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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Results of the Second RyanSchultz.com Reader Poll: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?

Image created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

The reader poll I posted one week ago has now closed, and I can now share the results with you.

But before I do that, I want to show you my blog viewer statistics. Notice the HUGE spike in viewers for three consecutive days? Almost all of that traffic was to the original blogpost! I’ve never seen anything like it.

At first, I was excited. And then, I got suspicious. While that particular blogpost eventually got 5,456 views (making it my most-viewed blogpost of all time!), the actual number of votes in my poll did not see a corresponding spike (only 220 votes in total were cast).

I had deliberately designed my poll so that repeat voters were blocked by website cookie and IP address, so obviously, either I was getting a lot of repeat voters, or a lot of visitors were not submitting their vote. And that huge spike in traffic was from locations all over the world, but there were many viewers from a lot of countries that to date had not been frequent visitors before: Turkey, Brazil, Russia, Romania, Colombia. I suspect that my poll was hit by a swarm of bots.

It would appear that SOMEONE was trying to sway (or spoil) my poll. The surge in traffic to that particular blogpost ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. The question is: why would anyone bother?

Anyway, time to announce the results of my poll. A total of 220 votes were received:

POLL RESULTS: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?

  1. Sansar (43 votes)
  2. Second Life (38)
  3. OpenSim/Halcyon grids (23)
  4. Somnium Space (16)
  5. VRChat (15)
  6. High Fidelity (14)
  7. NeosVR (10)
  8. Occupy White Walls (8)
  9. Cryptovoxels (7)
  10. Sinespace (7)
  11. Engage (6)
  12. AltspaceVR (5)
  13. TheWaveVR (4)
  14. Anyland (2)
  15. Mozilla Hubs (2)
  16. Oculus Rooms (2)
  17. vTime XR (2)

The following platforms all got one vote each:

  • Active Worlds
  • Bigscreen
  • Hyperfair VR
  • JanusVR
  • 3DX Chat

And there were two unique write-in ballots*:

  • Anarchy Arcade: “It’s social not like chat, but by exploring people’s collections.”
  • Pix-Life (I have absolutely no idea what this is, and Google was no help. Does anybody know what this is?)

*Note to OpenSim/Halcyon fans: YOU DO NOT READ INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I simply added all your OpenSim write-ins to the OpenSim total above. Next time, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. Your particular OpenSim/Halcyon grid is not a special, unique snowflake. Thank you.

Now, I am not going to read too much into these poll results. If anything, they are more a picture of my current blog readership (which tends to skew heavily towards Sansar and Second Life users). And I’m not going to kid myself: I’m sure a few platforms urged their users to vote in this poll. This is far from a scientific survey. I was a little surprised that Second Life did not get first place in my poll, though.

So, what do you think of the poll results? Please feel free to leave a comment below, thank you!

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

As promised, here’s a few more of the best galleries I have visited in Occupy White Walls. This is actually a great way to pick up ideas for use in the gallery I am currently building!

birbswarm

This user has created an imposing tower at one end of the gallery, rising up against the night sky:

At the very top of the tower is a glass-walled gallery filled with landscapes, open to the starry night:

lachdanan

This outstanding gallery features a bold, futuristic design and numerous themed displays:

miikastigson

raoulr

cscousins

As you can see, this gallery is more about the architecture than the art!

jbpaschal

This gallery is truly a joy to explore!

As I mentioned before, Occupy White Walls is free to use. I would encourage you to download the client software from Steam and do a little exploring of your own! There’s so much to appreciate here, an embarrassment of riches, and something to delight just about anybody.

The software has just been updated, and a new feature allows for the collaborative building of galleries with other users:

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!