Tech entrepreneurs opening Seattle NFT Museum to showcase digital artform in a physical space

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Seattle NFT Museum on First Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. (SNFTM photo)

Art lovers curious as to whether the craze for NFTs and the flurry of collecting such digital assets would be a physical museum to visit a physical museum in Seattle to gain a better appreciation for the phenomenon.

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NS Seattle NFT Museum, opening January 14, is being billed as the first museum dedicated to emerging art in the Pacific Northwest, and will showcase artists and serve as a gathering place for enthusiasts and collectors.

SNFTM – not to be confused with SAM or the old EMP or any other arty – was founded by Seattle entrepreneurs jennifer wong And Peter Hamilton, The tech giant is active in the business and startup community and previously worked together at marketing company Tune.

Jennifer Wong and Peter Hamilton, founders of the Seattle NFT Museum.

Wong is now the head of sustainability at digital freight startup Convoy, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. TuneIn’s former CEO Hamilton is now head of commerce at streaming television platform Roku.

Wong told GeekWire that digital fluency in Seattle is greater than in many places and there is a strong NFT enthusiast base looking for more ways to share art and build connections.

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“There’s also a surge of curiosity among the general public,” Wong said. “The Seattle NFT Museum is accessible to anyone who has heard the term NFT and wants to learn a little more.”

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are virtual certificates of ownership that are recorded as part of a blockchain computing network and have created a frenzy among collectors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Everything from random Internet memes to serious digital artwork can be handed down unparalleled digital authenticity – and sold for breathtaking sums.

It is hoped that having an actual brick-and-mortar location will further boost the medium in Seattle. Wong called inspiration, education and community the three primary goals of the dedicated space, adding that elements of all three are missing from the digital forums and platforms where NFTs are now predominantly displayed.

‘As powerful as online communities have become, there is no substitute for standing next to another person to see the art.’

The museum, located at 2125 First Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will feature more than 30 high-quality screens to display digital art. The museum’s website calls the quality of the displays “the foundation of this immersive gallery,” and the art that is displayed resides on the blockchain and is presented on loan from artists, creators, galleries and collectors.

The move to a physical gallery is an interesting twist compared to the path taken by Seattle-based Phosphene, which was launched in May as an online portal by tech veteran Art Min and Roc La Rue Gallery owner Kirsten Anderson.

“The fidelity and size of the display make room for inspiration that smartphone scrolling can’t provide,” Wong said. “As powerful as online communities have become, there is no substitute for standing next to another person to see art. We need both worlds, and we know that the future will be able to bridge the metaverse with physical experiences. There will be a lot of opportunities.”

The goal is to make NFTs more accessible, bring exposure to digital art and artists, and help people understand how to interpret artforms.

Wong is working directly with artists, curating for museum opening show, Hamilton is managing the Discord and Collector communities. The two call it a fun passion project, but they will need help and are currently recruiting for administration, curation, community management and IT roles.

In addition to art exhibits, the Seattle NFT Museum will also be available for NFT mining events, team off-site, conferences, fundraisers, holiday parties, photoshoots and more.

(SNFTM image)

Here are the artists and collections that will be initially showcased by SNFTM:

  • lead artist, blake catherine, LA-based 3D artist with a futuristic aesthetic, who has collaborated with Lil Nas X, Jimmy Choo, Vox, and Warner Bros. Blake Catherine will do Q&A at the museum over the opening weekend.
  • collector showcase, bird collection, The works, owned by Seattle Tech founder and NFT collector Aaron Bird, will be on loan to the museum as their first exhibit. Bird previously co-founded Seattle business marketing startup Bizable and startup studio Pienza.
  • seattle artist, neon salt water: Environmental designer and 3D artist based in Seattle, specializing in creating digital and physical rooms. Clients and affiliates have included Barneys New York, Starbucks, Facebook, the Seattle Art Museum, Target, and more.
  • seattle artist, Charles Peterson: Photographer best known for his documentation of the Seattle grunge music scene of the 1980s and ’90s. Peterson recently entered the NFT scene with the sale of a collection of rock images.
  • seattle artist, Robbie Trevino: conceptual artist and illustrator based in Seattle specializing in surreal and sci-fi illustration and design. Clients include: Lucasfilm, Tool, Deadmo5, Magic the Gathering, Netflix (Love, Death and Robots), Valve, Xbox and more.
  • artist showcase, H+ Creative, The artist representation firm and visual services studio showcases some of the most iconic NFT artists working today.

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