NEWBERRY, S.C. — A museum in Newberry is working to bring art into the digital age by incorporating non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
NFTs are digital assets that represent things like art and music virtually.
The NFT Museum opened downtown in 2021 with the goal of creating a space for digital creators to showcase their work while educating the community on the process.
Robert Matheson owns the museum and said interacting with NFTs starts with a digital wallet, then accessing a virtual marketplace where NFTs are sold.
"You use cryptocurrencies to transact," Matheson said.
A cryptocurrency is a digital form of payment. The online market allows digital artists to register their works in what's called a blockchain, cutting down copycats and allowing them to keep more money, according to Matheson.
"Nobody wants to have a copy of the original artist's work, right? They want the real thing and that's what the blockchain allows for," Matheson said. "It proves the ownership."
The NFT Museum is a place to see some of the digital works both projected and in physical form.
Neville Glover is a years-long restaurant owner in Newberry who recently started creating NFTs, after meeting Matheson.
"I think everybody's surprised when they see it," Glover said. "Just something I enjoy doing."
So far, he says he's made roughly $1,000.
Jerry Lane also found an interest in digital art. The Newberry County resident wrote a children's book featuring digital art pieces. He hopes interaction with the museum will inspire more artists and community members to get involved.
"There's a movement out there and I think that movement is saying that we need to come on board and embrace what is happening," Lane said.
Gage Fowler is a former student in Newberry and was visiting the area. He said the museum offers an opportunity for the city to be on the cutting edge of the tech world.
"Different than just normal art on like a canvas or a painting or something like that," Fowler said. "So, you know, going into the future."
The museum is located at 1110 Harrington Street in Newberry. Visitation is from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.
They also have a digital workstation to help those interested create digital art and learn about cryptocurrency. To learn more visit nonfungibletokenmuseum.org