St. Petersburg, FL – St. Petersburg resident Elsie Gilmore announces the upcoming launch of her 5000 Hugs project on August 15, 2022. The project blends Gilmore’s experience as an interactive performance artist and her skills as a web developer.
5000 Hugs revolves around a website (www.5000hugs.com) and is a play on NFTs that involves a digital and a real-life component. The NFTs on Gilmore’s website are not built on the blockchain but are her own creation, making the project accessible to everyone regardless of whether they have a crypto wallet.
For that and other reasons, this is more an interactive, participatory art project than an NFT drop. Users are invited to buy an “NFT hug” on the website for $10 (or a “supercharged” version for $25). Like traditional NFTs, a unique serial number is created for each one, and they are listed in a registry. For each registry entry, there is a record that shows the history of that NFT.
In the second phase of the project, Gilmore will begin turning the digital entries into real-life hugs given to attendees at her hug appearances. Each time a hug is given, the hug recipient will also receive a card containing instructions that include the unique serial number for a specific NFT hug on the website.
Gilmore is using this project to fund creation of The Hugmobile, a mobile hug dispensary and joy clinic. During and after the project, she’ll use the The Hugmobile as a vehicle (literal and figurative) for art and activism activities.
In particular, Gilmore is concerned about the polarization that is dividing our country and, in many cases, the world. This project was inspired, in part, by her love of giving hugs to strangers. “When you are standing out there giving free hugs, you don’t think about who the other person is. You don’t think about their politics or religion or anything about them. You just see a fellow human who could use a hug. That’s the part I like best,” said Gilmore, who’s been giving public hugs for more than a decade.
While Gilmore is based in Florida, the project is open for anyone anywhere to buy the limited-edition NFT hugs. The first phase of the project begins on 8.15.2022 and wraps up on 2.14.2023 on Gilmore’s 50th birthday with a celebratory party.
About Elsie Gilmore
Elsie Gilmore is a St. Petersburg artist and entrepreneur. She’s a member of the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood and owns the web development company Solid Red Studios. She is a mixed media and performance artist, a writer and an activist.