Melissa A. Schwartz (aka “mas”) is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Studio Art (Digital Media & Photography) in the University of Kentucky Art Department. She recently had a showing of her photographic works at the Tuska Center for Contemporary Art in the Fine Arts Building on the UK campus. As the show was closing, she contacted the administrators of UK’s new island in Second Life, inquiring whether she might show her work there. The Tuska show closed on Friday, but it is now gaining a second life in Second Life. There will be a festive opening for the show on Thursday evening, April 10, at 7:30 PM (Eastern time) in Second Life.
The committee organizing University of KY Island’s activities had already been discussing ways encourage art in this space and Melissa’s inquiry could not have come at a better moment. The team sprung into action, building a surreal virtual gallery with spirals and bridges carrying visitors into spaces on several levels. The exhibit contains the same images that were in the Tuska exhibit, arranged in similar groupings, but distributed throughout a large, diverse structure. Upon seeing the gallery and exhibit, Assistant professor of New Media Dima Strakovsky was heard to say, “Sigh… if only we had a space like this in physical world.” This will be the first of what is hoped to be a continuing series of arts exhibitions in University of KY Island. Art is very popular in SL and a good crowd is expected for the opening.