VerticalCrypto Art’s 2021 Roundup — December 31st

VerticalCrypto Art
Published in
12 min readDec 31, 2021


written by Harry Martin

A Very Vertical Reflection of 2021 ⭐

Hi everyone! 🤗 Welcome back to another edition of Weekly Roundup, we hope you’re well. 😎 We’re doing things a little differently this week, as it is our final one of the year: we’re doing a 2021 Roundup! 💫

“What? Resolution Roundup? But I’ve only been in Web3 space for, like, a week!” Lol — time to take off your metaverse helmet, cowboy. 🤠

2021 has been an incredible year, to say the least. So much has happened in Crypto Art, Web3 and the Metaverse, with many friendships being made along the way. We at VCA are deeply humbled to have met each and every one of you in our adventures together.

In memory of such adventures, the team has assembled some of the best moments from each month of this year within the VerticalCrypto Art ecosystem. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we’ve tried our best to narrow it down. Strap yourselves in for what is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster!

Let’s rewind the clock. ⏳

January ❄️

Rarible Picks

Do you remember this iconic series? We sure do. Back in January, Micol took the initiative to highlight emerging artists from Rarible on a weekly basis. With each episode being unique, VerticalCrypto Art enjoyed promoting quality Crypto Art content on analogue tv monitors for the first time.

This series, with its weekly coverage, then led to similar VerticalCrypto Art series with other platforms later in the year.

Rewatch the Rarible Picks series here.

VerticalCrypto Art’s Interview with Metapurse — January 26th

Later in January, Micol interviewed Twobadour from Metapurse — a crypto-based fund financed by Metakovan, created to engage with important causes and promote cultural cross-pollination.

Making bold acquisitions such as the Beeple sale for $69 million, Metapurse is eager to create a shared legacy inspired by the colour and collaboration now unique to the NFT space.

This was a fascinating talk, as Micol came to understand Twobadour’s origins, democratic views on art and current engagements in the NFT space.

Rewatch the interview here.

February 🌨

‘Curation in the NFT Space’ — ClubHouse

It was in February that Micol, along with a cohort of Crypto Art OGs, launched the weekly ‘Curation in the NFT Space’ series on Clubhouse.

Acting as a blueprint for NFT discussions to follow, ‘Curation in the NFT Space’ highlighted news and curatorial practices in Crypto Art from notables figures such as Diane Drubay, Fanny Lakoubay, Artnome — Jason Bailey, Colborn Bell, Sam Brukhman and many more.

Prior to the advent of Twitter Spaces, this was as good as it got for discursive conversations about NFTs, Web3 and blockchain technologies.

Rewatch the ‘Curation in the NFT Space’ series here.

March 🌤

Hicetnunc Curated OBJKTs Series

In March, Micol launched a series similar to Rarible Picks, but for a fledgling, Tezos-based NFT platform in the Crypto Art scene: Hicetnunc.

Noticing that emerging artists were becoming increasingly drawn to this minimal yet funky dApp, VerticalCrypto Art switched focused its curation efforts to promoting emerging artist’s works from Hicetnunc on wall spaces (as opposed to on cute, analogue TV monitors).

Given the life and soul that HEN brought to the Crypto Art community, this VerticalCrypto Art series holds a soft spot in the hearts of many collectors, artists and enthusiasts.

Rediscover the Hicetnunc OBJKTs series here.

Hicetnunc and Friends Livestreams

Since the start of Hicetnunc in March, Micol set up a series of conversations with the founder, Rafael Lima, and other early contributors of the community such as Artnome, James Paterson and Mario Klingemann.

Watch the Hicetnunc and Friends series here.

Nate Alex x VerticalCrypto Art — On-Chain Conversations

Micol’s conversation with NFT42 co-founder and Squiggly creator, Nate Alex, was the first in a series of weekly livestreams from the #onchaingang: a collaboration between Micol, Nate and invited guests (such as j1mmy.eth and Nahiko) discussing metadata on smart contracts, the importance of “on-chain” data and much more.

Rewatch the On-Chain Conversation series here.

