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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Spotlight on The Janus Galleries- SLE Reporting...

Curated by Chuck Clip and Jewell, this gallery is named for the Roman god of new beginnings, transitions, doorways, and time. The Janus Gallery III hopes to usher in a new era of art in Second Life while keeping an eye on the roots they came from. With multiple galleries and events happening, this couple breathes new life into the art community of Second Life. SLE sat down with Chuck and Jewell to learn more about what they do, what art means to them, and what’s to come.

Interview with Chuck Clip & FallenAurora Jewell

SLE: Second Life means many different things to the people who log from around the globe to socialize, create and have fun at events happening around the clock. Collectively we are all part of a unique culture unmatched by rival virtual worlds across the metaverse. Can you give our readers a little bit of background about you and how you discovered Second Life?

Chuck: So… I discovered Second Life at a very dark time in my life. I was struggling mentally and financially. Just about the only thing I owned was my mac from college. I wanted a game to play in my off time and struggled to find anything interesting that would run on my mac. I stumbled across something called Second Life and thought it was a Sims rip-off. I made my account with what I thought would be a screen name which is why I ended up named CHUCKMATRIX Clip up until the advent of name changes. I picked that terrible cybergoth starter avatar and logged in. A woman skipped up to me and said, “Hi! Welcome to Second Life! You look like you need help!” I learned more about SL thanks to that person in my first two hours than I think I have in the years since. But let's hop into the time machine and skip my time as a host/dancer. One year later I’m with a woman who gets interested in my graphic design work and RL art. She introduced me to the lovely person who gave me my first art show in SL. To this day I can’t tell you HOW Finny saw any potential in what I initially showed her, but that show sparked a new passion in me. It also connected me to my first patron, Raftwet Jewell. Raft gave me my first gallery in SL and my friends introduced me to works like those of Starax. That drove me to dive headfirst into SL prim sculpture and had a relatively successful career showing in over 40 galleries across the grid, taking commissions from people and institutions alike. I reached what I felt like was a good place to stop, and almost immediately stumbled into Jewell. So began a whole new life in both RL and SL.

FallenAurora: I discovered Second Life through my employer.  I worked in IT for 25 years at a university.  We purchased an Educational Sim when the cost was favorable.  The Second Life sim was my responsibility to manage.  We did have several colleges that used it for classes. The College of Nursing, Digital Media, College of Medicine and History. The classes continued until SL increased the cost for hosting the educational sim. After we abandoned the educational sim, I stayed in SL. I found several support organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, and personal self-help groups. This was of interest to me, as my education was focused on using technology for medical health care. Then I met Chuck Clip.  I was introduced to SL Art and was blown away. I have been involved in art, both 2D and 3D ever since. Art is an expression of emotional and physical health. It speaks to the status of the RL world in which we live and thrive or struggle to thrive. I want to provide a place for ALL those who are creative to have a voice. 

SLE: You both have a great story that shows you can create real lasting bonds with people you meet in Second Life and it can ultimately change your life. Art is in everything we do in both worlds. Art is a therapy that evokes emotion just by cit. It is also used as a way for artists to express themselves, What inspired you to create The Janus Galleries?

Chuck: Continuing from the previous question… I met Jewell! We got together in real life in 2015. And I left SL. I didn’t see the point in playing house anymore when we had an ACTUAL house together. But… fate is a funny thing. In December 2019 I had a few weeks off from work, and Jewell had gotten heavily back into SL so I joined her. She taught me how to DJ, I remade my avatar and had some fun. As Covid-19 shut down my plant, I started spending more time in SL. We bought a sim together to be our personal playground, but then I started exploring all my old haunts. And they were gone. All but three of them. And the three that still stood were ghost towns. I felt a huge amount of guilt. I felt like I had abandoned everyone who had lifted me up. So I asked Jewell if we could convert our sim to gear it toward the arts, and she saw how passionate I was about it and said yes. I don’t think either of us knew what we were committing to though. We held our first show in July 2020 even before we had NAMED the gallery and two weeks later, the gallery was booked through December. Since then we’ve kept adding venues and a second sim by October.

FallenAurora: This will be redundant, from the previous question.  I want to give anyone/everyone a ‘voice’; a place to make a statement and find a supportive entity that will promote and make every attempt to bring others in to hear...what they have to say.

SLE: You hope to usher in a new era of art in SL while keeping an eye on your roots. Can you tell us how your roots influenced what you do in-world?

Chuck: As I said before I used to show all over the grid. I was extremely lucky to have participated in many themed shows, to find support for my art even when it was still very raw and needed some refining. Those are things that I am trying to return to the culture of art in SL. I also think of things like the haiku speed builds, or the exquisite corpses where 50+ artists all added one prim to create chaotic monstrosities that like it or hate it represented the whole community. There was freedom in art to explore to express controversial ideas and feelings. I see so many shows now where they ask artists not to make any religious or political statements, to which I say, “I’m sorry… have you looked at art EVER?” We NEED the freedom that I had 10 years ago to mess around and make something that might make someone mad. Art makes you FEEL and sometimes you won’t like the feeling. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean it’s not art. It means your preconceptions of life, religion, politics, humanity, sexuality, etc. were challenged. Congratulations! You have experienced art! I very much want artists' voices to be heard again, and broadly!

