It is a year since I had my first virtual exhibit. Joining Second Life to explore it as a creative frontier, my original goals did not include showing my artwork there. Even though I have portfolios stuffed with art from over twenty years of showing in real life galleries, I went to SL for publications. So it was a surprise when one of my new best friends saw images on my website. Though I have phased out that site in favor of this one, I simultaneously developed the new outlet via encouragement from my friend. As an adjunct activity to publishing both inworld and out, it is also the food for much of my experience and the insights that I have to offer communications clients. Although I am not a very good sales person, I am a good presenter, so that is the best foot i put forward as I develop this site.
Perhaps the most exciting part of showing inworld comes from the people I put together. Like a magnets, creative thinkers and business pioneers are attracted to one another. Where technology such as voice-mail and e-mail actually make people more inaccessible, virtual reality brings people together. I have a list of attendees from each of my openings, and they come from Australia, Europe, Canada, and Asia as well as from the US! I have developed inspiring dialog with perspectives I could never hope to meet outworld! From sitting at my desk here in Evanston, I am connected to other creative thinkers all over the world! It is a bit intoxicating!
With a year under my belt, I take a look at the things I have learned in that time in Virtual Parallels: Learning Inworld. I am migrating essays to pages and using blog posts like this one as the background of why I think the topic is important. I really believe virtual presentations for museums, galleries, artists, collectors, etc. will surpass the real ones in importance. Even if i can take the train downtown to go to the Art Institute in real life, I would use a site where I could walk through the rooms more quickly and any time I want to. It then makes the real visit all the more rich because I know precisely what I wish to see. Then the comparisons between virtual and real become even more educational.
The original artwork in these shows sits in storage. This is true with the work of most artists. For every piece that is hanging in a collection, there are twenty in the drawer. Often an artist will hold back the very best works for exhibition commitments. Each show needs its centerpieces for strength and if those sell, the show falls apart. Sales are very strategic when there is only one original. So while I have originals in storage, I am selling their digital equivalents in an international forum. Please read the essay for what I have learned and I hope that you find useful information. It would be great to know—so please make a comment and share your thoughts too!