April 🍃🌼

New Artists on KnownOrigin Video Series

Starting the Spring season in partnership with KnownOrigin, Micol instigated a weekly series curating pieces from artists of the KO community: New Artists Video Series.

Spanning seven weeks and highlighting 9–10 makers in each episode, New Artists was well-received among collectors, Crypto Art enthusiasts and follows of KnownOrigin. Uniting people with shared interests, Micol was pivotal here in drawing attention to 1/1 NFTs as tools for prospective and innovative artistic production.

Revisit the New Artists series here.

May 🌺

Async Art — First Programmable Music Piece — Betty’s Notebook Closing Auction Party

At the beginning of May, the first programmable piece of classical music was minted on Async Art — Betty’s Notebook, by Verdigris Ensemble.

Created by the Verdigris Ensemble choir and directed by Sam Brukhman, Betty’s Notebook is a 20-minute long, multi-layered and multi-media choral piece that broke a new record of a single NFT sale on Async Art ($375,000) at the time. The piece was collected by none other than Metapurse, shattering the choir’s expected sale of $150,000.

In celebration of this great news, VerticalCrypto Art organised a fun closing auction party with musicians Meredith Thompkins, Sam Brukhman, Keith Lathrom, Nicholas Reeves, Jason Aubrey and Bryan Brinkman.

Read Verdigris Ensemble’s NFT press release here.
Rewatch the Closing Auction party here.

Rare Pepe x Narcissus Gallery — May 21st

Later into the month, Micol, in collaboration with Narcissus Gallery, organised a one-of-a-kind livestream with the early Rare Pepe community, as part of the programming for the Rare Pepe Auction Event hosted by Narcissus Gallery.

A gateway to Crypto Art culture for many, Rare Pepe was created in 2016 by mechanical engineer, Joe Looney. Taking an interest in web development and the blockchain, Looney inadvertently designed the premise of crypto collectibles before they even existed. Allowing people to trade his Rare Pepe cards using bitcoins or PepeCash, he caught the attention of early Crypto Art adopters such as Fanny Lakoubay, Jason Bailey, Eleonora Brizi, ROBNESS and RareScrilla.

This VerticalCrypto Art call reflected on everything that had happened during the five years since Rare Pepe’s inception. Enjoyed by all speakers, it also demonstrates just how far Crypto Art has progressed in recent year.

Revisit the Rare Pepe x Narcissus press release here.
Rewatch the discussion with VerticalCrypto Art here.

Hicathon — May 22nd-23rd

The first hackathon to take place on Hicetnunc, Hicathon was an all volunteer, community-led project supporting the acceleration and development the platform. Hosting 150 participants from 77 different countries in over 20+ working groups, Micol helped to co-organise the weekend with Mario Klingemann, Diane Drubay, Teriell and David Pettersson.

As an all-inclusive event, Hicethon received 20,000 XTZ from Tezos Foundation, raised 4,000 XTZ in community funding and saw 500+ artworks and many more donations to the HEN cause. Bravo! 👏

See the full Hicethon recount here.

VerticalCrypto Art x M○C△ (Museum of Crypto Art) Artist Interviews

Rounding off the Spring season, Micol and Colborn Bell from M○C△ hosted a series of artist interviews with OGs of the Crypto Art space.

As a branch of VerticalCrypto Art’s larger VLive series, Micol and Colborn’s ‘Artists Interviews’ invited talks with notable Crypto Art figures such as Sparrow, Luna Ikuta, Kevin Abosch, Pindar Van Arman, GiselxFlorez, Fabin Rasheed, Yura Miron, Sinclair, Frenetik Void, Hexeosis, Sam J, Sarah Zucker, A.L Crego and Claudie Linke.

Covering much metaversal ground, Micol and Colborn really enjoyed learning of creator’s origins, current engagements and future ambitions within the community. Upon reflection, the VerticalCrypto Art x M○C△ Artists Interviews are a true incubator of the great creativity which went made 2021 so special.

Rewatch the full Artist Interview series with M○C△ here.

June ⛱

KnownOrigin x VerticalCrypto Art’s ‘Cyber Color Exhibition’, Decentraland

Kicking off the summer, our first June event was in co-curating KnownOrigin’s ‘Cyber Color’ — an exhibition exploring cyber, sci-fi, pop, neon and colour themes.

