XR held promise for art from the very beginning. The boom in digital art and art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created even more opportunity for the space. As a reflection of that, there has been a significant rise in immersive art galleries, with some organizations providing that particular service.
Here, we will look at two immersive art galleries currently open, one from Spatial and one from Liquid Avatar Technologies. Both provide opportunities to visit with other digital art collectors in immersive environments, as well as purchase the digital art directly from within the platform.
The Oasis Digital Gallery Opening
ARPost hasn’t (yet) introduced readers to Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. The company offers creator tools as well as a suite of solutions for users to “manage, control, and benefit from their digital identities.” You may have seen them in the news last month for offering a payment card and loyalty program that unlocks virtual rewards for physical purchases.
The company’s principal virtual world, Aftermath Islands, is still in development. However, the Oasis Digital Gallery gives a sneak peek at what future virtual worlds from the organization may deliver. The gallery is scheduled to run until April 25, but “could be extended.”
“The Oasis Digital Gallery is poised to be one of the signature destinations in the metaverse and we’re excited to bring such great art to a wider audience,” Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. CEO David Lucatch said in a release shared with ARPost.
An inaugural exhibition for the gallery features traditional mediums and digital artist Lynn Mara – specifically her Barcode Ponies. This is a collection of unique and collectible zebra prints, of which 256 are available for purchase in the Oasis Digital Gallery.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have an artist of Lynn Mara’s caliber to kick off the Grand Opening of the Oasis Digital Gallery,” Lucatch said in the release. “Her work is bold, colorful, and iconic. We’re proud to partner with her for this exhibition.”
As visitors navigate the virtual space, they can purchase NFTs through the gallery using PayPal, fiat, major credit cards, and cryptocurrencies directly via Shopify. This provides huge opportunities for users that are interested in digital art and NFTs but aren’t (yet) involved in cryptocurrencies – which are typically required for the purchase of NFTs.
“Peace & Unity” Exhibition in Spatial’s Peace Pavilion NFT Environment
Spatial might be a platform more familiar to ARPost readers. We’ve been covering the company since they were an enterprise solution, reported on their pivot to an NFT-powered cultural events hub late last year, and most recently reported on their immersive film premiere and screening of the documentary “Gamestop: Rise of the Players.”
The Peace Pavilion isn’t the first or the only digital art gallery currently hosted by Spatial, but there could be no better opportunity to explore the platform’s capacity as a host of immersive art galleries. The virtual world, created by Ukrainian artist Max Sheika, is home to the “Peace & Unity” exhibition created through partnerships with Polycount and OpenSea.
“Jake Steinerman, from Spatial, Brian Fannin, Alex Antonov from Polycount, and many more absolutely amazing people helped me along the way and made the project possible,” Sheika said in a video announcement shared with ARPost. “We are hoping to raise money with the NFTs and to donate it to charities in Ukraine.”
The immersive space is situated in one of the now immediately recognizable yellow wheat fields under a blue sky. In the middle of this landscape is the pavilion, built around a reconstruction of the Independence Monument in Kyiv.
“From the first day of this war, I am doing my best to help refugees and the brave people of Ukraine that are protecting us,” said Sheika. “I designed the Peace Pavillion in 2020. Its true meaning, though, I could not discover until now.”
Arranged around the walls of the pavilion are NFTs that have been donated or, in some cases, made specifically for the gallery. In either case, all primary sales and a portion of secondary sales support Ukraine. Artists and organizations that contributed art include digital artist Krista Kim, Vogue Singapore, and Ringo Starr.
Exploring Digital Art
Both of these experiences can be navigated in full VR through immersive web browsers. It’s also worth noting that neither of these immersive galleries requires VR hardware – both can be explored spatially on a standard computer.
It is also interesting to note that neither of these immersive galleries has any kind of cost of admission. Anyone can see the experiences without paying or even connecting a wallet. While this may sound “cheap”, a love of physical art starts with viewing rather than buying, and the same can be said of digital art and NFTs.