MFA candidate creates thesis exhibition in Second Life

June 28, 2010

Master of Fine Arts candidate in Visual Communications, Margaret Allotey-Pappoe, created her thesis exhibit using the interactive virtual environment of Second Life. Her exhibit is on the history and significance of traditional African Kente Cloth. However, her thesis is an exploration of the cultural and educational possibilities inherent in virtual words. Originally conceived as a proposal for a physical exhibit, the virtual format offered the opportunity to reach more people; in particular, to create a presentation to present the idea to potential underwriters. Along the way, she had to work with a variety of people, including staff at the Cullom-Davis Library, and helpful on-line builders, to construct the forms and interactions needed to complete a rich media experience. Her personal avatar (or virtual self), complete with custom Kente garments, serves as guide in the introductory video in the exhibit at the Praire Center of the Arts. The exhibit resides in SecondLife as part of the Bradley University allocated virtual space and can be accessed from the virtual Founder's Circle. In the Second Life exhibit and in the physical space of the exhibit at the Prairie Center is a video shot on location in Ghana, directed and edited by Ms Allotey-Papoe. The exhibit runs through May 14, and closes with an evening reception from 6-8 pm on the 14th.