Featuring works by 26 artists such as Luluxx, Max Osiris and Ann Ahoy, Cyber Color communicates just how abundant colour is within the digital and virtual realms of Crypto Art. Quoting Micol’s exhibition statement, Cyber Color is ‘meant to be messy, it’s meant to be strong, it’s meant to be confusing and provoking’. With Cyber Color taking place in Decentraland’s vibrant metaverse, this statement was proven in bright, colourful spades!

Read the ‘Cyber Color’ press release here.
Revisit the Decentraland exhibition here.

Launch of VerticalCrypto Art Online Residency Program

It was in June when the VCA announced the creation of a NFT native online resdiency program for emerging creators in the fields of NFTs, web3, metaverse and digital & new media art.

This was a pivotal moment for VCA — a program supported by Tezos Foundation as the main partner as well as others.

With over 150+ applicants, 25 mentors supporting the program, 5 key partners, the VCA team & mentors reviewed the huge applicant pool. All eyes — from mentors to prospective residents — were on VCA at this moment. Who was going to make the cut for the cohort? Only time would tell!

July 🌞

AMA with HEN Exploiter — 1st July

In late June, Micol created the VerticalCrypto Art Discord channel — an extension of VCA’s presence in Crypto Art and NFTs. Almost immediately after its launch, an unexpected surprise happened: an exclusive AMA between Micol and the late exploiter of Hicetnunc!

Not knowing what to expect, the HEN community was curious to how the hacker discovered the platform’s exploit, and whether they intended to use it for good or bad purposes. Fortunately, the hacker was approachable and even complimentary of the Hicetnunc community. Pointing out the exploit and promptly responding to all questions in VerticalCrypto Art’s dedicated Discord channel, the AMA was certainly a profound highlight of the year.

Make sure to read it in full on Discord.

VCA Residency First Cohort Kick Off — July 16th

It finally happened! Cohort I was announced on July 16th, after much deliberation between VerticalCrypto Art mentors and organisers. 👏

This came as great news to many anxious applicants of the VCA residency. As a helpful ice-breaker for the group, Micol encouraged Cohort I to first introduce themselves on Discord, before attending their first VCA Residency class the following week.

Cohort I’s onboarding in July feels like it happened yesterday — and yet it’s beautiful to see how they have matured so much since. Good times and fond memories all around! 💗

September 🌧

The VCA Residency Fundraising Auction Event — September 15th

September is crowned the month of VerticalCrypto Art auctions, period. Curating two exclusive exhibitions in Arium Spaces, the VCA Auction supported the development of current and future residency programmes for emerging artists.

Thirteen of the most well-regarded OGs in Crypto Art donated unique 1/1 artworks to this auction, including Mattia Cuttini, Helena Sarin, Mario Klingemann, Kevin Abosch, Brendan Dawes, Luluxx, GiselxFlorez, Luxpris, Lia Something, RareScrilla, Ertdfgcvb and Caesuras.

Built by resident artists Cagri Taskin and Walt Reunamo, the auction event took place in a custom-built metaverse experience in Arium. A culmination of creators from the past and present brought this immersive metaverse experience to life.

Read the Crypto Art Residency press release here.
See the Arium Spaces auction here.

VerticalCrypto Art First Cohort Residency Exhibition & Auction — September 27th

Later that month, VCA celebrated the end of the Cohort 1 residency program with their final auction and exhibition, hosted on VAuctions with the live auction event and exhibition taking place in the VCA Gallery in Arium Spaces. This was a celebration of the end of the first VCA residency cohort for emerging artists: a fun and well received event, with an incredible DJ set from Eclectic Method which made people dance & have fun in true metaverse style!

Read the First Cohort Residency Auction press release here.
Revisit the auction on Arium here.

October 🍁

Sotheby’s ‘Natively Digital 1.2 — The Collectors’

An incredible highlight of this year came in October, when Sotheby’s announced its second Natively Digital: The Collectors Auction co-curated by VerticalCrypto on their new platform: Sotheby’s Metaverse.

