Friday, October 28, 2011

A Thank You to Our Virtual Community

First and foremost, this is a thank you to the many friends of the UTSA-SL virtual campus and a thank you for the times we spent together over the past few years. There are too many names to mention individually here; so many who dedicated their time and creativity to make our islands truly exceptional. I cannot begin to express how much I enjoyed and enjoy my time with this wonderful community. More though, it is not only the sense of being part of a vibrant community, but also the warmth of friendship that made our virtual campus such a special place for so many.

That being said, I will mention two of the artists who have contributed in special ways to our UTSA ArtSpace, because neither is part of SL anymore: Sabrinaa Nightfire and Igor Ballyhoo.

Sabrinaa passed away not too long ago and left a huge hole in the fabric of the virtual art community. She was not only an artist, but also an extremely warm and supportive person. Her kindness and friendship extended to everyone and her legacy lies in the art she created as much as in the memories of the many who remember her with a warm smile. She will not be forgotten.

Igor was the driving force behind the creation of the Snow Crash exhibit on the UTSA ArtSpace and worked tirelessly on creating an amazing exhibit area initially alone and later together with Rebeca Bashly. All of his work is exceptional and his departure from the SL art scene is a tremendous loss; he was and is an artist of extraordinary talent and vision. I have not posted any feedback to any of the blogs targeting him on the web, because I could see that all the comments that were made in his support only fueled more vicious postings from individuals who view themselves as “performance artists” without giving a single thought to the fact that what they engage in is essentially no more than cyber bullying. Artists like Igor are the real deal and I am honored that he chose to work with UTSA.


  1. Work you did with UTSA in SL should stand as an example for others and I am proud that i am part of it.Building with Igor was priceless to me.It made the builder i am now, and you said it well..Artists like Igor are real deal. Creating in such great environment and surrounded by such amazing people that you and Igor are is something one could only wish for, and i got it. Thank you for everything.

  2. I was quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with UTSA and to now count constructivIST / Carmen as my friend. In a "virtual" world where anything is possible it's no easy task to carve out a truly memorable experience. UTSA was exactly that, and it took a generous and open-minded leader to facilitate it ...constructivIST epitomized that. Thank you so much, my friend.

  3. I also wanted to include a comment IM'd to me in-world. Hypatia Pickens sent me a message that I found quite moving and I wanted to share it here: "All around me it seems that I see marvelous installations supported by non-profit organizations disappearing because LL has removed the discount for them. :( Besides UWA, UTSA was a source of validation for me. As a university professor I could say that, well, UT has a site on SL for 3D art builds. I'm so sorry to hear that it is leaving. We'll miss it."

  4. Thank you, Carmen. This was truly a very special site for me. I hope universities in the future will derive inspiration from the University of Texas and be so bold as to sponsor a truly cutting edge art form in a daring new environment. Hypatia / Sally