As a designer typically focused on product visualization and interior architecture, Yemi Davis’ work stands out for its complexity and clean aesthetics. This summer, however, the artist took on a different kind of project: producing a collection of NFTs that’s full of breathtaking activism.
Each piece has a clear message. Depending on the circumstance and collaborator, Davis could be standing up against bullying, decrying sexual violence, or celebrating unity against police brutality. If you ask him, it’s all intertwined into ideas of “hope, love, self-confidence, and empowerment.” Personal experiences inspired the central messages, both on behalf of Davis and each of his collaborators, all fellow Nigerian artists.
One piece follows the theme of rebirth, which references the feeling Davis had in standing up to bullies who called him names because of his albinism. “After speaking out for myself, it felt liberating,” he remembers. “It kind of felt like a massive load had been taken off my shoulders, and I felt like a new person. That is what we’re trying to explore with this piece. It’s almost like you’re being reborn, and you’re kind of morphing into a new person.”
The collection’s theme, Raise Our Voice, is shared amongst all participants in Voice’s NFT Residency, a virtual program connecting established curators with rising creators interested in exploring the digital space. Davis was selected by curator Misan Harriman, who felt a kinship with the artist and his collaborators.
“I am Nigerian, and I know how difficult it is for Nigerian artists or many artists in parts of the developing world to have even half a chance,” Harriman says. “We’re really here to amplify their voices, amplify their art, so the world can recognize and support them as much as I hope to long-term.”
The incredible rise of NFTs has expanded opportunities for all creators, especially for those who now have access to a new global network of collectors and larger audiences.
Davis’ collection begins dropping on October 4, only on Voice. Explore the works and learn more about the creator on the platform’s site.
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An immersive experience by multimedia artist Jen Stark is coming to Williamsburg. From September 17 through October 24, visitors can experience Stark’s colorful dreamworld Cascade through interactive mind-bending projections, 3D-mapped environments, murals, and sculptures presented across 6,000 square feet of exhibition space at the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. Cascade will also introduce a series of NFTs available for auction, as well as $STARK coin, a social token promoting community involvement in the artist’s pursuits.
To bring her hypnotic visions and sacred geometries to life, Stark collaborated with a team of highly skilled computer programmers trained in augmented reality and projection mapping. As visitors walk through Cascade’s portal gallery and waterfall room, they will be enveloped by kaleidoscopic environments suffused with kinetic, undulating patterns that showcase the artist’s signature drips and alien forms.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, select animated projections featured in Cascade will be minted as NFTs and auctioned online. Stark’s “Multiverse” NFT auctioned for 150 ETH ($343,071) in March of this year, with the sale catapulting her onto the leaderboard as the first female artist in NFT platform Foundation’s top 10 highest selling creators. She is partnering with Rally.io to launch the $STARK coin at Cascade, holders of which will have exclusive access to a gated Discord community, a custom social media avatar, and virtual studio visits. $STARK coins can be purchased with a debit or credit card, cryptocurrency, or by converting $RLY tokens, Rally’s default currency, into $STARK coins. Powered by the ethereum blockchain, Rally.io is an open network dedicated to fostering vibrant independent economies between creatives and fans.
For further information on NFTs, show hours, ticket pricing, and conjunctive programming, visit cascadeshow.com.
Cascade was organized and produced by Art Market Productions in association with United Talent Agency and Joshua Liner Projects.
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Whether it’s to advance your career or try something new, the Division of Continuing Education at the School of Visual Arts offers more than 170 courses to choose from. Visit sva.edu/ce to view free events and all virtual and on-campus courses, which begin September 20.
Online courses are available in:
- Art & Activism
- Fine Arts
- Global Arts
- Illustration and Cartooning
- Interior Design
- Photography and Video
- Professional Development
- Visual and Critical Studies
- Visible Futures Lab
- Visual Narrative
If you need advice or have questions, please email [email protected] to connect with a course advisor.
About the School of Visual Arts
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum, and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the college, please visit sva.edu.
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This month, Voice is launching the first environmentally friendly NFT platform where users can mint NFTs for free and buyers can purchase creations with a standard credit card. No cryptocurrency, no gas fees, and no previous NFT experience necessary.