Featuring 19 of the top collectors and builders of the NFT movement across 53 lots, Micol selected artworks from three influential Crypto Artists — Erick Snowfro, Nate Alex and Kevin Abosch. Utilising NFT smart contracts as artworks in themselves, Micol’s artists are all historic pioneers of the NFT ecosystem from both artistic and technological angles, encouraging much conceptual debate through their work.

Rewatch the Sotheby’s exhibition here.

November 🍂

NFT LDN — November 6th

At the start of November, Micol was part of the organisation and curation team for the first ever NFT LDN event taking place in Central London.

A rapid turnaround, two-day event co-organised and co-curated in partnership with Unit London, Silly Tuna and many more collaborators, NFT LDN presented a weekend of innovation and creativity with some of the brightest minds of the Crypto Art and NFT space.

Featured in the gallery was a curated selection of emerging artists and OGs including MABLAB, Rose Jaskon, Mattia Cuttini, Linda Dounia and many more. Micol was careful in her decision-making here, which really showed in the final display. NFT LDN was a wonderful event which brought together many faces from across the UK and European Metaverse in a welcoming space, presented by Institut and Unit London.

Rewatch KnownOrigin’s take on NFT LDN here.

Boson Protocol x VerticalCrypto Art Auction — November 17th

Celebrating the launch of Boson Portal, VerticalCrypto Art collaborated with the protocol to curate a Physical-Digital VerticalCrypto x BosonProtocol Art Auction.

Featuring seven 1/1 artworks from iconic creators such as Jon Burgerman, Linda Dounia, Jesse Draxler, Miss Al Simpson, Gary Cartlidge, Marjan Moghaddam and Luxpris, collectors were able to bid on new pieces produced exclusively for the auction. 10% of all sales went to Unicef, with bidders being in with a chance to win 1000 $BOSON.

With collectors such as Mondoir and Elsie from the Edicurial Collection placing bids, this was a remarkable auction amongst the many which had already taken place this year.

Revisit the auction here.

December ❄️

VerticalCrypto Art at Art Basel Miami — December 2nd-4th

December was the month of events & traveling. VCA was thrilled to collaborate with Tezos to co-curate the programming for Art Basel. The Tezos x Art Basel Miami event was pivotal in how traditional art and NFTs are slowly merging together.

Micol attended Miami Art Week and Art Basel, co-curating the Tezos booth and the speaker series too. Micol also moderated two panel discussions with speakers Ryan Roybal, Jason Bailey, Kate Vass and Kevin Abosch.

In conversation with Kevin (‘Blockchain as a Creative Canvas’), Micol discussed the blockchain’s profound influence on the artist’s creative practice and interest in technology since 2008.

In a round table with Ryan Roybal, Kate Vass and Jason Bailey (‘Disrupted: How NFTs are Changing Models and Markets’), Micol moderated a talk concerning galleries, anonymous collectors and how NFTs are changing the models and markets.

Rewatch the entire Tezos event in Miami here.

VerticalCrypto Art Residency Website Launch & 2022 Residency Open Call

As an early Christmas present, Micol was delighted to announce the launch of the brand new VerticalCrypto Art Residency website earlier this month!

The VerticalCrypto Art Residency website is the latest addition to VCA’s mission in providing past, present and future NFT/blockchain education resources from the VerticalCrypto community.

The new site includes all the pre-recorded resources from former cohort classes, an outline of the residency curriculum, highlights and profiles of current and former resident artists, a list of all the mentors and our much loved partners.

In addition to this, an open call for new residents of the VerticalCrypto Art Residency programme was made in tandem with the website. Applications close tomorrow — so this is your last opportunity to apply!

Swing by the new Residency website here.

In Summary 💖

Welp, it looks like we have reached the end (of 2021). But this is just the beginning! ⚡️

2021 has indeed been an incredible year; however the team at VerticalCrypto Art is almost certain the community can top it in 2022! With so much to look forward to in NFTs, DAOs, the Metaverse and broader Web3 ecosystem, we suspect that we have only started to see a humongous hive of productivity that will be realised starting in January.

Until then, VerticalCrypto Art wants to thank you for making this year so special. We sincerely look forward to greeting you on the other side.

Happy New Year! 🍾

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