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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rebaked Alaska

A red letter day on sim Rhetorica today, the home of the University of Alaska and the Rasmuson Foundation. Jeffronius Criss (in RL Jeff Clarke, Rasmusen VP) announced the winner of the Distinguished Artist Award of $25,000 and - I'm guessing - both a chicken dinner and a trophy of some sort. There are also a whole load of smaller prizes, covering everything from textiles to novels to photography to performing art. I was having some serious rezzing issues to begin with, but a couple of Ctrl/Shift/R and suddenly the gallery popped for me, in all its four floors of glory.
25k buys a lot of creative time, but you have to be an Alaska resident to get in on this one.
I wonder, though - could we get a virtual Alaska going? I bet Bits n Bobs could put together some pretty realistic culturally referenced animations...*waits for you to put down that mental image*  ...seriously, the Rasmuson vision is one we can all get behind, over the years they've awarded about 4.5 million dollars to almost 200 people working to sustain and renew a cultural heritage as vast and diverse as the state of Alaska itself.
The Rasmuson award ceremony was one of the first events I ever covered on ArtsParks, and so it was nice to be back again, thanks to my old friend Cybergrrl Oh, seen at the top of this post. We were there to hear composer John Luther Adams accept, with only slightly bemused grace, our congratulations and questions.
TP over to the Rasmuson gallery to see art spanning the past four years, it's imaginative, fresh and surprising. Bring a sweater though, it's still snowing!!

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