“Welcome to the world’s first NFT Museum.”
This quote from a brick and mortar building located in Seattle shows how far adoption has come in the NFT space. The Seattle NFT Museum hosts collections from NFT artists around the world, and provides education on this new art medium and technology.
The aesthetic inside is elegant and displays art on large high resolution screens resembling the look of a canvas hung on the wall. There is a continuity to traditional art museums that makes the digital art feel just as tangible.
The museum does a lot to help artists as well as the community. One recent event, Crossing Over, featured in the annual Seattle Art Fair gave the spotlight to eleven traditional artists who made the switch to Web3 as a medium. Joana Kawahra-Lino helped curate the show and told The Manual:
In terms of curation, I wanted to showcase the incredibly high caliber of art you can now find in the NFT space. These artists have worked on their craft for years, and this is reflected in the outcome. (source)
The museum has become a hub for people interested in blockchain technology. A great example of this is a presentation given by a member of the Ethererum Foundation, Tim Beiko. The presentation was outlining the proof of stake merge and future roadmap for the Ethereum Foundation. Tim is a large name in the Ethereum community and his patronage shows how important the museum has become.
A recent visitor under the name Jennnifer G. reviewed:
[The museum] Provides an incredible community and space for crypto, art and NFT enthusiasts in Seattle and learning opportunities for all interested and curious. Love the support for local artists, thrilled to be a part of everything developing!
I had an opportunity to interview one of the co-founders, Peter Hamilton. Below is our conversation about the museum:
Who does the Seattle NFT museum serve, and how do you describe the community?
The Seattle NFT Museum serves the artist and collector community. Our goal is to help educate, inspire, and connect communities through NFT art, and our community is incredibly diverse, including those from Seattle and abroad.
Where did the idea initially come from?
As we began to see galleries and pop-up show rooms and events for NFT art, we were inspired by the experience of viewing digital art in a physical space on large digital displays. This brings the art to the forefront of the conversation, and we wanted to create a museum that focused on displaying art first, with blockchain technologies as a secondary piece of education. We wanted a space that was not focused on selling art and commissions so that it would be accessible to anyone and free to curate in both educational and aesthetic forms.
How did you start building your community?
We began by opening a discord and reaching out to artists and collectors in the area. Of course, twitter became a priority tool for outreach, and we simply started by hopping on zoom calls with as many interested people as possible. We were doing multiple video calls per day, learning from what people expected and hoped for a museum to represent digital artists.
There are educational components to the museum, what kind of feedback have you had on that so far?
We worked very hard to distill concepts and simplify the concepts and advantages of tokenized ownership, and we have had wonderful feedback from both novice visitors and industry veterans on both the accuracy and accessibility of the messaging. This will continue to be a work in progress, and much of the material we display for education has been developed by members of our community who are experts in their given fields, such as blockchain, validating, smart contracts, and more.
What is your overall goal and what does success look like for you?
That's a great question. Our goal initially is to learn how we can serve the community and establish what it means to be a museum for digital art. There are many areas where the handling, loaning, licensing, and display of digital art have different attributes than those of traditional, physical art museums. We are still learning about the best ways to curate and represent artists, but we hope to expand our educational programming, events, and eventually our space as we develop the best model for supporting the museum programmatically and financially. Our ultimate goal is to establish a long term institution of inspiration and trust that artists and their audiences find extremely valuable.
Are there any other artists or projects that you would like to work with in the future?
We have yet to work with Beeple or Fewocious, two groundbreaking artists whose work certainly warrants the recognition and education that a museum should strive for. Apart from headlining artists such as these, we always seek to show new Seattle artists in every show possible. Discovering new and innovative talent is part of what we hope to do for our community.
Do you have any advice for the next artist getting into NFTs?
If you are an artist that is just getting started in NFTs, we encourage you to get involved with the community or volunteer so that you are top of mind as we curate upcoming shows. We also have a submission process for artists that can be found in our discord. To join our discord, simply DM the museum on twitter for an individual invitation. In addition, much of the work we tend to show comes on recommendation from other artists who are inspired by your work.
Anything other details I should make sure to include?
Because we are not a gallery, we do not sell art or collect a commission on art sales. That means we maintain and grow the museum through daily admissions, opening exhibition events, and private event rental. If you are interested in supporting the museum, we are a registered charity, where we can accept tax deductible donations. These funds go to educational programing, artist travel and funds, as well as operations. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you would like to keep up with the Seattle NFT Museum, you can find their socials below: