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HomeNewsQuadriplegic Artist, Tommy Hollenstein Creates NFT Painting for Charity

Quadriplegic Artist, Tommy Hollenstein Creates NFT Painting for Charity

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Tommy Hollenstein is an American Found Object Artist, and a master of fine, abstract art. A quadriplegic, resulting from a bicycle accident in 1985, Tommy is a highly respected artist who utilizes the tires of his wheelchair as his paintbrush, with his artistic ability to create his works. This distinguished artist is a pioneer, leaving the excuses at the door as he paves the way for people of all walks of life. His artistry offers far more than an array of color, as Tommy offers a quality experience, expanding your horizons and capabilities by virtue of the incredible man he is.

As an entrepreneur with physical challenges, Tommy has taken a personal approach and continues to be an active voice in the community of Los Angeles. He remains a strong presence in highlighting important social issues, and advocacy for people suffering with a disability and/or terminal illnesses. Discerning one’s potential, persevering through obstacles by fiercely pursuing one’s dreams, is a stance Tommy continues to live by.

Tommy experienced success at his first solo art show in 2005 when Joaquin Phoenix took an interest in his powerful story and artistic creations, by purchasing his paintings. Solidifying his efforts, this experience put a fire under Tommy, realizing his dreams as a successful artist were within reach, despite his physical challenges. Perfecting his craft, he’s masterfully transcended the definition of artistic talent, patiently wheeling one layer at a time. The novelty of this approach, coupled with the quality of his art, has brought significant attention to Tommy’s initiatives and work.

Building NFT Artwork

You are witnessing history in the making! Tommy is creating a 20 feet by 400 feet painting all done with the tires of his wheelchair that will be cut into 10,000 pieces and turned into 10,000 NFT’s. This allows the buyers to simultaneously relish both the digital and physical piece of each artwork as purchased. While the concept of combining physical and digital artwork is not itself new, Tommy’s endeavor is the largest known NFT project to date, making it the first of its kind. That is an important distinction, due to the rarity and complexity of performing such unique pieces of art.

Tommy Hollenstein
Quadriplegic Artist, Tommy Hollenstein

Because Tommy is also a holder in the Bored Ape Yacht Club, he is an ideal person to draw attention to the challenge that many people face because of disabilities, as well as the opportunity for them to benefit from the movement towards decentralization and the creative economy in the web3 realm. Because web3 is less dependent on networks, it empowers independent content creators who may not already have a large social media following, but do have a compelling story and product.

Another exciting layer of the NFT production is the documentation of the process behind creating the art. In particular, Wild and West is working with Lot 1 productions to document the entire process to produce a documentary filled with interviews from close friends including many celebrities and details of Tommy’s workflow. Every single person interviewed assisted Tommy in applying paint to the tires of his wheelchair to add special characteristics; those who interviewed him include: Ringo Starr, Chris Bauer, James Franco, Mike Bauer, and so many more.

Every single paint brush and stir stick used to apply paint to the masterpiece was purposely positioned to create a distinctive sculpture. These sculptures are then put up for a raffle, and NFTs will be eligible for the sculpture for free (the physical sculpture itself will not be an NFT). These NFTs will provide people with a way of supporting Tommy Hollenstein’s work, experiencing and remembering the story behind the art, and sharing the indispensable art with friends and family.

Whether you are an avid art collector, or an ardent supporter of an important cause, Tommy captivates his audience with his remarkable story, creative processes, and his preserving will to smash barriers. We believe that documenting the process and telling the story will not only lead to the production of new art, but also tell a story that captivates peoples’ hearts and minds.

Allocation of Funds

Tommy plans on having three major applications of the funds:

First, he will establish the Tommy Hollenstein Foundation, a charity centered around helping the disabled community and passing down the legacy of using the tires of a wheelchair as a paintbrush. There is a large body of literature that explores the importance of arts (and music) education for early childhood development, imparting to them not only cognitive skills, but also habits of success and community building. Importantly, empirical research finds that intentional practice with art exercises critical parts of the brain that build cognitive skills and the resulting habits that form as a function of persistent practice, culminating in heightened resilience.

Given the challenges that disabled children face, such resilience, skills, as well as friendships generated in the process, will play an especially invaluable role over the duration of their lives, opening up new opportunities and a higher quality of living.

Second, Tommy will build a studio that is large enough to accommodate the requisite infrastructure for producing his artworks. By procuring a sufficiently large space that is equipped with the right tools, Tommy will be able to produce more art under better conditions without unnecessary limitations. That has been a major barrier to date for producing art. Tommy will also use his studio to mentor the newly injured, providing new opportunities for him to train and engage others.

Third, he will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Dream Center (DC) in Los Angeles. Tommy has been a member of the Dream Center for the past 27 years, and even managed a wheelchair basketball team 20 years ago. The Dream Center is a cause near and dear to Tommy’s heart, with over 200 programs that help the city of Los Angeles. Motivated by a Christ-centered love for and service to people, the Dream Center stands in the gap for thousands in California, serving as a resource center and providing support to those affected by homelessness, hunger, and the lack of education through residential and community outreach programs. The Dream Center equips and empowers each person to live out their God-given dream. Tommy Hollenstein’s donations will go to continue supporting these activities with a special emphasis on empowering those with disabilities.

Final Thoughts

Tommy has been painting for nearly 32 years and regularly donates paintings and the proceeds of sales to multiple charities including, Shanes Inspiration, Canine Companions, and The Triumph foundation, and The Dream Center Foundation. Wild and West believes that Tommy Hollenstein’s art will not only bring great joy to the art holders, but also generate greater awareness behind the challenges people with disabilities face and serve as a novel use case for the incredible potential of NFTs in the web3 economy.

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