Art Galleries in Social VR and Virtual Worlds: An Overview

Virtual worlds are natural homes for art galleries. Artists can design galleries and installations and reach whole new audiences using the various metaverse platforms. In this blogpost, I am going to provide an overview of art galleries in various social VR platforms and virtual worlds.

Second Life

Second Life has long been home to dozens of virtual galleries and exhibit spaces. You could easily spend the better part of a week just visiting galleries! In fact, there is an Art Galleries of Second Life website and even an in-world HUD you can pick up at any participating gallery, which allows you to teleport from gallery to gallery in-world! I have spent many an enjoyable hour doing exactly that.

MissDrag at the Fractal Insanity Art Gallery in Second Life

In addition to the Art Galleries of Second Life HUD, there is also the Arts section of the Second Life Destination Guide to explore, as well as sims with dozens of small art galleries, such as the Virtual Hotel Chelsea and the Windlight Art Gallery sim.

The Virtual Hotel Chelsea

OpenSim

Like Second Life, OpenSim is home to many virtual art galleries. The best way to find them is to use OpenSimWorld’s excellent directory service.

Parc Des Arts, FrancoGrid (OpenSim)

Occupy White Walls

Of course, no discussion of virtual art galleries would be complete without a mention of Occupy White Walls! This is a virtual world focusing on art gallery building and art collection curation, which already has many fans. I can recommend it highly. It’s great fun!

Sansar

Sansar is already home to many art galleries. The best way to find them is simply to search the Sansar Atlas on keywords like “art” or “gallery“.

The Urban Art Experience in Sansar

High Fidelity

One of the problems with High Fidelity is that, while there is a listing of domains sorted in order of popularity on their website and in their tablet UI, it is not possible to do a keyword search for “art” or “gallery” as you can in Sansar or Second Life. This makes it difficult to find art galleries and installations in HiFi. There are a few art installations I have blogged about, such as White Moth, a High Fidelity domain created by the well-known Second Life artists Bryn Oh and Cica Ghost

White Moth

VRChat

VRChat is also home to many art galleries and exhibits, including several curated by Godfrey Meyer III (a.k.a. GM3). Your best bet is to do a keyword search for “art” or “gallery” under the World tab in your pop-up user menu.

Blogs

Another way to find art exhibits in many different social VR/virtual worlds is to follow blogs. One good one to follow is Travel AgentM83, who covers interesting locations (including art) on a multitude of platforms.

What about you? What art discoveries have you made while exploring the metaverse? Please feel free to leave a comment, thanks!

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Occupy White Walls: A Look at a Few of the Best Galleries

I’m on holidays from work this week, and I have been binge-playing Occupy White Walls (OWW for short), which I have written about on this blog many times before (here, here, here, and here). The virtual world had to shut down its alpha last year to retool and relaunch on Steam. And the beta version of OWW is even better and more fun than it was before!

The object of the virtual world/game is to design your own art gallery and curate a personal collection of art. Visitors (some real, some NPCs) come to your gallery, and you can use the money they leave to buy more art, build out your gallery, and level up. At each level, you unlock more items for building (walls, floors, ceilings, lighting, furniture, etc. in a variety of styles, such as Factory, Steampunk, and Art Deco).

Players can select art for their galleries from the vast catalogues of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., as well as a growing collection of modern artists who see Occupy White Walls as a way to extend their brand. In fact, I was so impressed by one digital artist that, after selecting a couple of his pieces for my gallery, I followed the Patreon link from his OWW bio and became a patron! (By the way, don’t forget that you can also become a patron of this blog. Here’s how.)

There’s an official Discord channel for Occupy White Walls where users discuss the program and share their favourite galleries. I decided to visit many of those recommendations and I took pictures to share with you below.

To visit these galleries, you will need to download the OWW client software from steam (for free), install it, and go through the introductory tutorial. Then, all you have to do is press T for teleport, type in the name of the gallery given, et voilà!  You are there!

octavarium

sinappz

altamont

captaincaps

p1xeltr4sh

emerald2

One gallery that really impressed me with its creative design was made by a user named Emerald. The emerald2 gallery (one of several that Emerald has created) is a full-blown cruise ship, with art from stem to stern! 

So, as you can see, people have taken the basic tools and building blocks given to them by Stiki Pixels (the creators of Occupy White Walls) and they have done some marvelous things with them.

And this is only the first few galleries I visited on my list of recommendations by other users! In fact, there are so many beautifully designed and curated galleries that I might just turn this blogpost into a regular feature on my blog, profiling five or six OWW galleries at a time. There’s so much to see!

Why not download the OWW software from Steam and do a little exploring, designing, and curating of your own? Best of all, it’s totally free!

VRChat Pick of the Day: GM3’s Art Galleries

Art galleries and virtual worlds are a natural fit. (Second Life has been home to hundreds of art galleries over its fourteen-year history.) I wanted to highlight some pioneering work which has been done in this area in the new social VR space, VRChat. (Yes, you can use it for more than just being a general jackass! There’s culture, too.)

VRChat user GM3 (a.k.a. Godfrey Meyer III) has created and curated four separate collections of paintings, photography, digital artworks, animated installations, and virtual sculptures. To find his galleries, simply search for “gallery” in the pop-up user interface in VRChat. You will find:

  • VR Art Gallery: ASCEND Art Show
  • Art Gallery: LEVITATE
  • “Three” Art Gallery Show
  • Art Gallery: FOUNDATIONS Art

Here’s a three-minute video overview of his ASCEND gallery, created last June:

And one of FOUNDATIONS:

And one of LEVITATE:

He is currently at work putting together art for the fifth show in VRChat. He has recently published an open art call for NEON ECHELON, created in Google Tilt Brush:

Here are some pictures I took at each of the four galleries created and curated by Godfrey (and yes, there’s even virtual wine and cheese!):

GM3 7GM3 1GM3 2GM3 3GM3 4GM3 5GM3 6

I highly recommend you visit each of Godfrey’s galleries. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in some thought-provoking art! I posted about my visit to GM3’s ASCEND art gallery opening last June to Google+.

You can follow Godfrey on FacebookTwitch, or join his Discord server.

Pick of the Day: E.C. Holden Test Gallery

Eric Holden is an artist and VR/AR researcher who has just put up a small gallery of his art and sculpture.

E.C. Holden Test Gallery 2 20 Dec 2017E.C. Holden Test Gallery 3 20 Dec 2017E.C. Holden Test Gallery 4 20 Dec 2017E.C. Holden Test Gallery 20 Dec 2017

In these pictures Vanity Fair is wearing:

Hair: Short Bob from the default Sansar hairstyles palette in Lookbook

Jewelry (except the Necklace): Bindi and Earrings Set by Cat

Necklace: Blue Dragonfly Necklace by Talevin

Dress: Hip and Casual Green Tunic by Whystler