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Brooklyn’s First NFT Week Launches in Bed-Stuy to Diversify the Future of Digital Art

SEED Brklyn, a creative hub for artists in Brooklyn, is hosting the borough’s first-ever NFT Week, featuring immersive experiences and educational opportunities around digital art.

The first-ever NFT BK Week just kicked off in Bed-Stuy with a series of experiences surrounding digital art in all its forms. The week of events is hosted by SEED Brklyn, a unique multipurpose space that features a clothing store, art gallery and coffee shop.

The series started with an opening party on Wednesday, April 12, featuring a performance from local singer-songwriter LATASHÁ, who is the founder of Zoratopia, a platform for artists who sell NFTs.

Other upcoming events include an augmented reality workshop, two meditation sessions, an immersive AR experience and a closing party on Saturday, April 15. All of the week’s events are free of charge.

An NFT — which stands for 'non-fungible token' — is a digital artwork that can be bought and sold online. Each NFT carries a one-of-a-kind code created with blockchain technology which makes it easy to track the ownership and authenticity of an artwork. When selling an NFT, artists can also receive royalties each time ownership is exchanged.

Hosting these events is part of SEED’s greater mission of diversifying the NFT space and introducing these concepts to people who are unfamiliar.

NFT week kick-off party. Photo: Christopher Edwards for BK Reader.

“Oftentimes, at events like these, it's predominantly just white men that are in the tech space. And I feel like that's been a turnoff to a lot of diverse artists and people that are curious,” said Joel Campo, Director of Web3 Initiatives at SEED.

Web3 refers to the idea for a new version of the internet that incorporates concepts including token-based economics, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. 

SEED was founded by Christophe Roberts, a multidisciplinary artist who’s lived in Bed-Stuy for the last 13 years.

“In New York, it’s hard to find an area where you can be the first of a type,” Roberts said.

“As an artist, I always get excited when I have the chance to present something that that's unique and of its own and is also beneficial to the people that interact with it.”

Roberts said the Oasis Gallery and SEED Brklyn is “a destination for people coming to the borough to really interact with the talents that really make Bed-Stuy what it is.”

Elise Swopes. Photo: Christopher Edwards for BK Reader.

SEED’s Oasis Gallery is presenting a new exhibition as part of NFT week. The show, “Seed the Sunrise,” features works from digital artist Elise Swopes and other artists from Sunrise Art Club, a collective of women of color in the Web3 art space. Guests of the exhibition can scan a code to learn more about the artworks.

Swopes began selling her art on the online NFT marketplace SuperRare in 2021. Since then, she’s fully embraced the medium. She said it cuts out the middleman between the artist and consumer, giving the artist more freedom over what they create and who their work goes to.

“For me, Web3 and NFTs are a solution to a problem,” Swopes said. “It's really a trustworthy process that allows a creator to dictate how they want to behave.”

NFT BK Week coincides with NYC NFT 2023, which is happening right now in Manhattan.

“We're in this technology wave where people need to be educated on what's coming, but people need to interact with it in cool and fun way," Roberts said.

Christopher Edwards

About the Author: Christopher Edwards

Christopher Edwards is a native Brooklynite and current student at Baruch College, majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing.
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