The Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University is hosting a pair of lectures on artificial intelligence and its application in the art world to foster a deep understanding of how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing art creation and marketing. Participants will gain both academic and practical insights into the world of AI-generated artwork, exploring its history, market trends, and overall impact on the art and marketing industries. The presentations are free and open to the public.

In tandem with these lectures, Niagara University's international marketing students will engage in a project to create their own AI-generated art, drawing inspiration from the Castellani Art Museum's permanent art collection. This hands-on experience will culminate in a pop-up exhibition showcasing the students' work in the museum at the end of the spring 2024 semester.

The first presentation, “AI as a Medium,” takes a look at how artists are incorporating AI into their artistic practices and features digital art curator Eleonora Brizi and artist Anne Spalter. It takes place on March 4 at 1:30 p.m.

Brizi is the founder of Breezy Art, a digital art curation brand emphasizing new technologies in art. Breezy Art serves as a creative lab, exploring Blockchain, Creative Code, the Metaverse, and Artificial Intelligence, and is dedicated to the curation process that helps art discover its unique voice and value.

Brizi’s career has included work in New York, where she merged her art world expertise with emerging digital and technological dialogues, embarking on a career path at the intersection of art and technology; and in Beijing, where she was an assistant to the acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei for four years and later represented curator Jerome Sans in China for two years.

Spalter is a leading figure in digital art and was instrumental in its development. In the 1990s, she introduced the first digital fine arts courses at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, significantly contributing to the academic field. Her widely used textbook, "The Computer in the Visual Arts," has made a lasting impact on digital art education.

Spalter's work has gained widespread recognition. She participated in MASS MoCA’s alumni residency, was named a top crypto artist by Rizzoli, was featured in Taschen’s NFT book, and exhibited at SPRING/BREAK NYC Art Show. Her 557-piece RABBIT TAKEOVER drop was highly acclaimed, and her innovative NFT video, "The Bell Machine," was acquired by the Buffalo AKG Museum, joining her works in prestigious collections like The Victoria and Albert Museum, The RISD Museum, and The Museum of CryptoArt.

The second lecture, “AI and the Art Marketplace,” takes place on March 6 at 1:30 p.m. and will focus on the digital art market and collectors’ views on digital art and AI. Featured speakers are Sebastian Sanchez, manager of digital art sales at Christie’s Auction House, and collector Michael Spalter.

During his time at Christie’s, Sanchez has spearheaded partnerships with Beeple on the opening of Beeple Studios in Charleston, and with Gucci for the “Future Frequencies: Explorations in Generative Art and Fashion” auction and exhibition, the first of its kind auction showcasing generative art and fashion. Prior to joining Christie’s, Sebastian led web3 projects with brands such as Warner Brothers, HBO, and Discovery, where he led multiple projects and charitable initiatives from conceptualization to launch. He co-founded generative art platform ARTXCODE in 2018, where he worked with artists such as Tyler Hobbs and Dmitri Cherniak, and was instrumental in cultivating the early generative art market and community. From 2015 – 2021, he also directed collaborations with artists such as Rashid Johnson, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, and other renowned artists.

Spalter was the chair of the Rhode Island School of Design’s board of trustees from 2011 to January 2023 and served on the inaugural advisory boards of Harvard University’s Cultural Enterprise initiative, the Nantucket Project, and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Digital Art Acquisition Committee. He also served as a trustee of the International Council of the Louvre for seven years, co-chairing its first permanent endowment. He co-founded Preservation of Capital Management, LLC, and currently serves on the board of directors of D.E. Shaw, a global investment and technology firm. In addition, he and Anne Morgan Spalter created Spalter Digital, one of the world’s largest private early digital art collections, loaning works to venues such as London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and MoMA.