Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cecilia Delacroix - A tribute

I've been lucky in my SL. I got the luck to meet great people, whose passion, enthusiasm and skills have been a push to me for improving my owns and whose love for beauty and culture allowed me to enjoy great places and creations.
One of them is Cecilia Delacroix.

She's no longer here. A few days ago, her RL typist has passed away, leaving all her SL friends with a big void, that's difficult will be ever filled.
I dedicate this post to the memory of Cecilia, trying to say what I know she made in SL for our joy and to remember the best moments I've spent with her.

When I made my first exhibit on Art Deco, I wondered seeing that a few people have loved my photos and have bought them. I was curious about them, and I did peek their profile. Among them was Cecilia's one: it was so amazing that I decided to visit her SIM Campus d'Art.
I arrived in an art lovers' paradise! In a very pleasant environment, made by lawns, trees, well ordered roads and channels, countless buildings were displaying what I think is one of the largest collection of artpieces in SL.

The best surprise, though, has been then that Cecilia had dedicated one of the galleries to a wonderful exhibit about RL Art Deco. Great photos of buildings, objects, decor pieces, clocks and lamps, commented in a lot of accurate notecards, make of it the best SL introduction to that beloved style.

(view also my Flickr set on that exhibit)

Close to the Art Deco gallery, a small café called Ancient Ground's revealed me the lovely creator's mood: simple and warm, it was filled with retro pieces - among them, a 1950s juke box - and the atmosphere was also given by a large collection of old coffee advertising posters. I loved it at the first glance and I wanted to contribute by giving the owner an italian one (all of you know: we Italians think - by reason! - our coffee is the best in the world!). So I met Cecilia :)

Celebrating Art was her main aim in SL: at that time, Campus d'Art, a one-woman-SIM, counted 36 galleries, each dedicated to a theme or to a SL or RL artist. The work to build and to manage all those beautiful galleries was huge, and I suppose its cost did as well. But Cecilia was a tireless person: SIM's details are stunning, care of collections and of information notecards, choice of artists make of Campus d'Art one of the most amazing art lover's venues in SL.

Our friendship has been fed by art: we were used to meet in places like the Virtual Architecture Museum, were we shared the exciting task to judge the Art Deco Build Off in 2011, and I've been honored to have her as a visitor at many of my photo exhibits.
The most special opportunity to see her at work has been when she invited me to visit a very special exhibit she had not set at her SIM, but renting an airport hangar. Cecilia has been a fan of SL aviation, and she wanted to mix that passion to hers for art: showing a deep knowledge of 1920-30 graphics, she collected a large number of aviation posters, celebrating the new, developing, air transports. The original exhibit, now re-opened at New Horizon Airport  (hangar 1:, lasted just a while, and I think many people didn't see it. So I'm glad to post here some pictures I've taken when I visited it with my friend pilot Laura, led by Cecilia herself :)

At the current exhibit, I was moved seeing Cecilia's workplace, clean and well ordered, full with amazing posters and maps, but also with a pizza and a good red wine bottle. I had to refrain my tears when I thought that place will remain lonely and empty.

At the time I visited it first, the SIM did still show a masterpiece: the Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Waterfall. It was exciting climbing the mountain or taking the cableway (it's still working!) to reach it and looking the wonderful mix of water, bricks and stones that FLW's genius thought and Cecilia's love for nature and architecture brought to life even in SL. Unfortunately, FLW works are disappeared from SL, due to copyright issues, but the Campus' richness in beautiful things can make forget it.

 (F. Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, SL reproduction, no longer in the SIM)

There is a lot of great art places and art galleries in SL, but what makes the Campus unique is its huge size and its special care for the environment: water, plants, trees and simple, clean designed buildings are the frameworks of the arts displayed there (btw, I was happily surprised to see buildings are from the same creator - Ace's Park Life - as my own home!). The whole is mid-20th century styled: white or grey buildings with large windows, sometimes even in Streamline-Bauhaus style, like the best american 1940-50s architecture.

Cecilia wanted also to stress the relationship between nature and art. She has been a passionate photographer in RL; nature was her main inspiration, and the SIM's shaping reflects this mood.
She had displayed there several pretty collections of her gardens' and flowers' photos, but, most of all, she had the idea to set "artists walk" with artworks set along the channel, or some Plen Air Galleries, where artworks are set in open buildings. I'm honored she wanted to show my pictures in one of them.

One of the Plen Air gallery is dedicated to the lovely Cecilia's passion for tartans and kilts; it's maybe the only tartan collection displayed in a gallery of SL.

Water is a protagonist, there: fountains, paintings (the Iceland's landscape by Fuschia Nightfire on the Art Nouveau Museum's outside wall is wonderful!), channels, ponds, water sculptures, and even small details like the many sprinklers on the lawns, witness Cecilia's love for the liquid element. We can appreciate how much water did fascinated her admiring the great serie of photos "Oregon seashore" displayed at the Delacroix Gallery or her nature photos shown in several open galleries and at the awesome and peaceful Lake House. A huge wave by Severian Fall closes up the landscape beneath the mountains, and pretty ducks swim around in the many SIM's ponds. The SIM is clean and fresh like she was used to be herself, wearing her famous kilts and school-jackets from Subculture and her first-time-of-SL shape and skin.

