NFT Program Celebrates Female Artists
While NFT artwork has exploded over the past couple of years — reportedly, per a report from last year, a 2.5-billion-dollar business — the burgeoning marketplace has fallen into the same gendered norms as other art communities. A 2021 exposition on the NFT community found that 16% of NFT artists are women, and, among them, only 5% comprise the medium’s sales. This consistent undervaluing of female artists has prompted a response to that statistical reality — from those within that community.
Recognizing the underrepresentation of female artists within this art space, Voice, an NFT marketplace, in conjunction with Women Rise, an NFT collection by artist Maliha Abidi, has created a program to promote and empower emerging female NFT artists.
Voice X Women Rise’s “NFT Residency Program” is a space to celebrate women creators and their artwork. The project is intended to “to change the ratio — dedicated to supporting women from underrepresented and marginalized communities.” For the past month, the program has spotlighted different female artists in the NFT community.
Similar to Women Rise, a collection of 10,000 unique NFT artworks by the Pakistani-American artist, the Residency Program requires its artists to transform their artwork into a NFT collection. Residents are given the opportunity to cover a theme relevant to their own life. Topics include “equity & justice, identity, future-proof, and well-being.”
Some of the residents include Adaeze Okaro, Senaida Ng, Chigo Artish, Kavl Hassan, Barbara Minishi, Sherie Margaret Ngigi, Shaunt’e Lewis, Nneka Iwunna Ezemezue, Safiya Adam, Súa Agapé, Yahdiogo Agbo, Kemi Awoyemi, Adaeze Chukwu, and Neta.
The Residency Program is composed of a wide-range of artistic mediums — photography, video, drawing, painting, photoshop. Each NFT artwork is a unique expression of the artist’s identity: their background, their experience, their cause. Ranging in composition, style, and content, the NFTs of the Residency Program mimic their creators: a diverse community of artists each with their own artistic voice.
While some artists are more explicit in their artwork, undergirding the entire collection is the foundational theme of Voice x Women Rise: being a woman and artist in the NFT space. By contributing to the Residency Program, each artist gives voice to, and challenges, that number of “16%.,” not only for the present, but for the future.