Farewell, Manzanillo Artist Enclave…what does this tell us?

Manzanillo Artist Enclave - in partial disassembly

Manzanillo Artist Enclave - in partial disassembly

Upon returning home from a brief holiday trip, I saw this notecard:

For the new year, Mark and I have made a few resolutions and will be starting anew on several levels including SL. Unfortunately, this extends to Manzi which we will begin tearing down immediately. If you have the opportunity to collect your items, please do or we can start returning them to you after the 1st.

We want you to know that you are what made Manzi what we envisioned and loved having your art around to selfishly enjoy for ourselves. It was certainly our pleasure to provide all of you with a place to hang your art and hopefully gave you an opportunity to show to others in SL!

I would also like for all of you to know that what I believe the best part of SL for me has been meeting all of you, the friendship, the conversations, all I’ve learned from you, and the laughs. I’m not leaving SL permanently but I won’t be around very often. I’ve missed being more involved with Manzi and putting on shows for you and I’m going to miss everything it has brought to my life and that includes you. Thank you for hanging around here and your constant support which I truly appreciate and value.

Much Love,
Michelle Babii
Mark Athens

I didn’t make a big deal of it (largely because I’m not much of an artist), but I was part of Manzi and am proud to have had the opportunity to be associated with Michelle, Mark and the many other artists and personalities that made up the “Artist Enclave”.  It was a pleasure to have a unique little gallery space of my own – a room, that’s all, but it was enough.

Reading between the lines and knowing a little of their personal situation, let me summarize my perspective on this development with some first-person perspective: It is very hard to run a successful Second Life community hub. Manzi served this purpose for a few months, and it does not surprise me that Michelle and Mark chose to take their lives in other directions.

At the same time, their withdrawal does not suggest that Second Life and its many communities (including artists) does not need places like Manzi (or Oyster Bay, for that matter).  It most certainly does.  I hope that some other venue owner picks up the mantle and strives to become the hub for activity in the artistic world of the grid.  Xander Ruttan’s Cetus district does a strong job at this.

The other big lesson I’m taking from Manzi’s exit is that for a hub concept to work, it requires either slavish devotion to the property and its goings-on by the owner or the active involvement/participation of many leaders.  Simply put, many hands make light work.  The challenge I see is that SL’s artist community as individuals are loathe to devote themselves to a single property or location unless it is their private gallery.  Some do, to be certain, but most are working to have their works shown in as many locations as possible.  This may be good for the artist, but it does nothing to sustain the venue owner who needs active participation for a facilty to survive.  Had Michelle and Mark been able to count upon some help in managing Manzi, perhaps it may have survived (longer).  Perhaps not.  We’ll never know.

Anyway, it’s a shame when such a great duo has to move on.  That’s the transitory nature of Second Life, and it’s also a main reason why places like Tayzia Abbatoir’s Crescent Moon Museum are so fantastic.  Resilience has a place up there with uniqueness and distinction, at least on the grid.

Here’s to Michelle and Mark.  They tried where others didn’t.  That is worthy of commendation.  I hope they do indeed stick around the grid – we need more people like them!

Second Arts, Oyster Bay go high fashion

I’m going to try to make a mention of the new “stores” (such a cheap term for the content provided) joining us at Oyster Bay as they come aboard. In addition to Michelle Babii’s new photography mini-gallery, another notable newcomer is Jordan Morgenrote. A recent top graduate of the inworld master jeweler class (about 5 weeks of intensive study), Jordan chose to open her new store, Jordan’s, here at Oyster Bay.

Owner of the Artisan Galleria gallery in SL, Jordan has an artistic eye that translates into her jewelry creations. In a world of mega-bling, Jordan has carved a niche with her unique designs. That one-of-a-kind style is getting noticed – Second Style’s Fashionista blog picked up on Jordan’s from the recently-concluded master jeweler show and even spotlighted one of her necklaces (pictured) – which is available at her store at Oyster Bay! Way to go, Jordan!

Origin Rang photos by Michelle Babii

Origin 1 - by Michelle Bablii Origin Rang 1 Origin 3 - by Michelle Bablii Origin 5 - by Michelle Bablii Origin Rang 6 - by Michelle Bablii

Michelle prides herself on offering “raw” photos – not touched up with any extra graphics software like Photoshop or GIMP. Click on the thumbnails for fill-sized versions.

Nice work! Michelle also opened a mini-gallery at Oyster Bay – go check it out!

Origin Rang recital – 20 July 2007 recap (with help!)

Keeping in mind my “First Blush” comments, it’s difficult to do justice to last night’s performance by Origin Rang. I’ve had plenty of traffic on the blog looking for information on Origin, so I feel some pressure to write this quickly. At the same time, I am hamstrung by my lack of expertise in classical music.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll give the uneducated review – the discussion of the atmosphere of the event, the crowd reactions, etc. And I’ll leave it to someone with a little more formal music training to talk about the music itself.

Origin arrived about an hour early with his friend Crescent Rang, and we collectively struggled through our language gap (with Origin trying much harder than me!) to figure out the URL for his audio feed. We played around with a couple accompanying sculpture ideas, settling on elros Tuominen’s kinetic rose (the pic is of Origin checking out the rose) and Cheen Pitney’s rarely seen school of fish. Origin then retreated into his warmups while I sounded the call for the show one last time.

MUCH more on the show after the fold…

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