I have visited numerous art galleries virtually, it is a favorite pastime of mine. The arts must always be embraced and promoted when given the chance, I do. I noticed the Art Factory when it first opened. It features art inspired by the pop art of Warhol, ManRay and Modrian and unique art not often seen elsewhere. Ernest presents thought provoking art in this gallery.
The art is of subjects we rarely think of - is what attracts me most. When I visit a gallery, I want the art to inspire me, which this does.
I asked Ernest Moncrieff what inspired him and a few questions about the gallery, “ Many thanks for the opportunity to be featured in the magazine! Firstly I must point out that the Art Factory is very much a joint venture, inspired by Ellen Tiratzo and supported by myself with the input of a number to others with the Factory community.
I met Ellen in world in early Autumn of 2019. Ellen was at the time putting together the Gaslight Art Gallery with Chopsy Bode, which combined submissions by inworld artists on the theme of light with real world works on the same theme. The concept was very inspiring and I submitted a couple of works to hang in the exhibition. We both found we had a passion for art and discussed subjects such as chiaroscuro ‘the art of light and shade’ and shared with each other the art and artists that we were passionate about. We realised we both not only loved art, but also had a strong desire to share this and to inspire and encourage others to join in a community and the sharing of artistic ideas.
The exhibition was a great success and we were keen to work together to expand the concept further, but that required a more dedicated region and so we set-up the first 1x1 Art Factory region. We wanted to curate and present the real life art we loved in new and innovative ways whilst also providing a space and opportunity for other lovers of art to contribute to the project. The project was also to be a not for profit venture and we would not charge for gallery space or sell, though there would be the opportunity to obtain content for free.
The region comprised three main areas, the Gaslight gallery which was the genesis of the project which we were keen to retain, but like many great artists we were drawn to two art centers, Paris and New York City. Paris centered around Montmartre with recreations of famous real life artist hang-outs such as the Lapin Agile and Monet's Giverny and Van Gogh's Yellow House. New York centered around the Village and Andy Warhol's Silver Factory (from which the region got its name). These were great areas to showcase real world art in new ways
but we also wanted to inspire and provide spaces for in world artists and so opened up a number of galleries for anyone who wanted to develop, create and share their work. In addition we created galleries with wall space for those that had some work but weren’t able to commit to an entire gallery. We also wanted to provide social spaces and Ellen designed and created Cafes and Coffee shops and we built an art institute to hold talks and shows and the Art Hive where anyone can contribute any artistic effort.
Over the months artists have come and gone, but two notable contributors have continued to be active. Nice Minik is a wonderful photographer who specializes in portraiture and produces some amazing work without the use of any post processing. Antonia Ling is inspired by the pop art of Warhol, ManRay and Modrian and has a constantly evolving gallery of original work, in addition her interests in classic Science Fiction is showcased in her 2001 Space Odyssey and Metropolis shows.
The Art Factory grew rapidly, within a couple of months we needed more space and so committed to setting up and managing our own VPS that would give us the ability to expand and the flexibility to maintain our own servers. This wasn’t without its difficulties and we are grateful for the support of those more technically able who helped us become self-sufficient.
The Art Factory continues to develop with recreations of Picasso's Villa, Paul Cezanne's Polynesia and a special recreation of Yayoi Kusama 2020 show which in real life had to be cancelled due to the Pandemic. We branched out from the visual arts into hosting performing arts events which we hoped were a little bit different. The Birdcage theater hosted dance shows, live music and DJ events and even musical extravaganzas such as The Rocky Horror Show and Blue Brothers musicals. As the regions became more diverse we renamed from ‘The Art Factory’ to ‘The Factory’ and now support a number of regions, covering Film, Music and much more, but all still with the Arts and community at the forefront of our thinking.
How would we see it developing? We are really keen to encourage involvement and community, OpenSim is all about trying new things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, sometimes you have to try something again! We would like to re-energize the performing arts and develop the community side, like all of us we love the dances that we regularly attend, we love shopping too, but we would love to try out new things, host talks & presentations on the arts, share people's knowledge, hold art classes, poetry slams and share each other's passions and favourite works.
Another side to the Factory is recreations of fun places, a timeless virtual tourism if you will and as a Southern girl, Ellen has been developing the Big Easy which I know you will be featuring soon.
It’s remarkable to think that the Factory has been going for 18 months and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together and that we continue to be inspired by each other and the wider community to develop new ideas. If anyone want to join us and get involved please do contact us or join our Facebook group
To visit the Art Factory, please add this to your map:
hg.osgrid.org:80:The Art Factory Reloaded
“The Art Factory gave me the opportunity to display my inworld-photography and motivated me to learn more, test a lot and create new series. The artistic discussions with the owners are a very important feedback for me. Thank you so much Ellen & Ernest for your creativity and kindness.” Nice Minik