Pace Gallery is no stranger to NFTs. Earlier this year, it oversaw the launch of artists John Gerrard and Urs Fischer’s NFT projects, CHAOS and Western Flag. According to Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace, the gallery was the first-of-its-kind to support NFT artists. Now, Pace is honing in on that mission with its newest endeavor, Pace Verso.
Debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach, Pace Verso is the gallery’s NFT platform, created in partnership with Palm NFT Studio and built on its eco-minded Palm Network. Billed as a dedicated portal for minting, exhibiting, and collecting NFTs, Pace Verso, will invite artists to show and sell their crypto art, as part of the gallery’s NFT-focused programming. Its debut drops include Lucas Samaras’ XYZ series, along with digital works by Glenn Kaino and DRIFT, working in collaboration with Don Diablo.
As Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, Pace’s Director of Online Sales, tells Jing Culture & Commerce, Pace Verso was simultaneously planned alongside the gallery’s other NFT projects — “John Gerrard through Foundation, Urs Fischer through MakersPlace, Lucas Samaras through KnownOrigin” — and took approximately seven to eight months to develop. “Our main challenge was figuring out the best way to embark on this venture, given our presence within the NFT community is so new,” she says. “We quickly understood it would be best to connect with key players in the NFT community to help advise us on the best course of action.”
Accessibility and green thinking were other key considerations in Pace Verso’s build-out. The marketplace operates on Palm’s Ethereum side chain, which is “99.9 percent more eco-friendly than main net Ethereum,” says Boyle, echoing widespread industry acknowledgement of how blockchain technology could be environmentally detrimental. “It was largely important to us that we support our artists in venturing forward with this technology, in the most ethical manner possible.” The platform also accepts both cryptocurrency and fiat as payment options.
The gallery hopes Pace Verso stands out amongst a highly curated platform when compared to other “heavily cluttered and congested with content” competitors. “We really strive to set a standard in respect to quality and value,” Boyle says. So far reception has been well, with five one-of-one works from Lucas Samaras’ XYZ series selling out within three hours of their release.
Looking ahead, Pace Verso is planning a second drop of Lucas Samaras’ works in 2022, in addition to the gallery’s larger NFT strategy. “We plan to move forward via a two-pronged approach,” Boyle says. “Working with artists to launch NFT projects on Pace Verso and also supporting standalone, gamified, not necessarily transactional, artist NFT projects on partner platforms by supporting with guidance and promotion.”