NFT is a word you are hearing used more and more, but what is it? Can I get one at Target? Short answer: nope, you can’t. But You CAN get it on your phone – and support artists on a local or GLOBAL scale while doing so.
NFTs are a way to prove ownership of a digital asset, provide an increased level of digital security and help to prove authenticity of the artwork itself. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token shortened to NFT. NFTs are minted (produced) on a blockchain like Ethereum (a well known crypto currency) on a publicly verified ledger. You can purchase NFTs through various marketplaces like Opensea, DoinGud, and Rarible. These purchases become part of your personal belongings; collectors and collections are growing by the day. It’s a digital world – and artists and buyers are carving out space.
In regard to Art On The Rio, an NFT is a way we will begin to authenticate the art that a number of the artists we work with and for, produce. It will help our continuing efforts to get artists paid and contribute to social causes that these artists want to support. Platforms like DoinGud have whole “social impact” wings, allowing for artists to choose causes they want to support in part, through the sale of their works. We will be partnering with DoinGud in efforts to do some good across the globe, by way of artists right here at home, New Mexico.
Let’s talk about how all this works. An NFT houses a smart contract (similar to a paper contract, but digital and stored on the blockchain) that dictates how all proceeds from the sale of the piece are distributed as well as the information about the art piece (date it was created, artist name, purchase price, etc.) . In addition to the technical data behind each NFT, there are multiple ways to experience the art. Buyers may receive in addition to the digital experience of the NFT, additional artwork images, artist bios, and production highlights. In Art On The Rio’s case, many of the pieces will have a physical piece of artwork attached to the purchase as well. It’s what we are calling a “Phygital” experience, a digital and physical way to experience the same piece of art. How’s that for value – two for one! Not just a piece of art, but a whole lot of digital fun!
With this new tech, artists not only get paid when they sell a piece of art, they also get paid every time it sells in the future creating a more equitably functional creative economy for emerging and established artists alike. Collectors also benefit from NFTs by having more robust security built into the art or collectable, making buying and selling safer, protecting artists’ work from theft and collectors from scams. The way art is being purchased and sold is continuing to grow, and we are getting in on the digital “ground floor.” The NFT space is new and is rapidly evolving, Art On The Rio is committed to learning and understanding how this emerging technology can benefit creators at large, keeping their best interests in mind. “Phygital Phreestyle” will be Art On The Rio’s first venture into the NFT space featuring Albuquerque artist Carlos Contreras, this is a developing project so stay tuned!
Written by Benjamin Hensley