Students Develop a Virtual World for Art Lovers

High culture comes to gamers with the help of a group of graduate students from UT Dallas Arts & Technology program.

An avatar of Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" created by Arts & Technology students.

Twelve graduate students have created a virtual art education environment in which art lovers can learn about museum practices and the visual arts.  Among the activities to do in this virtual world gallery are the following:

  • Take a two-dimensional painting and create an avatar from painters Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” or Pablo Picasso’s “The Guitarist.”
  • Learn how to mount an exhibition of just about any great work of art or historical subject matter that would not be possible in a real-life museum.  For example, the student’s virtual museum exhibition is of a Mayan pyramid.
  • Interact with art experts and learn the principles of design, color and light.
  • Stroll through a virtual art gallery with works created by UT Dallas students.

Created as a class project, “Virtual World Art & Design in Second Life” debuts Saturday, May 3, at the Horchow Auditorium at 7 and 9 p.m. as part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s opening weekend celebration for its Center for Creative Connections. In between presentations the auditorium will be an open lab for visitors to ask questions and interact with the student researchers. To view the site, go to

UT Dallas’ Arts & Technology program was one of the first university programs in the nation to develop islands in Second Life.

“Virtual reality provides new kinds of experiences not possible in a physical museum space,” said Dean Terry, professor of emerging media and director of the University’s Virtual World Lab.  “Our graduate students have worked hard to think about what it means to create art and express themselves in a digital, virtual environment.”

Saturday’s presentation will be streamed live on the Internet via Terry’s mobile phone at