The Black Arts Project, a curated NFT project that celebrates and supports Black creativity, is launching its first collection with none other than the incredible illustrator Aurélia Durand. Featuring 10,000 unique generative NFT artworks, the collection begins The Black Art Project’s mission to create an inclusive Web 3 creative community, producing works that support important Black causes, “from grass roots to the Metaverse”, as The Black Arts Project site explains. Crucially, it’s also taking steps to champion diversity in an already-imbalanced space.
For those who have been keeping their eye on the world of NFTs, there has been a lot of talk about the new space offering potential for greater equity and access for emerging artists. However, at present, the system seems to mimic more of the same structures already present in the art world, particularly around representation. “While there are some notable Black NFT collectors, from Snoop Dogg to Non-Fungible Tony, and some Black artists in the NFT world, especially from, say, Nigeria, in general, it’s a creative space that still doesn’t feel overly welcoming to Black people,” Anthony Gibbs, founder of The Black Arts Project, tells It’s Nice That. “This is even reflected in the fact that NFTs with white complexions are selling for more than those with darker complexions.”
Anthony explains that while there have been successful, more diverse NFT projects, like WomenRise, their focus was on the female experience rather than the Black experience. “I realised that there weren’t any really high-profile NFT projects that were Black-led and were focusing exclusively on Black voices or Black art,” Anthony continues. “I guess that thought led to the idea of a project that could actually make a difference to Black lives.”