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As non-fungible art forms gain popularity, Dallas artists are riding the wave. Next month, Landmark Center will host an NFT pop-up gallery for two weekends.
The gallery, produced by Artist Uprising, will showcase a variety of digital works by Dallas artists Klarens Malluta, Magdiel Lopez, Michael Shellis and Temi Coker. Coker is originally from Nigeria and immigrated with his family to the United States in 2004. In college, he first studied biomedical engineering before focusing on digital media.
“I’ve been exposed to photography, graphic design, web design, animation, print, all of those different things,” Coker explains. “I focused on photography and design. This is how my love for [digital media] has begun. “
Since graduating from the University of Houston, Coker has partnered with Apple, Google, and HBO to create visuals. With his art, he wants to represent different facets of the black community.
“I create art that uplifts people in my community,” says Coker, “for people who are like me, who want to see and see my work. It is very important that I represent our darkness in my art.
Very few people are sure how NFTs work, but Coker explains that it’s similar to the social media verification process. The artwork attached to the non-fungible token may be reproduced or imitated, but only the people who purchased the token have proof that they own the work.
“People think they’re buying the artwork, but you really like buying a token of authenticity,” Coker says. “The best way for me to explain an NFT is like on Twitter, how you have the verifications verified for different users. And then you have other users who don’t have to verify. The verification verified you can see it in the blockchain. And so there is a way for people to track down the actual creator, and then who bought it first, and then who bought it from that person. “
Coker says that just as verified tweets remain on the blockchain, NFTs can still be traced back to their owner.
“Whereas in the real world, someone can capture your work, print it and hang it in their home and say, ‘Yeah, I did this’ or ‘I got this from that person’,” says -he.
With a mission to provide local artists with paid opportunities, as well as partnerships and brand relationships, the Artist Uprising team were excited to discover new ways to collect art digitally. Even among people who aren’t quite sure what an NFT is, Artist Uprising CEO Merrick Porchédd sees tokens creating a “FOMO effect” because everyone wants to jump into the hype.
When Porchédd launched Artist Uprising in 2017, she sought to eliminate the term “starving artist” from the vocabulary of local creators. She believes that NFTs will open new avenues for artists to financial success.
Several artists with whom Porchédd works had already mentioned the NFT. Earlier this year, she started receiving emails from artists and brands wishing to create and auction some form of tokens. Porchédd learned about NFTs and spent four days watching videos and doing immersive research.
During the pandemic, many NFT auctions were held online, but Porchédd wanted to be a game-changer and educate people about NFT in a fun and creative way.
“We had collectors who were trying to learn, ‘Hey, how do I get involved in this NFT world? », Says Porchédd. “And so we thought, what better way to kick off an event that would help start educating people in general, especially in Dallas, on what crypto or trading really means? Instead of having Zoom calls, we were like, “We should just make it a party.” “
The NFT Pop-Up Gallery will take place over two Saturdays, at 7 p.m. on June 5 and June 12. The June 5 event will be open exclusively to artists and collectors who are already in the NFT world. They will be able to see the artwork on the televisions, which will be displayed vertically on the walls.
The June 12 event will be open to the general public, who will also be able to view the artwork, purchase food from food trucks and physical versions of some of the artwork. Like NFTs, physical art will be sold through silent auctions. Participants will also be able to learn how the process of trading, buying and selling of NFT works.
“We feel like [Landmark Center] has an aesthetic that feels appropriate for an event like this, ”says Porchédd. “It has an industrial and urban vibe. And with this event, we really want to showcase this disruptive brand of art. “
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