Peter Groverman began collecting portraits of deceased people through estate sales organized by his antique dealer father. At sales, he often found paintings left by distant relatives. Groverman hired artists to paint over the existing portraits, eventually adding 26 to his collection.
With all this art, the Gladwyne-based entrepreneur decided he wanted to open a gallery, especially one at the famous Art Basel In Miami This year.
A consultant he was working with on the physical gallery suggested he do something in the metaverse and connect him with the people behind it. Vox box. He began working with the Architectural Metaverse Development Company to create the gallery and filled it with his existing collection. Now it also fills it with works by other artists, with around 14 artists in total featured in the online gallery.
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Stretch Gallery is the ultimate side hustle, as Groverman is concurrently still on the board of Grovarathe executive director of better for you and acting as a co-founder of his association, The RELIEF Foundation. He currently runs Stretch Gallery from his garage.
He started recruiting artists through personal outreach, but is open to more artists joining and submitting their work to be in the gallery, which he says already has a few hundred pieces.
“Our gallery is now one of the most beautiful galleries in all of the metaverses,” Groverman said. “We receive hundreds of visitors every day. And we haven’t sold our first piece of art, but we’re about to.
According to Groverman, the process of selling art changes piece by piece because it’s up to each artist how they want to do it – how many versions of the digital art or non-fungible tokens there are, if any. there is a physical work of art involved, etc. Every situation and every artist is different.
In addition to the gallery, Groverman and his team also have a Metaverse Movie Theater where they also plan to host a Metaverse Film Festival:
Admission to the gallery and cinema is free. In the coming months, Groverman said he wants to create a premium area for exclusive artists and paying members. Members will enjoy certain benefits, such as private events in the gallery.
“When you look at the gallery, you will see that it is modeled on the Museum of the Future with the layout,” he said. “There are all these different tiles in the gallery. And what we’re going to start doing is selling tiles. If you buy a tile, you get a membership.
All art submissions are reviewed by Groverman and the gallery’s Art Director, Alex Kuhn. Groverman said he was looking for art that was creative, unique, and had a good story behind it.
Kuhn attended Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture for art history and has a background in fine arts. He said he’s a traditional artist in the sense that he’s used to physical art rather than digital art, and feels it’s important to maintain an IRL space alongside the Metaverse Gallery.
“We want our digital gallery to be an extension of that, as an accessibility support tool,” he said. “We want the physical work in the physical gallery to live as HD scans in the digital space, and the NFT work, with the digital artists we work with, to live somehow in the physical space.”
With this project, the digital artists Kuhn talks to are limited only by the capabilities of the technology they use: “Their bottleneck moving forward is how fast a computer can go” , did he declare. “Because they work in math. And these visual forms are infinitely scalable and infinitely retractable.
Additionally, the physical art he creates can be transferred to the digital world – and the digital art that others make can be printed or imported into the physical world.
“I think there’s definitely a nice place for both of them to live in the future,” he said. “I think we are still figuring it out as an artistic community. But I want to be part of this conversation. And I think we’re doing a pretty cool job so far.
PS Yes, you can find these painted portraits of deceased people in Stretch Gallery.
Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-