On Cyber Monday, the Warehouse Arts District hosted a town hall event featuring Cityverse. About 80 local artists and patrons attended to learn about NFTs and how Cityverse hopes to bring innovation and opportunity to the arts community.
Among those attending the event was Carrie Jadus, one of St Pete’s most renowned artists. At the end of the event, Jadus revealed a new painting she had created specifically for a WADA/Cityverse joint initiative.
The Jadus work will be ‘digitally divided’ into individual sections, each of which will become a unique 1 of 1 NFT. WADA members who joined the Cityverse wait list will each receive one of the NFTs upon creating their Cityverse Homespace. Each Homespace includes a personal NFT gallery and the Jadus NFT will be autopopulated to it, highlighting a key Cityverse feature. Art is often bought for its meaning, its beauty and as a form of self expression for the buyer. Having a place to display art is an important part of the art collecting experience. Each Cityverse Homespace includes a personal NFT gallery which, through partnerships, will automatically display the art that Cityzens acquire. The individual galleries will showcase collections and allow the community to enjoy the digital art whenever they’d like to.
Our team was thrilled to engage Jadus to create the first art piece for Cityverse. Anyone living in St Pete has likely seen Jadus’ work on murals throughout the city. Her works include the “Resonance” Nikola Tesla Mural at 2232 5th Ave S and “Are You My Mother”, visible from the Pinellas Trail at 515 22nd St. S, as well as murals in the Florida Aquarium and the Florida Chapter of the United Nations. More of her works can be found in galleries across town.
Jadus believes there are plenty of good things ahead and she is pleased to be a part of pioneering the art community’s exploration of ways artists can thrive through innovation.
She told Cityverse, “The digital era is opening up new territory and opportunities for everyone and I believe the earlier that artists can embrace the technology and be a part of it, the more we can help shape the virtual environment.” St Petersburg has positioned itself as a leader in both art and technology, so it makes perfect sense for those communities to align. A collaboration between an artist like Jadus and a start-up like Cityverse helps keep Tampa Bay on the cutting edge of this interplay between artists and digital natives.
Jadus’ art piece highlights the opportunity that Cityverse, and the related world of NFTs, offer to artists. The painting resembles a vintage poster depicting artists living on a chessboard. Rather than remaining stationary, however, the artists are crafting, dancing, and climbing the rafters. Jadus says this “symbolizes a new frontier for artists to exist where they are no longer the pawns in a game, but creators who have transcended into a place where they have freedom and space to work.” Emerging technology is giving artists a greater chance at the freedom to practice their craft and be compensated for their expertise. This freedom is enabled by blockchain technology and the Cityverse platform.
The medium through which Jadus decided to work also carries significance. “Like most of the artists that I know, I would much rather turn off my tech and create work with my hands in the studio,” Jadus says. “Opening up to an expanding digital experience does not mean that we have to give up our way of creating.” As one of the most prominent mural-painters in town, Jadus is well-known as an artist creating in the physical space. Cityverse allows Jadus to create a physical painting, then digitize it for sale on the blockchain. In this case, the digitized painting will be divided into segments and sent to attendees as tickets. In the future, an NFT of a physical painting could represent ownership of the physical piece itself, similar to a title for a car or a house. Jadus’ partnership with Cityverse shows that even physical painters can leverage the digital world to access a broader market.
The world of NFTs is just beginning to open up. Cityverse is one of the first platforms that allows NFTs to play a role in how you interact with your community. While other platforms like Opensea allow the global sale of digital artworks, Cityverse puts the spotlight on local artists. Cityzens around the world will have the opportunity to peek in at the art community in other cities, like St Pete. Jadus believes Cityverse ”is paving the way by providing a platform that will help bring to light many benefits of this new technology for our city,” adding that “the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is fortunate to be involved in these early stages.” Here at Cityverse, we are similarly grateful to have such talented partners in the art community. As we build together, we look forward to keeping Saint Petersburg a world leader in art and technology for decades to come.