficient organizations of its kind and is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

You can learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and the Foundation at www.cff.org

Metaverse Arts Episode 12: Burn2

For our 12th episode of Metaverse Arts we took a trip to the virtual world extension of the Burning Man Festival and chatted with a few of the people that make the art happen on the virtual Playa.

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Metaverse Arts Episode 12: Burn2, posted with vodpod

Virtual Worlds: Not Just for Sex Anymore.

Virtual Worlds: Not Just for Sex Anymore..

2011 RFL of Second Life Survivors Art Show and Auction

The Relay for Life Survivors Art Show & Auction

Silent Auction June 5th through 11th
Live Auction June 12th

Relay for Life of Second Life is pleased to announce the Survivors Art Show & Auction from June 5th through the 12th. A silent auction will run from June 5th to the 11th and a live auction will be held on June 12th at 12pm SLT.

Artists are invited to submit works for participation in this Relay for Life of Second Life fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society. This year’s theme for the Relay is Seasons of Hope. Artists are encouraged, but not required, to consider this theme in creating or presenting art for the auctions. Of the submissions entered, a committee will choose a selection of works to be presented at the live auction. Artwork can be one of a kind, unique works, or copies of previous works but they must be your own original work.

This year we would like to streamline the exhibition and encourage quality over quantity, so we are encouraging fewer submissions and taking into account size and prim count to make the entire auction a high quality, low lag experience for attendees.

Submission Requirements:

1.) Limit 1 entry per artist – if we have space to open up to a second submission we will notify the participants

2.) Please keep the size of the work within a 10m diameter and 20m height

3.) Please keep the prim counts below 50 prims

4.) Scripts are allowed within reason, please consider sim performance

5.) Bots are not permitted

6.) The event and sim are PG, please submit appropriate works

7.) Works should allow transfer rights for auction purposes

8.) The art auction committee reserves the right to turn down entries for any reason

9.) Submission deadline is May 29th at noon SLT

Thank you for your generosity and continued support of Relay for Life in Second Life!

Tricia Aferdita – Chair
Kitty Tully – Co-Chair
2011 Survivors Art Show & Auction

Metaverse Arts Episode 10

Our guests this month are artist Alexx Fenstalker, whose installation, Apartment 5b, contemplates how mental disorder & family dysfunction affect the lives of those it touches, as well as artist Trill Zapatero, who created the Afghanistan Museum; an incredibly detailed, beautiful and educational build which benefits an Afghan charity.

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Metaverse Arts Episode 10, posted with vodpod

Metaverse Arts Episode 9

Amase Levasseur, owner of the Originalia sim, hosts a new exhibit with installations by Scottius Polke, Eliza Wierwight, RAG Randt and Em Larsson. Your host Tricia Aferdita welcomes these four talented artists to today’s show.

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Metaverse Arts Episode 9, posted with vodpod

MachinimUWA : The UWA Machinima Challenge

We are happy to announce the 3rd Machinima Challenge put forth by the University of Western Australia (UWA). The theme is simply ‘Journeys’. We hope you are inspired by this to create many wondrous works as you have been through the years! 

PRIZE POOL: $L530,000 (at least)
1st Prize $L100,000
2nd Prize $L70,000
3rd Prize $L50,000
+ L$310,000 in other prizes

WHAT:   MachinimUWA III : Journeys

WHEN:   Submissions are open between NOW (Feb 2011) till 1st May 2011

THEME : The theme is ‘Journeys’. What the journey is, will be left to the Machinimatographer. A journey through Second Life. A journey of self discovery. A journey within. A journey from SL too RL, or vice-versa. A journey through space, through time, a journey of hope, a journey of despair. Your own journey, or a journey by someone else seen through your eyes… or… through Second Life in 80 Days, whatever you can imagine.

MAJOR RULE: The most important rule is that the journey must either start or end at this location. Winthrop Clocktower at the UWA Main SIM. Winthrop Clocktower is the heart of UWA both in RL & SL. Apart from this, feel free to film anything, anywhere. You may use props at the location, or maybe want to change the footage later during the post process, this is up to you, as long as the clocktower is still recognized. http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/109/213/25

LENGTH: 4 – 6 minutes is recommended, but this is not a hard rule. The joint winners of MachinimUWA II were under 2 minutes and over 15 minutes respectively.

All prize winners will receive an exclusive MachinimUWA Trophy. All machinimatographers in the challenge will receive a specially designed medal of honour. Both designed by Laurina Hawks.

Shortlisted entries will be displayed on the University of Western Australia (UWA) Second Life Blog.  http://uwainsl.blogspot.com

Winner will be announced by the 30th of May 2011 at a special gala function.

Method of Entry & Other Info:
* Load the Machinima anywhere, preferablly youtube or vimeo, and provide the link to Jayjay Zifanwe, White lebed and Laurina Hawks
* The length of machinima referred to above is only a suggested maximum, and will not be enforced nor cause entries to be disqualified
* Please acknowledge the lands or significant artworks and individuals  you feature
*  If you need to rezz (blue screen etc) on the UWA SIMS, contact Jayjay Zifanwe, White Lebed, FreeWee Ling or Laurina Hawks

Closing Date:
* Midnight 1st May 2011.  Allowances on the closing date will only be provided IF the machinimatographer has contacted and explained the reason for the need for additional time prior to the closing date.
1. Professor Ted Snell (RL) – Director, Cultural Precinct, The University of Western Australia
2. White Lebed (SL) – Former Lead of Burning Life Art Department, Director of Special Projects @ UWA
3. Jayjay Zifanwe (SL) – Owner of The University of Western Australia (SL), Creator & co-host of the UWA 3D Art& Design Challenge
4. Yesikita Coppola (SL) – Official Machinimatographer for UWA 2011
5. Laurina Hawks (SL) – Reigning UWA MachinimUWA Champion
6. Raphaella Nightfire (SL) – Snr Writer Best of SL Magazine, Owner Sanctorum Gallery (SL)
7. FreeWee Ling (SL) – Curator, UWA 3D Open Art Challenge
8. LaPiscean Liberty (SL) – CEO AviewTV and UWA Media Advisor
9.  Nazz Lane (SL) – Journalist and Author
10. Rowan Derryth (SL) – Art & Design Historian; Writer for Prim Perfect Publications
11. Apollo Manga (SL) – examiner.com Writer & Novelist
12. Dr. Phylis Johnson (RL) – Media  Professor, Southern Illinois Uinversity, Author – Machinima: Aesthetics and Practice (a.k.a, Sonicity Fitzroy, SL Virtual Journalist)
13. Lowell Cremorne, Owner & Editor-In-Chief, The Metaverse Journal
14. Mal Burns, Metaverse News Aggregator and Broadcaster

Some Interesting Locations Across the UWA SIMS
(you’re welcome to use any part of UWA in the Machinima – this is IF you would like. No advantage will be given for having a lot of content featuring UWA locations)

The UWA Sunken Gardens (replica of RL): http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/118/15/28

The UWA 3D Open Art Challenge Gallery: http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA/63/132/249

Area displaying the works that were shortlisted for the Grand Finale of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge: http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA%20Winthrop/128/128/2

The Square Kilometer Array (Biggest land based science project in the history of mankind): http://slurl.com/secondlife/WASP%20Land/255/79/24

UWA Visualisation Research Area: http://slurl.com/secondlife/WASP%20Land/137/71/24

* Special thanks to Eliza Wierwight for creating the wonderful poster for this challenge and to our sponsors, UWA, AView TV and BOSL

Metaverse Arts Episode 8

Thoth Jantzen joins your host Tricia Aferdita in the studio to talk about his digital art created in the Veesome SpotOn3D social grid. Then take a video tour of the Gulliver’s Travels build in InWorldz grid created by Ub Yifu and Copan Falta. Plus you’ll want to see this month’s events and featured Park Galleries.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Metaverse Arts Episode 8, posted with vodpod

My Second Life: An Avatar Comes Out of the Closet

Many of us have this alternative version of what we think we should look like. Some maybe taller, others shorter… Not to mention, those of us would who choose to be skinnier or better looking. Then we might think to ourselves, if we could do anything, without limitation, what would we do?
I have spent the last four years finding out a lot about that.
On September 22nd, 2006 I heard a story on NPR’s On the Media about a virtual online world called Second Life™. On the report, former Virginia governor and presidential candidate Mark Warner talked with NPR’s Brooke Gladstone about becoming the first politician to deliver a major press conference in Second Life™. His technical staff created an ‘avatar’ for him (he requested to look like the average boring politician) and he spoke to a varied group of people from across the US, taking questions on his policies and goals. You can hear this report at: http://onthemedia.org/transcripts/2006/09/22/06 




A couple of days later, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I decided to give this virtual world a try. For those of you not in the know, Second Life™ is an online community created by its residents. The possibilities for creative outlet in this virtual world are literally limitless. There are people who build houses, furniture, musical instruments, cars, boats, robots, dragons, technology and shoes. There are clothing designers, “skin” designers, avatar designers, landscapers and scientists. And my personal favorite…. there are artists. Second Life™ is a natural draw to the creative and curious.

