In honor of Black History Month, Mildred Howard, an internationally acclaimed mixed media artist, sculptor and designer is debuting her first NFT Collection, Millennials & XYZ. From 28 February to 7 March, the peer-to-peer marketplace OpenSea will showcase the work depicting the silhouettes of African American Youth on backgrounds with splashes of bright colors.
Mildred Howard grew up in Berkeley, California, USA to parents that were prominent civil rights activists. In her own work, Howard has been an advocate for social justice both in her professional and personal life. For the last five years, Howard has been working on her latest collection, Millennials & XYZ after being emotionally affected by the killings of young black men such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Wanting to better understand the loves of African American Youth, Howard set out to learn how these tragedies made an impact on their life by speaking to younger black men and women in the community.
• Read more: What are NFTs? (opens in new tab)
“I wanted to talk with these young people about their lives, to capture them in the way they look and dress, to hear their opinion about what life was like for them,” said Howard. “Most of the young people I spoke with were brilliant human beings trying to navigate their way through this maze and society that we live in today. They happened to be people of color; but there is only one race—the human race.”
The project is powered by Decrypt Studios (opens in new tab) - a new b type of production house that is dedicated to bringing artists, designers and thinkers to the Metaverse by legitimizing the participation in the world of Crypto so collectors can be safely buying artwork through it. Decrypt also helps artists of all types to enter the Web 3 (a new iteration of World Wide Web-based on blockchain technology) community through transparency between artists and consumers/collectors that hasn't existed before.
Howard uses her art as a way of looking at the world while addressing issues on social justice and race. She hopes that selling them as NFTs it will get in front of a different type of audience and inspire a new generation of creators. On her entry into the world of NFTs Howard said, “Exploring new avenues helps in my growth as an artist; it’s an ongoing exploration of ideas and creative ways of thinking, making, and doing. I’m interested in pushing the boundaries.”
Of the collection, the artist said: "...young black men are still faced with a culture that pathologizes them based on the black-and-white worldview of an earlier era. Still the youth in these prints are undeterred; they cast shadows that obscure the past, stepping off the page and out of the margins in vibrant color, determined to make their own mark"(opens in new tab)
Her work has previously been displayed at the de Young Museum, SFMOMA - one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the US and the Museum of African Diaspora. She has also been the recipient of the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement award as well as two Rockefeller Fellowships and an NEA Fellowship in sculpture.
To view the entire collection head to the Mildred Howard Collection (opens in new tab) on OpenSea.
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