Leaning into an innovative way of creating, displaying and selling art, St. Margaret’s visual arts and technology departments welcomed artist and NFT entrepreneur Chris Trueman to campus this week.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a new way for artists to create a digital piece of art that is a unique, one-of-a-kind asset with a smart contract attached to it. Mr. Trueman’s expertise as both a traditional artist and an early adopter of the new technology was appealing to Visual Arts Department Chair Jesse Standlea and Director of Educational Technology and Library Angela Mackenzie, who are developing curriculum to introduce NFT technology to St. Margaret’s students.
Mr. Trueman spent two days at St. Margaret’s, speaking to several Upper School visual arts classes about the new technology and its potential for artists, including AP 3D design, AP drawing, AP photography and intermediate film. He also did painting demonstrations in the Johnson Wallis Visual Arts Center, which were attended by Lower School, Middle School and Upper School art classes.
“The great thing about Chris and his art practice is that it is both based in traditional painting and explores new media, including animation,” Mr. Standlea said. “We have seen student motivation build when they see career opportunities tied to making art, and the enthusiasm toward Chris’s insight was noticeable.”
Mr. Trueman also met extensively with St. Margaret’s art, computer science and library teachers, who are collaborating to bring NFT creation into the classroom.
“The technology behind NFTs goes hand in hand with our strategic initiatives of leveraging technologies to enhance the learning process for our students,” Mrs. Mackenzie said.
A well-known painter based in Los Angeles, Chris Trueman
became an early adopter of NFT technology in 2018. He was one of the first artists to bring NFTs into the gallery space, and is currently a co-founder and chief community lead at CreatoRanch, an NFT mobile marketplace.