People with Disabilities Able to do Art in the Virtual World
by Timothy Carey 09-15-2009
On the last Sunday of August, 2009, I teleported to the Avalon Art District. Teleportation is the quickest mode of transportation in the virtual world Second Life® (SL). (For more information www.SecondLife.com ). This art district is one of the many wonderful places in SL. I was brought there by word of the presentation of a check for $1,000 U.S. dollars to Virtual Ability Incorporated (VAI). (For more information WWW.VirtualAbility.org )
|Winter & Filthy Presenting the Check to VAI|
The check was presented by Winter Nightfire and Filthy Fluno from proceeds of the ARTATHON. During this check presentation, I interviewed an SL artist named Ronin1 Shippe about Second Life art. About two days later I interviewed Winter Nightfire and Filthy Fluno at their Avalon art studio. Click here to go directly to their art gallery. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ars Lunga/14/166/27
On August 13 -16 Winter Nightfire and Filthy Fluno ran a fund raising event called ARTATHON. They created art together to sell and donated the proceeds to VAI. This ARTATHON was actually held during the annual Second Life Community Convention (SLCC). SLCC was held in San Francisco this year. It is held in real life, which gives people a chance to physically meet. At SLCC “nonprofits, businesses, artists, musicians, all come together and give discussions and panels and demonstrations of what they’re learning about making the virtual world of SL an important ’place’. ” Explain Filthy Fluno. “Some also come for the good food, booze, and just good times”.
|From Furthest to Closest:
Filthy, Winter, and Timm Short
Winter and Filthy first met in SL. Their friendship grew despite the fact that in real life (RL), Winter lives in San Francisco and Filthy lives in Massachusetts. At SLCC, they had an opportunity to meet each other face-to-face in RL, create their wonderful paintings, and help out VAI. During their ARTATHON they had an opportunity to paint at the same time on one canvas.
Winter and Filthy decided to raise money for this purpose because of the wonderful work VAI does. VAI guides people with disabilities on the transition into the virtual world of SL. VAI was recently awarded the Linden Prize. The SL Linden Prize goes to “an innovative inworld project that improves the way people work, learn and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world” According to the Linden Prize Committee.
VAI is about creating experiences for people with disabilities in SL and it impacts the lives of people away from SL. “Thank God for SL, really, because people can do all sorts of things they can’t do in real life! Virtual Ability helps make experiences possible for people who may not otherwise have them!” Winter Nightfire enthuses. Winter and Filthy where both honored to serve VAI. feel lucky, because VAI has given them a wonderful real life SL experience. And that experience is to share Winter and Filthy’s passion for art.
Ronin1 Shippe is a part of the experiences VAI provides, which includes the wonderful experience of art. Ronin1 is an artist from New Mexico. He has worked in steel and has exhibited carvings in wood and clay sculpture.
|Ronin1 Shippe’s favorite Minimalist Zen Impressionism piece “The Lute Player” (A geisha, her face a mask of concentration, is transported by the music.)|
But his paintings are exclusively for Second Life and he displays them at VAI’s Cape Able Gallery. These paintings are done with his trusted mouse and the basic paint program. Click on this link to go to the Cape Able art gallery. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Cape Able/89/103/30
“I met Gentle Heron … and took on a public relations responsibilities with Virtual Ability Inc. It seemed to me that art was an excellent way to reach out to people in SL and to promote acceptance and awareness of people with disabilities here in SL” Ronin1 Shippe states.
The art experience VAI, Filthy, Winter, Ronin1, and others provide promotes the acceptance of people with disabilities and gives them an opportunity to do art. There are people in our society who have the artistic eye, but have no ability because of their disability. In SL some of these people have gained this ability and are rightfully taking advantage of it. And some are just learning about SL art opportunities.
|Scottius Polke in front
of his moving mushroom art and some of his other works
For example, Scottius Polke has cystic fibrosis and has taken his art to a level on SL he could not otherwise do. Click on the next two links to go to his art gallerys. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ars Lunga/38/165/27
Brock Levee is just starting to learn about creating the sophisticated art he would like to do. Kasimir Deimatov received a degree in interior decorating. A couple years later he was in an accident completely paralyzing him. Only months ago he was ready to give up on life, but Second Life and VAI have given him a new drive. He is currently in an interior decorating contest, participating in an art form of his own.
It is wonderful two artists without disabilities could come together and have a great experience because of SL and Virtual Ability Inc. It is also wonderful Virtual Ability could benefit from allowing the experience of art to come to those who could never take part in it in real life. Hopefully Virtual Ability Inc. will be giving more wonderful experiences in the arts and in other areas for even more people.
Timm Short (All Names are Second Life names)
AKA Timothy A Carey