The platform is partnering with curators like Kimberly Drew, Misan Harriman, Myriam Ben Salah, and Azu Nwagbogu, who are part of an inaugural residency that allows emerging creators to explore the transformative opportunities connected to NFTs. This first-of-its-kind partnership will tap the revolutionary technology to create unique collections to be discovered and purchased exclusively on Voice.
“I’ve always been interested and loved the idea of digital art and the value of digital art being akin to the value of physical art,” said Harriman, a photographer and cultural commentator. “And I love the idea that the non-fungible token is allowing digital artists to be able to have a voice and have a value in their voice.”
The residency includes collaboration between creators and Voice’s technologists, ensuring the platform is built as a canvas to showcase creativity and provide opportunities for the community.
One such artist is Ayanfe Olarinde, a self-trained visual artist from Lagos, Nigeria, who explores self-image, identity formation, gender construct, mental health, and more. Her collaborative works will be released on the Voice platform this fall alongside 50+ other artists from around the globe.
Voice’s mission is to open the door to anyone who ever wanted to buy or sell an NFT but didn’t know how. The potential of NFTs is undeniable, and Voice believes that opportunity should be open to everyone. The Voice beta will launch to the outside world in mid-August, and NFTs will be immediately available for sale to adults 18 and older.
Sign up now to start minting for free.
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Experience Rhode Island School of Design this fall from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re looking to advance your practice or a high school student interested in pursuing art and design in college, RISD CE is offering 140+ online courses for adults and teens.
RISD Advanced Program for High School Students provides students the opportunity to access intensive, collegiate-level courses. This pre-college academic experience is geared toward those interested in pursuing art and design in college who want to build their portfolio. The program is a mix of live and recorded activities.
RISD CE adult online courses offer students a wide range of classes for all skill levels and can be taken at any time of day or night. Our Certificate Programs are designed for adults looking to accelerate their creative lives and work. Subjects include animation, graphic design, interactive design, interior design, jewelry making and design, natural science illustration, painting studies, photography, and product development and manufacturing.
Online teen courses in animation, drawing, fashion design, illustration, and art school prep provide a strong grounding in the visual arts, encouraging creative and personal growth through self-expression.
The fall term starts September 13, 2021, and September 8 is the last day to sign up. Many online courses fill quickly—to browse online courses at Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education, visit cereg.risd.edu—so register today!
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When you enroll in the Jewelry Design & Marketing program at Pratt SCPS, you’ll learn the fundamentals of jewelry design, deepen your knowledge of the industry’s history, and uncover current trends. No matter your experience level, registration begins July 12 for Pratt SCPS’s fall courses and certificates, which include:
- Computer-Aided Design and 3-D Modeling for Jewelers
- Jewelry Design + Development
- Jewelry Design History and Current Trends
- Make Wearable Art: Beginner Jewelry Fabrication
- Make Wearable Art: Advanced Jewelry Fabrication
Most importantly, you’ll acquire the practical skills necessary to enhance your business, all guided by experts in the field.
Senior jewelry designer and instructor Carolyn A’Hearn has created and produced jewelry from start to finish for several brands, including J. Crew, Catbird, Liloveve, The Brave Collection, as well as several private clients and for their own line. They are currently Lead Designer and Production Manager for The Gild Jewelry Collective.
Karen Bachmann teaches at both Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Design, where she specializes in fine and bridge jewelry, wearable art, and decorative art. She’s led lectures, workshops, and talks at the American Folk Art Museum, Mutter Museum, Victorian Society of America, Morbid Anatomy Museum, Atlas Obscura, and Katonah Museum of Art, amongst others, and is a practicing studio jeweler and a former master jeweler at Tiffany & Co.
Akiyo Matsuoka is a faculty member at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute. Matsuoka’s fine jewelry designs have appeared in Vogue, Town and Country, Bride, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, W, Vanity Fair, and others. Her collections have been featured in luxury department stores and specialty retailers across the world, including Neiman Marcus, Takashimaya NY, Nordstrom, Wako Japan, and Lane Crawford Hong Kong.
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Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.