sophmetries, #digitalfeelings Genesis
Mila Sketch, Sophia the Robot
Mint Gold Dust Onboards Local Austin Artist into Web 3.0
By JenJoy Roybal | Co-Founder + CEO of Searchlight.Art

Onboarding and education is a big part of the culture in Web 3.0. Many of us artists and creatives were introduced to the merits of blockchain and were graciously shown the way by those that came before – from opening a wallet, to crypto security basics, to preparing and minting an artwork. It’s a journey, and having people to welcome and guide is essential to the ongoing growth and strengthening of the whole ecosystem. It’s not always the case that we get an introduction to the movement by an OG and a team of experts. That was the case for local Austin artists during Consensus 2022 on June 10-11, with the Mint Gold Dust team at The Cathedral, an artist and co-working space run by atxGals.

In a quiet neighborhood just outside of Downtown Austin, the former church was taken over by Mint Gold Dust and the communities that make up an important part of the local art scene. The Cathedral was home to a two-day gathering where artists where invited to discover the ins-and outs of NFTs, the blockchain and the financial responsibility that comes with adding this opportunity to an art practice. 

The Cathedral in Austin, TX

On Friday, June 10, 2022, local artists came together to enjoy digital artworks, eat a coveted Bad Larry’s burger, and casually learn about the goings on of art on the block chain to the beats thrown down by DJ Diggy Dutch. Muck Rock made a special appearance creating an artwork on the spot. The underpainting that appeared as a few rough-sketched lines when I arrived, gradually became large, rich, red lips with stark white teeth and luscious foliage, with Spring flowers coming out of the opening of a seductive mouth that floated in a black background. The artwork, titled “The Universe,” was minted on Mint Gold Dust and put up for auction the same night. It was beautiful watching the work come to life.

Muck Rock, The Universe

The following day, on the 11th, started early with a deeper dive into what a blockchain is, a step-by-step guide to opening a wallet and to minting on the Mint Gold Dust platform. Other platforms were also discussed. Artists were given the unique perspective from Kelly LeValley Hunt, founder of Mint Gold Dust and legendary investor in some of the most prominent platforms on the Ethereum block chain. I don’t think many in the room understood the unique perspective Kelly brings to the story of the rise of art on the Ethereum blockchain, and the rise of the Ethereum blockchain itself. It was quite the treat.

Following the onboarding and educational session I had the pleasure and privilege to sit on a panel with artists Yasmin Youseff, Raina Casbon-Kelts of Gilded Finance, and the Mint Gold Dust Team: Miles Starkey, Hannah Gulledge, and Kelly LeValley Hunt. The conversation opened up with a question about the importance of local and global community building which made me think of the many artists I get to work with all over the world in a way that is close and meaningful, while at the same time being able to cultivate strong ties in my own small city of Santa Fe. This felt akin to what was possible for the local Austin artist community. I wanted to convey the opportunity to grow in both ways, local and global, and how Web 3.0 provides that unique connection to a global artists pool can enrich the local community as well. 

Brunch and Learn Panel

We had a chance to learn from Raina of Gilded Finance. She provided some very grounded advice about how to get started and what to look out for as you begin to grow your crypto assets. She expressed the importance of hiring a professional accountant and described how the Gilded software can connect to quickbooks. Personally, this was music to my ears in light of how complicated tracking these things can be. Yasmin shared her journey into NFTs and described how it was being received at art fairs and with collectors. She saw it as a huge growth opportunity. We talked about the various ways in which NFTs make their way into the world, either as engaging phygitals (a digital asset attached to a physical asset), presented on large LED screens, experienced in immersive virtual environments or shared through augmented or mixed reality. 

Having come into the web 3.0 environment through with many hours of listening and exchange on Clubhouse during the pandemic, it was wonderful to witness so many artists getting a condensed and concise introduction to the movement. Now that we are able to meet in person Mint Gold Dust has seized the opportunity to connect with the community and has started with a very vibrant one in Austin.   

JenJoy Roybal is an artist, urbanist, writer, editor, and digital content creator. She is inspired by humanity’s oldest stories and artworks related to sacred rituals and sacred space. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Urban Planning and Design from The Bernard and Anne Spritzer School of Architecture, City College New York. She is also the Co-founder and CEO of SearchLight.Art is a women-led, community-orientated crypto art organization.

Headed to NFT.NYC next week? Check out our post from last week where we announce our auction lots for the official VIP + Speaker Dinner.