 It all starts from the moment you first log on. You stand there; your Avatar (the digital version of you) is just like all the other Avatars, a blank slate. You start out, changing your hair color, adding muscles, slimming down, bulking up. Then you tweak the shape of your nose; make your lips little fuller, eyes a little smaller. Each Avatar becomes a work of art of its own. There are Barbie™ figures and the macho manly men, but there are furry Avatars, wolves, bears, cats and more. Blue people! Scaly people! I have personally seen dragons, dinosaurs, aliens, fantastic beasts, Santa, a chimpanzee smoking a cigar, Mr. Potato Head™ and a naked fat guy, among other things. Your appearance is truly only limited by your imagination.


Self Portrait of the Author

At the time I signed up, you could choose whatever you wanted for your first name, and choose from a selection of available last names. I chose my own first name, figuring I’d be confused enough without trying to remember to answer to a different first name. I chose the last name Aferdita because it sounded a bit like Aphrodite, and sounded really nice with Tricia. So, here I am, Tricia Aferdita.

After a day or two of exploration, I was hooked. I lured a couple of friends in (whose names I’ll leave out unless they want to out themselves!) and through one of them, I was introduced to a couple of people who would change my life.

The first person I met was named Ed Baron. Ed had joined Second Life™ in December 2004. Over the years he had developed an interest in helping new community members, particularly artists; create a presence within the community. And so it came to be that he helped me create a gallery online. He tirelessly answered my countless questions about the in-world currency, how it related to the ‘real world’ and what owning or renting land in SL was all about.

He connected me with a landowner, who had a little parcel of her “island”, called a SIM, available for me to build a gallery on. He then connected me with someone who created buildings professionally in-world and before I knew it, I had a three-dimensional representation of a gallery on the internet.


The First Intuitions Gallery – Oz, Second Life™

I named the gallery Intuitions Gallery and put up most of my spiritual, metaphysical, fantasy and wildlife art. Ed helped me organize an event to open my gallery, and people I had never met before, from all over the world, came to see my art. It was amazing!! It was a bit like having a 3D website for your art. People could virtually walk through the room, look close up at your work, then back up and look at it from a different angle. I got positive feedback from other artists and ‘real life’ gallery owners.

Soon I met an amazing artist who went by the entertaining name of Hecubus Dogpatch. I was completely blown away by his photorealistic egg tempera nature paintings. We became friends and I decided to try exhibiting his work at my virtual gallery. I learned a bit about building things in a virtual environment and created some special walls to “hang” his art on. I learned that I could make signs in Photoshop and import them into the virtual world to use as posters, banners, etc.

We hosted an opening reception for him in virtual style. You can carry a glass of champagne and it animates your avatar to sip elegantly from it, only to give the appearance a few minutes later of being spilled all over the carpet if you type or dance. It’s a silly place.

Hecubus’ work was a hit, and he was a funny and charming conversationalist. We made out pretty well in the virtual currency, called Lindens, which amounts to pennies on the dollar. But still, it’s fun to know that people admire and want to own copies of your work.

After Hecubus, I hosted another artist and within a couple of months of joining Second Life, I was introduced (by the same helpful, social butterfly friend) to another person who would change the course of my virtual and real lives, the avatar named Xander Ruttan.

Xander, in ‘real life’ was active in the U.S. art world as a co-founder of a California-based nonprofit arts organization, a freelance arts & culture writer, and former associate director of a prominent contemporary art gallery. He had a vision to create a virtual cultural center within Second Life™, an art district based on art communities like NY’s Chelsea and the Pearl Art District in Portland Oregon. After many long nights of chatting about the idea, art and life in general, he was encouraged to take on the project.

In January 2007, the community started small, on a parcel adjoining his home on a sim named Cetus. He named it the Cetus Gallery District. As he worked endless hours creating a neighborhood out of nothing but virtual blocks, I moved Intuitions Gallery from its first home to a new building in Cetus. We spent a lot of time brainstorming together and I became president of the group that we formed. I became sort of the community person – hosting events, promoting. Xander was the brains… the buildings and the business.


Cetus Gallery District

I credit Xander with a lot of what I know today about curating and hanging art, though we did have some near brawls over differing opinions in the early days. He was a “tough love” sort of teacher, but eventually I acquiesced to his wisdom, given his real life work as a curator and art director. Today, I really credit the success of my virtual galleries to his education, and I always try to follow as close to a real life model as possible.

During my time in Cetus, I changed from the slightly more whimsical and fantasy oriented theme of Intuitions Gallery to Tricia Aferdita Gallery, with an eye towards a more sophisticated art style and presentation. This is the gallery I have continued to operate ever since.