Cecilia's concept of art was modern and wide: she displayed not only great works of Steampunk or Futurist or Abstract SL artists, but even very special things from RL culture: the collection of Gee Bend's Quilts, shown at the Art Nouveau Gallery is unique, while the fractal art and the glass collection are the witness of the collector's curious and well educated taste.

Cecilia's points of reference are great 20th Century painters: a gallery is dedicated to the great color genius of M. Rothko, with his flat, contrasting colorful surfaces; another one shows a wide selection of American Precisionist painter Ch. Sheeler's photographs and paintings, celebrating industrial and urban landscapes; another gallery, that recalls the great Mies Van de Rohe's Neues Galerie at Berlin, is dedicated to the great art by the Abstract Expressionist R. Diebenkorn with its geometric lines and its impressive colors.

An open idea of Art: this thought brought Cecilia to create another very special gallery: beneath a trellis full of yummy mature grapes, a countryside building hosts the Galerie des Vins (The Wine Gallery), along with a Wine bar. You can see there a wonderful collection of very special artworks: wine labels coming from all around the world. Some of them are really masterpieces, and Cecilia's sharpness teaches us that "museum" isn't a synonime of a gloomy and boring place, but it can be the place where we realize how fine art and design is everywhere in our everyday's life. This is what 20th century art tells us by its stress on decoration and design, and this is one of the the inspiration of the great Campus' collections!

Listing all the RL and SL artists Cecilia wanted in her galleries would be impossible: there are more than 1200 artworks! No other places in SL show better the 20th century Art, neither show the links and the debts SL art got with it. Just notice a large collection of arts by Ronin Shippe and the beautiful sculptures by Severian Fall, the stunning exhibit Primagery by Sledge Roffo, the awesome works by Dulcis Taurog, Monroe Snook, Fiona Leitner, Em Larson and Anya Ristow and many others. They show a wide sample of what SL art is.
A big square, bordered by the first SIM's building (the Musée d'Art classique) and by the pretty Delacroix Hall - a venue for conferences and concerts, paired to an open-air theater - hosts also kinetic sculptures by many talented SL artists, able to take advantage from pixels and scripts for experimenting new kind of arts.

Cecilia loved also poetry: at the Campus you'll find a sculpture by Caitlin Tobias, inspired to a poem she wrote and that's displayed on a board. It tells about a butterfly. Reading it now is moving: it makes thinking to her like her beloved butterfly!

When I'd known the sad news about her, I wanted to go to the Campus for shooting the most I could. In the course of time, we've lost great SL art places like Primtings Museum by Ina Centaur and Pop Art Display by Eros Boa and friends, but pictures can keep memory of them, as they deserve.
I warmly invite all of you to visit the Campus: we don't know what will happen with it, and it would be a big shame if all this accurate and passionate work would get lost. However, visiting it soon would be a pleasure and a good way to remember and to celebrate Cecilia's great soul.
Use TPs on maps scattered around, follow the path suggested by the info notecard given there (a complete guide to the SIM) or simply wander around the pretty landscape and the stunning artpieces: you'll be surprised at every corner!

Here I've shown only a few of the pictures I've taken in a sad but touching afternoon, when Cecilia's spirit led me around her place, saying me, with her usual enthusiast smile, how Love and Beauty are sisters between them and to us as well.
This last picture is my photographer's goodbye to her.

Bye Cecilia, you are here with us. Forever!


  1. Goodbye Cecilia, you'll be missed by many.

  2. I am proud to have known Cecilia. We used to build and create things together and she never failed to make me smile. I am so incredibly sad to know that I can never talk to her again. She will forever be an important part of my life and I will miss her.
    I love you Cecilia!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. Thank you. I was not a close friend of Cecilia's but came to know her just a bit through her association with the Chilbo community. She was a person of quiet passion who made my Second Life experience richer. For any SL art lover who has read the post and never visited Campus d'Art, a visit, long or short is worth your time. Cecilia created a very unique space to share with everyone.

    Corcosman Voom

  4. Beautiful Tribute.
    Thank you for putting it together :)

  5. A lovely tribute to such a wonderful person. Cecilia was the first person to ever buy a piece of my art on SL, I had camped for about a week to earn enough lindens to upload the textures, then I had to learn how to put them onto a prim and finally place those prims on the wall of a gallery, it took me hours! I was still trying to get the final pieces onto the wall when this scholarly looking lady walked into the gallery and bought one of them! I was so thrilled, I immediately sent her an IM to thank her and a friend request, which she accepted. Her sims show an amazing collection of SL art and are definitely worth a visit before they disappear forever!

    Fuschia Nightfire

  6. As of today, Cecilia's region Schwanson Schlegel is still up at Second Life. If you have not had a chance to see her contribution, I would encourage you to check it out before Linden Labs takes it down for good.


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