The collective was founded in London by two British-Iranian sisters, Ava and Tara Halvai. Ava is a computer science student, while Tara is an artist who is autistic and non-verbal and was struggling to break into the art industry. ARTXV started out as an Instagram account to bring visibility to Tara’s art, and has grown to represent 17 neurodiverse artists. It’s also established a partnership with global discovery platform Google Arts & Culture.
ARTXV acts as a community and cultural hub, providing artists with the tech support they need to amplify their voices and sell their work on the blockchain. Ava explains: “Tara can’t really advocate for herself. When I tried [to promote her work], the reaction was that people loved the art but stepped back when they found out she was autistic. I wanted to change that.”
Translating the artworks into NFTs gives access to people who wouldn’t have the opportunity to either purchase or sell art pieces in traditional marketplaces, promoting more equitable access to wealth. Furthermore, NFTs are centred on the content, rather than the creator, which means neurodivergent artists are not faced with the hurdles and stigma they otherwise encounter.
This initiative spotlights how blockchain and NFTs could be harnessed to promote diversity and inclusion in traditionally siloed industries. It’s one of the emerging NFT applications illustrating how a mindful use of this technology holds the potential to support social advances.
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