ArtFest 2015 in Second Life – Showcasing SL Art While Raising Money for Disaster Relief

Today I interviewed Huntress Catteneo, who for several years has been the Organizer of ArtFest, a yearly event going on now through the end of March 2015 in SL.

ArtFest showcases the works of some of the most talented artists in SL, while helping raise money for disaster relief. ArtFest is housed on the island of Eclectic Diversity in Second Life. It is a wonderful place where you can find 3-D sculptures, paintings, activities and amazing art experiences! Here is the slurl (Second Life account and installation needed), along with the interview describing more details about ArtFest.


How can this be this educational?

Art has always been a big part of education, and this place teaches about innovative ways in which people can express themselves creatively, three-dimensionally, and virtually. In addition, this exhibit offers items and help for new SL users, and can inspire them to become excited about a virtual world’s possibilities. Lastly, this virtual location offers information about the Red Cross/Crescent and the international work it provides for disaster victims.

ArtFest Main Entry Area

ArtFest Main Entry Area

1. Huntress, what is ArtFest?

ArtFest is a charity Arts event where people can enjoy the variety of art in SL and at the same time benefit people in need outside of SL.  100% of all money raised goes to charity.  Money is raised by people voting for their favourite art works via donations to the hope plants found in front of each artist’s area. You can also help raise money by purchasing some of the items by our Artists at the small market near the landing area.

One of the Artworks showing the "hope plant" for donations.

One of the Artworks showing the “hope plant” for donations.

2. How long have you been doing ArtFest and how has it evolved?

This is the fourth ArtFest with the first being in 2011.  It has come to be an event that some artists now look forward to being a part of, most doing so because they have not only the love of art, but because they also love the chance to use their art to benefit others.  Over time the variety of art shown has expanded, with this year even one person ‘building’ an outfit that is now not just an exhibit, but also being sold to raise further funds that way.

Wearable art that is also available for sale, with 100% of the proceeds for charity.

Wearable art that is also available for sale, with 100% of the proceeds for charity.

ArtFest was ‘born’ in a great rush of organization that took 4 weeks to get started.  It was in response at that time to huge floods which were occurring in 3 countries with great loss of life around the world.  Each ArtFest is to raise money for disaster relief, as sadly there is always something happening in the world.  Originally there were floods, but there has also been other major disasters like the Japanese tsunami, and NZ earthquakes.

3. How did you come up with the idea of doing ArtFest?

I have always loved art in SL, and know that people will happily donate just for the chance to look at it.  It seemed a great way to raise some funds as I knew a few artists who were happy to show their work with no expectation of getting money from that.  I wanted a way to raise money where people felt they were doing something good while also getting some enjoyment back.

Huntress Catteneo, the organizer of ArtFest

Huntress Catteneo, the organizer of ArtFest

4.. Can you tell me a little about the Art and the Artists we can find at ArtFest?

All artists are welcome to take part, and there has been many very well known artists involved along with some that have never shown work anywhere before.  The common thing they all share is that they generously share their work and time, which is why the ‘tag’ they have as group members is ‘Talented and Caring’.  You will see their SL names next to each art piece (scattered about the island), and the artists themselves are often here working on their pieces. They are usually more than happy to discuss their work with people, and often sell some items to further donate to charity.  Being part of ArtFest involves all egos being left at the door, and for this reason it has always been a great event.

A musical, "experiential" art piece at ArtFest.

A musical, “experiential” art piece at ArtFest.

5. How much money has ArfFest raised so far over the years, and do you have a goal for this year?

ArtFest has raised 30K to 40K lindens each event, which is not a huge amount in RL terms, so I would certainly love to raise much more..  I hope to get at least 40K during this ArtFest, and at the moment of writing this we have reached 22K.

Another amazing "experiential" piece of art.

Another amazing “experiential” piece of art.

6. What or whom will the donations go toward this year at ArtFest? Also what are the different ways in which people can donate?

All money goes to the Red Cross/Cresent for disaster relief.  There are many groups that compete for donations for good causes in SL, one of the biggest being RFL, and many are a very specific group or country.  I chose the Red Cross/Cresent, as it is an international body, is non political and non religious, and most have seen them come to the aid of others at some point. You can donate by right-clicking and “paying” a hope plant in front of your favourite artwork(s), and/or by purchasing items at our market, which features works by some of our artists.

The market at ArtFest, with works by some of the artists on the island.

The market at ArtFest, with works by some of the artists on the island.

7. What other sorts of activities can we find at ArtFest?

Friendly people to chat or dance with.  Rides and games.  You can visit our friendly catfish Fred (he offers rides as well), or just explore the underwater.  There is a playground in the sky that pretends to be a shop, as well as a movie set you can teleport up to and watch the promo film.  Balloons can carry you on the wind, or grab a bracelet so you can swim.  Finally there are places to picnic and sit and relax, and of course my favourite, FLYING BUNNIES! (I really really like those).

The amusement park at ArtFest.

The amusement park at ArtFest.

8. Is there any other thing you would like to mention about ArtFest?

We have flying Bunnies.  We love people to come and donate, but we are also happy for them to just enjoy as we know times are tough.  ArtFest is ever changing, new artists join at any time, and all artists are encouraged to build slowly so that there is always something new to come back and see. Oh and did I mention we have flying bunnies?

Flying Bunny, a great way to go around the island and enjoy the exhibits!

Lorraine enjoying a free Flying Bunny, a great way to go around the island and view the exhibits!

—Huntress Catteneo


Thanks for the great interview Huntress! ArtFest is an amazing place and it is so awesome that you organize it yearly! Hats off to all the fantastic artists who participate. I love spending time at ArtFest, where I can enjoy the art, the many activities there, and feel good about supporting disaster relief through the Red Cross/Crescent. As mentioned above, here is the SLURL. You can enjoy ArtFest right now and through the end of March 2015. Hope to see you there!

– Lorraine Charron



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