- Posted May 19, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Stories from Second Life
Alaskan Artists Awards Linked To New SL Gallery
There was a live real life award ceremony by the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage on Tuesday, May 18, and it was linked to the opening of their new Second Life site, The Rasmuson Gallery of Alaskan Artists.
The Rasmuson Foundation awards annually, somewhere in the region of twenty million dollars, to help improve the quality of life for people in Alaska. The private foundation awarded its first grant of $125 back in 1955 in support of non-profit Alaskan organisations. Their website states that they assist "groups which address basic needs, special circumstances, the arts and education, the Rasmuson Foundation contributes to healthy, enriched and productive lives for Alaskans of all ages.”
The award grants on Tuesday were to be presented in three categories, Project Awards (approx $5,000 each), Artist Fellowships (in the region of $12,000 each) with a top award of $25,000, which would go to one Distinguished Artist.
We gathered at the virtual gallery for the award ceremony and the event was opened by a wonderful performance by real life singer Suzen Juel (avatar Juel Resistance) who played guitar and sang in her sweet relaxed blues style. After Suzen’s performance we were kept up to date with happenings in Anchorage by Cybergrrl Oh of Cybergirrl Productions, who was our link between the live coverage and the virtual event. The organisers in-world were Conversify Team Nikk Huet, Sheli Maven and Rae Leissa.
Vice President Jeff Clarke of the Rasmuson Foundation used his avatar Jeffronious Criss to announce the winner of the Distinguished Artist award in-world. The prestigious artist award went to musician and songwriter John Luther Adams. John spoke to the virtual audience through Jeff’s avatar and we were allowed to ask him some questions about his music. John says his music is “ambient and environmental” and that music saved his life, he had started as a rock and roll drummer with a garage band when he was 12. John’s atmospheric and haunting music is deeply influenced by everything about Alaska. The idea is that John’s music embodies a place and creates it in sound, whether beautiful, strange or frightening, but it creates the presence of the place. And John’s music does just that, we heard a piece called "In the White Silence_ Letter B" and the descriptive music fed our imaginations in respect of our images of Alaskan landscapes.
The audience in-world were encouraged to look around the amazing new Gallery, which shows work from previous years, as well as this years winners, and it’s well worth a visit. The new Gallery is a fitting tribute to Alaskan Artists and SL makes it possible for everyone to appreciate their wonderful work.