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The Silas Gallery_002The photo above is of The Silas Gallery in Babbage Square. There’s time-sensitive information about an exhibition of the pastels of Silas Merlin running through February at Gallery 24 in Tabula rasa further on in this post.

I first became aware of this artist through the Flickr feed of Kimika Ying, who shoots wonderful images of New Babbage. Silas Merlin, known as Jean-Francois Le Saint in the physical world, does pastel studies of real life people, many of them young, in period or festival clothing. These were selected for the setting in New Babbage and there are about 169 art pieces here.The Silas Gallery_003In the front room of the gallery is the poster, shown in the middle of this photo, that led me to the Gallery 24 exhibition. There’s an exhibition book that can be viewed and also purchased, seen in the front window display here. Silas Merlin is also experimenting with 3D sculpture. A new one was rezzed in the front yard of the gallery just recently. The Silas Gallery_004The second room has comfortable seating and a link to magazine articles about the work of Le Saint in both French and English. I’ve noticed some other 3D creations of Silas Merlin in New Babbage. He has a cemetery; he isn’t an artist who puts up a virtual gallery and then never engages.

From the land description:

“A (growing) selection of pastels and sculptures by Silas Merlin, aka Jean-François Le Saint, Master Pastellist of the Pastel Society of France.”

I’d wondered about these two room in such a huge building. On my second visit I noticed an armoire door open which led to a huge room filled with pastel studies and two more floors of portraits above it. If you’re too tall to walk through, you can use chairs to sit your way in.

I’ve read the artist likes to start a live sketch and then work from photographs. That explains how the sweet studies of an orange tiger cat were possible; they can be seen on the second floor.The Silas Gallery_005This is the top floor of the back rooms of the gallery, the windows showing views of Babbage Square. The Silas Gallery_006

The Silas Gallery poster led me to the exhibition entitled The Portraits of Silas Merlin. The exhibition, curated by Kayly Iali, is at Gallery 24 in the Avalon Arts Community. It opened in January and runs through February.

Kayly Iali has written about the artist on her blog here.

The upper room I stood in to take the above photo has commissioned portraits being shown. The room that was to my right has original portraits for sale with a reminder to pick up the art. Walking out onto a roof terrace, there are some examples of avatar portrait commissions.

Near the front door of the gallery is a link to an excellent post about the artist and this exhibit by Inara Pey on her Living in a Modemworld blog.The Silas Gallery_007A room off to the side on the first floor has some information about the process the artist uses.  There’s also a link to a time lapse video, of under 4 minutes in length, of a portrait being drawn having taken over an hour to complete. (This video is also embedded in Inara Pey’s post.)

There is supposed to be a third location at the Creative Trio Mansion in Escapades but it was confusing to me and I didn’t find a studio for him. The trio is Draxtor, Silas Merlin and Flokers, a cartoon artist. I landed in Flokers’ studio and the Draxtor Smartbot outside gave me a bit of a startle. Being intrepid, I looked around, with the Draxtor bot talking the whole time. Silas Merlin 1Later, I learned that Silas doesn’t have art in Escapades at this time and I was given an exciting tour through “secret” tunnels from New Babbage (through the wax museum) into the basement of the Creative Trio Mansion. There’s a figure based on one of the Goonies characters in the tunnels and I plan to go back and see if I can find my way on my own.Silas Merlin 3Escapades is intended to be a fun place to be enjoyed by the public.  Silas Merlin 2I  feel fortunate that I got to meet Silas and visit his studio where we discussed prims and mesh and this and that. He explained several steps in the process of creating 3D sculpture starting with prims.

I’m looking forward to following his work in Second Life. In the meantime, I recommend visiting the exhibition at Gallery 24, running through February.