Highlights from Voice’s Inspiring Women Rise NFT Residents Program

Guest curator Maliha Abidi shines a light on several superb artists

Carbon neutral NFT-minting platform Voice aims to equip and empower creators, a mission that sets it apart from many in the metaverse. Their easy-to-use minting system has already opened the doorway to web3 for an impressive roster of fine artists. Now, in conjunction with guest curator Maliha Abidi (co-founder of the wildly successful Women Rise NFT collection), Voice has launched the Women Rise NFT residents program—complete with powerful, thought-provoking works by an array of extraordinary artists. It’s another reason to be excited about a platform that continues to seek out new ways to support digital creators.

“The residency came about as a part of a longstanding relationship between Voice and Women Rise, inspired by our shared mission to empower women artists from underrepresented and marginalized communities in web3,” Eliza Fish, Voice’s Director of Partnerships & Artist Relations, tells COOL HUNTING. “We initially worked with founder Maliha Abidi for a gallery curation project during NFT.NYC 2021, and knew there would be more opportunities to work together.” Fish adds that establishing the residency together has been a dream project.

“We conducted an open call for applications,” she continues, “making sure that women around the world knew about the opportunity, with an emphasis on no previous NFT or crypto experience needed to participate. Maliha served as curator, and it was a difficult task given the hundreds of talented artists who applied.” The selected group—from which we drew highlights below—”represents countries around the globe, work in different mediums, varying levels of NFT experience and all have incredibly powerful stories behind their collections,” Fish says. “For an industry as new as NFTs, it’s critical that artists see themselves represented and the Voice x Women Rise residency program is one effort toward creating equitable digital spaces.”

Shaunte Lewis

Bright, bold colors and crisp lines define the contributions from Indiana-based visual artist and illustrator Shaunte Lewis. Her digital illustration “Queen’s Presence: Queen of Spades” (above) presents “Power, femininity, intelligence. She accomplishes whatever she sets her mind to achieve. She overcomes whatever challenges come her way. She is a thinker, planner and doer,” according to the artist, whose work often explores Black culture, femininity, gender and identity.

Nneka Iwunna Ezemezue

Lagos, Nigeria-based visual artist and documentary photographer Nneka Iwunna Ezemezue weaves expressly human moments into her work. With “I Waited For You: The Sun Will Rise” (above) is part of a series Ezemezue contributed during the residency. The “I Waited For You series addresses the invisible struggles and social stigma of infertility experienced, often quietly or silently, by millions of women of diverse cultures in the world,” she says. “Many people are experiencing infertility issues but no one talks about it. I believe we need more dialogue and open conversation on this. Through this project, I hope people can start to lift the veil on these topics as well as make others who have gone or are going through infertility not feel so isolated and to destigmatize a universal experience.”

Sua Agape

With nuance and splendor, Guatemala City-based artist and illustrator Sua Agape fills her images with colorful contrast while exploring nature and the cosmos—usually with women playing a central role. In “Solstice” (above) Agape sets a celestial scene with a reflective central figure amidst surreal flowers. The otherworldly image is as serene as it is surprising and vibrant.

Senaida

Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist and sound architect Senaida minted her astonishing three-part experimental sonic series, THE NOTHING IN BETWEEN, on Voice (with “THE NOTHING IN BETWEEN: III. I’M LEFT HERE IN MY AURA OF LIGHT” shown above). Within, Senaida pairs mesmerizing, moving geometric shapes with a soaring soundscape. The artist’s work is a superb example of the depth of NFTs and the capabilities of  the craft.

Hero image “Queen’s Presence: Queen of Hearts courtesy of Shaunte Lewis