With numerous celebrities dropping their respective NFT projects every day, it’s sometimes hard to determine who’s here to stay. One of the most decorated wide receivers in NFL history, Terrell Owens has been incredibly thoughtful about the best avenue for getting into the space. He teamed up with legendary portrait artist Blake Jamieson to determine a plan for entering the space long term. They ultimately settled on 81.gallery, a virtual museum experience highlighting 8 artists’ odes to the legendary athlete, with the intention of building a long term community.
I got a chance to catch up with TO and Blake about the project and some of their thinking behind it. “What I’m excited about next with NFTs is kinda just where I can go with it. Where other artists that I brought aboard and collaborated with, where they can can go from it. Basically just using the platform and the community to educate people and bring about awareness to NFTs and what it’s about,” Owens told me.
Blake added: “I think it’s gonna be a really special project, before going on to say, “Long term, I think this is going to be a project that’s going to make history.”
Owens is excited to be in on NFTs so early: “I like being part of it, being in the infancy stage of it.” He went on to explain part of why NFTs offer such an interesting opportunity for athletes and other celebrities with a platform: “Just really taking ownership of who you are, your name and likeness, where, over the years, you’ve seen these big corporations monetize on us as athletes and even artists that have been taken advantage of.”
The project sets itself apart from other NFT exhibitions in a few ways. First, by incorporating the work of numerous artists in the space, Owens and his team are creating a community of artists and innovators in the space, as opposed to dropping a one time digital asset. Additionally, each NFT comes with some corresponding utility. Each piece of artwork includes 8 editions, as well as a 1/1 that includes a metal print signed by TO, and a video hangout with the man himself. By incorporating these elements into their drop, TO is using his platform to drive awareness to these artists’ work and the ever-burgeoning NFT space.
The auction timelines for each piece are a little different, but check out the OpenSea listing for the project to get a better idea of each piece and their auctions. OpenSea is a great place to browse if you’re looking to buy, but just to experience the virtual gallery, make sure to check out 81.gallery. There’s also an option to submit work to potentially be included in future virtual exhibitions.