FallenAurora: My roots are in Community Health, focusing on using technology to reach out to those who may not be in the same physical location.  Also, those who may have trouble finding others with the same life interest. 

SLE: Great outlook on the meaning of art and using your roots to guide you in SL Arts. Besides you two, who else is involved in the management of the gallery?

Chuck: Yep Jewell nailed it. 

FallenAurora: Currently, it is only Chuck and myself supporting the art sims. Dara is a booking manager and has been invaluable in helping us to find and book musicians. We do hire a host to assist us for events that we may find difficult to ‘be a  host’ while still sending out notices, inserting performer stream info, and communicating with guests.

SLE: Booking managers are valuable team members. It’s hard to manage all on your own in SL. What type of art do you showcase?

Chuck: In addition to what Jewell said we also have a media artist (they work in videos) and we’ve hosted a few tribute concerts by people who remake entire bands and their stages. 

FallenAurora: I welcome ALL art. We have 2D, 3D, composed music at events and written art, in the form of published and non-published writers and poets.  The talent in SL is amazing.

SLE: How often do you host events at The Janus Galleries?

Chuck: Mhm we generally have at least one event a week on the sims. Aside from the galleries, there is also Janus Java, the music venue at Angels Rest Arts Collective, and we have an airship on Sinful Retreat where we occasionally hold parties.

FallenAurora: We host events weekly; art displays, readings, and music.

SLE: It looks like you both are kept very busy which is a good thing in SL! How can artists showcase their work at your galleries?

Chuck: So, Jewell and I have and still do scour the grid looking for artists and inviting them to show. A few old curator friends of mine shared old lists of artists, and we have combined all of that into a database of artists in SL. Generally, we pull from that list, but on occasion, someone we haven’t heard of yet approaches us and asks to show us their art. It almost invariably results in an invitation to show, and we very much welcome this. Artists who have not yet shown with us may feel free to reach out to either Jewell or me.

FallenAurora: Artists are encouraged to create installations, show their art in our galleries, read in our Janus Java Coffee house and post their poetry, or request a unique setting to display some work.  Coming up soon, we have a proposal to display the ‘History of SL’ in photography.  Therefore we are setting up a platform and gallery specific to this request. 

SLE: Oh that sounds interesting. With SL turning 18 this year, I’m sure there is a lot of history to be displayed. Do you also host music entertainment for guests? If so, how often?

Chuck: Music is integrated into every gallery opening, and we also hold purely music events occasionally at Angels Rest. 

FallenAurora: We acquire/hire live music performers and various composers to accompany each event.

SLE: Music definitely sets the tone when viewing art in both worlds. You have an upcoming event on July 10th with a few entertainers on the list, can you tell us more about it?

Chuck: The Sinners & Saints Art Show serves a dual purpose.  It opens the 10th with spiritLed, Semina, and Acoustic Energy.  On the one hand, it is my first deep dive into carrying the torch of the old University of Western Australia 3D Design Challenges, and on the other, it is celebrating the culmination of our first year as an art sim in SL. We’ve taken in 2D and 3D art as well as poetry from artists and writers from around the world, and we’ll celebrate it over the course of July with music events throughout the month. The exhibit will then stand through September, after which select pieces will go into rotation around the sims. 

FallenAurora: Sinners & Saints will be a display of the ‘light’ and ‘dark’ art, both 2D and 3D  from as many artists as we can bring to our sim.  The interpretation of light and dark is up to the participants. Currently, we have seven of the dates, from the 10th of July to the 25th confirmed performers, with more music being scheduled and thirty or more artists participating.

SLE: We want to check that out! Do you have a group that guests can join to be alerted for upcoming events?

Chuck: Yep

FallenAurora: We have a website; also an SL Group
(secondlife:///app/group/b666d06a-a311-9aa5-5eb5-dbeea8b49445/about) for notices about upcoming events!




AND a subscriber that reaches out to those who arrive on the sim near the galleries.

SLE: Are you hiring any staff? If so, what positions are you looking for?

Chuck: Aside from hosts, I have reached out to writers and photographers. That particular endeavor fizzled out, but I’m still open to the idea. Our standards are pretty high, but if anyone were interested they can feel free to reach out to us with samples. 

FallenAurora: We have hired a host to assist with events as needed.

SLE: It sounds like you run a pretty tight ship and you take what you do seriously. You both are doing an excellent job keeping art alive in Second life. Thank you on behalf of art lovers across the grid.  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Chuck: We’re just two regular people. We have some experience, we set pretty high standards for what appears on the sims, but we also look for potential. We’re more than willing to show new artists, and help them set up their work to be shown and sold in such a way that protects them from theft, etc. I guess what I’m trying to say is we’re willing to do some mentoring. We also work hard to communicate and collaborate as much as possible with other curators around the grid. We truly believe we need to rekindle the community spirit in SL Art and cast aside some of the old grudges that have formed over the years. Oh! On the note of selling, we do not ask for commissions on sold work. A few artists have insisted, others have donated a portion, but we don’t believe we should profit off of the artists. We work with what we have and donations sometimes offset some of the cost. 

FallenAurora: My greatest desire is to continue supporting as many artists of ALL kinds for as long as I am alive. 

Additional Information



Group: secondlife:///app/group/b666d06a-a311-9aa5-5eb5-dbeea8b49445/about



Discord server:


"If I were called upon to define briefly the word Art, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul." 

-Paul Cezanne


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