Art Blocks Generative Art Workshop and Billboard Project

Druid
The Link — Art Blocks
3 min readNov 21, 2021

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Let’s face it, new technology can be intimidating — particularly in underprivileged households that historically haven’t seen the upside of new and emerging tech. This creates an opportunity gap even in some of the most tech-forward cities. So recently, Art Blocks and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation collaborated with Street Code Academy and Save Art Space to host a creative coding workshop in East Palo Alto.

Art Blocks artists Daniel Calderon and Jake Rockland hosted an intro creative coding class for students without any coding experience and an afternoon masterclass for students with coding experience. In these classes, students were taught some essential tools and concepts every creative coder has in their toolkit, and by the end of the class, they were off-tinkering with code to create their own generative art.

There are different motivations for people inclined towards tech. Some want to work on complex problems, others want to learn an in-demand skillset for a great career. But an area that’s underexplored in Software Engineering degrees is using technology as a creative medium. The ability to use code as a paintbrush can be a meditative experience or just a way to relax. When you’re not trying to solve an immediate problem but only trying to create interesting visual outputs (with no right answer), you’re encouraged to learn a new skill while having fun!

After the intro portion, students got their hands dirty and dove right into making a piece of generative art. And one of the coolest things about this project is that the student’s final art pieces will be displayed alongside Art Blocks pieces on 20 different billboards in the Bay Area starting in January.

There is something empowering here. These students, some with no coding experience, had access to great teachers that offered 1:1 coaching, and the final product will be displayed across one of the most tech-forward cities in the world. Talk about an early dose of encouragement to keep learning.

We are incredibly proud of the students that took a step towards learning to code, and we’re happy to give them some exposure to what’s going on over here at Art blocks. We are still in the very early stages of on-chain generative art, and we wouldn’t be surprised if one of these students ended up with a project on Art Blocks in the future. Finding and encouraging underrepresented voices to take a chance on web3.0 is important work, and we’re happy we had a very small role to play in their coding journey.

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