Tricia Aferdita Gallery – Tabula rasa, Avalon Town

After nearly two years, I began to want to expand beyond my role in Cetus. In August 2008, I opened a new branch of my gallery on a SIM called Tabula rasa in a community called Avalon. Shortly after that, I left the Cetus Gallery District entirely. After a few months of just managing my gallery, I definitely needed “something more” to. Having spent most of my virtual “childhood” actively involved in a community, I was a little bit bored.

As luck (fate?) would have it, Elora Dawes, one of the managers of the Avalon community, approached me about helping them organize events around town. After thinking about it for about 30 seconds, I agreed, and in February 2009 I became Events Director of Avalon Town.


Avalon Art District

In any community within Second Life™ there is the infinite ability to create useable space. Venues like theaters, bars, clubs and cafes provide a space for many avatars to gather and enjoy the varied entertainment available. Physical world musicians can perform in a virtual world by using live streaming audio and their own avatars. The advent of voice capability in world enables residents to perform poetry, literary readings and plays. Music lovers can become DJ’s with software and a music library, bringing a wide range of musical genres to virtual parties and events.

Events in Avalon include live music performances from rock, blues and folk musicians, incredible pianists and virtuoso violinists from the US, Canada, UK, Europe and South America. We have hosted regular live poetry readings, art history talks, seasonal and themed parties and design contests.


Virtuoso Violinist Izabela Spiewak performs in Avalon

Colleen Kesey, the avatar who owns the Avalon Town Estate, is an avid philanthropist and with her blessing I also instituted a series of charity events. Since 2009 we have raised funds for organizations like The International Fund for Animal Welfare, Make a Wish Foundation, The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and NARSAD, the Brain and Behavior Research Fund. Coming up in January and February 2011 we will be supporting Virtual Museums Incorporated in bringing museums and education to Second Life™.

In April of this year, Elora stepped down as manager of Avalon Town to finish her thesis and the general manager of the estate asked me if I would be willing to take up her position. Since then I have worked in supporting Colleen, Mattie and the community, continuing to host events, help new residents, manage rentals and other types of maintenance and fun. This is all accomplished with the help of friends I have made along the way, including Ethan Westland, who has been a friend and cohort for years and now helps out as assistant manager. I have absolutely loved being a part of the creation and growth of this art community.

In early 2010, I met up with intrepid publisher Saffia Widdershins of the Prim Perfect Empire. Saffia is the publisher of Prim Perfect Magazine, a magazine about style for homes and gardens in virtual worlds. She also publishes The Primgraph, a magazine dedicated to the historical SIMS of Second Life™, and Designing Worlds, a long-running online television program dedicated to design in virtual worlds.

Having written a few things for work, and gotten an editorial published in our local newspaper, I was anxious to continue to stretch my writing muscles. So when given the opportunity to write for Prim Perfect magazine, I jumped at it. I have now written about a dozen articles in the last several issues of the magazine. You can find information about the magazine and links to the issues at this website: http://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/


As things happen to work, writing for Prim Perfect and getting to know Saffia led to the next huge event in my real and virtual lives. Saffia asked me if I would be interested in producing a television show on the arts in virtual worlds. Wow! TV! After some thought, I dove into it like anything else I have done in Second Life™, making it up as I go along! In July 2010 we launched Metaverse Arts on Treet.tv and produced 7 episodes in 2010. Ms. Aferdita is the producer and host of the show and we have covered physical and virtual art, identity, using the virtual world as a means to promote art and copyright law among other creative ventures in the art world. You can learn more about the show at our blog: http://metaversearts.wordpress.com/. You can also watch archived episodes at Treet TV: http://treet.tv/shows/metaverse-arts

 Metaverse Arts was the catalyst in inspiring me to share my virtual life with the rest of the world. I have been fairly transparent in Second Life™. Being an artist, I have felt that it is essential to share who I am in “real life” if I want to promote myself as an artist. I have even gotten business as a result of what I do. Now I feel that it’s time to share both sides of my life equally.I look back over the last four years and I am immensely proud of what I have accomplished and have never regretted a moment of the time and effort have put into my virtual projects. I have made wonderful, intelligent, caring friends that I will never, ever forget. Through them I have dared to explore who I am and what I can do in a way that I may never have considered, let alone dared to do, in my every day life.


In turn, my virtual life has inspired my real life. It has inspired my art, motivated me to paint again when I had given it up for 15 years. It has inspired me to write. It has given me friends that transcend internet boundaries. It has educated me, both about myself and about the world and those who inhabit it. It has helped me discover, or rediscover, things that bring me joy and encouraged me to stretch myself.

As we step into the New Year, Tricia Aferdita and Tricia Griffith become the same person. I invite you to share the journey and see what lies ahead!


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