I have posted a bunch of pictures from the opening on the Flikr site. I was very pleased with the turnout. I made a point of inviting the broader SL arts population and to my great delight the event was attended by a few of the very top people in the SL art world. I was able to make some outstanding contacts. They were invariably enthusiastic about our presence as a new arts venue. And they were impressed both by our facilities and the exhibit itself.
If there is any activity in SL that is a natural, it’s art. It’s enormously popular and if you publicize it right, you WILL get an audience. I sent notices to two major SL art groups, each having over 900 active members (there is presumably a lot of overlap between these two groups). It’s not often obvious what good showing work in SL might do. But I can assure you from the experience last night and from talking to many SL artists, there can definitely be an impact. One of the people I talked with at the gallery told me of a number of people who had given up their bricks and mortar galleries in rl and are making a living selling rl art in SL. They are, to be sure, exceptional, but it is possible and it bodes well for the future of the technology if there is a viable business model that can be used successfully by individuals.