22 Women in NFTs to Watch in 2022
Heartfelt intent to draw attention to individuals who deserve to be showered with light
Sun 23rd Jan 2022
The definition of “list” is problematic—“a simple series of words or numerals” (Merriam-Webster), “a number of connected items or names printed consecutively” (Google), “a series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record” (dictionary.com).
Nowhere is finality mentioned. Thus, a list, by definition (or lack thereof), is open-ended. In other words, you can always add more to the list. Italian author Umberto Eco touched upon the conundrum of cataloguing in his 2009 Louvre series “Vertigo of Lists.” Borges, too, was an avid list maker and did so with ample brushstrokes of irony and play.
And yet, to quote Eco, “there is nothing more wonderful than a list.” So here we are.
This list of 22 women in NFTs to watch in 2022 declares itself to be woefully incomplete. A list of 2022 women to watch in 2022 would still leave thousands of incredible builders out. Yet, when Redlion knocked on the World of Women’s discord door to ask for help writing a piece about women in NFTs, I raised my hand, eager to highlight women doing work that goes beyond successful PFP projects.
Before I continue, I do want to pay tribute to the women-led PFP projects that are crushing it—their win is everyone’s win. Go World of Women. Go Women Rise. Go Boss Beauties. Go Nyla Collection. Go Fame Lady Squad. Go Deadfellaz. Go Encryptas. Go Fatales. Go projects to come. Go, go, go.
Of course, I must also address the fact that the need for a list of “women to follow” even exists. I, for one, have not seen lists of “men to follow” going around, which is because men are already followed. I write this article open-eyed as to my participation in a narrative of implicit inequality but with the heartfelt intent to draw attention to individuals who deserve to be showered with light. May more pioneering women be front and center and followed by all.
1. Anne Spalter
The founder of the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University’s digital arts courses and author of the seminal textbook, The Computer in the Visual Arts, Anne is also an acclaimed artist and curator. Many look up to her with gratitude and respect, including myself. Follow her to add depth, history, and knowledge to your feed.
In an agitated sea of male influencers, Artchick holds her ground, and holds it strong. She’s fearless, funny, and quick to highlight women-led projects as they evolve. She’s also the creator of Etherpoems, a trailblazing project co-curated by Artemis Wylde (@Artemis_Wylde) that minted verse directly onto the Ethereum blockchain and featured artists like Breanna Faye (@_breannafaye) and Roxanne Darling (@roxannedarling). Every time Artchick pops into my feed, I’m reminded that maintaining a sense of play is key to navigating the NFT space.
A curator for OBJKT.com, passionate collector, and leading voice in the thriving Tezos community, Cabline is one to follow to discover new artists before they blow up. Keep an eye on her feed for OBJKT’s “Hidden Gems” threads as well as for valuable information regarding the Tezos ecosystem.
Founded by Andrea Steuer (@andreasteuer) and Elena Zavelev (@elena_zavelev), the Crypto and Digital Art Fair organizes Digital Art Months in cities like Paris, Miami and New York during which they present virtual reality artistic installations, among other delicious invasions. They work closely with talented curator Jess Conatser (@jessconatser), the founder of Studio as We Are (@studioasweare) and an early advocate of the work of poet and artist Sasha Stiles (@sashastiles), amongst others. CADAF, accompanied by Jess, organizes events that bridge the divide between the physical and the digital, a connection that I believe will only grow in importance This spring CADAF launches a curated NFT platform that will no doubt gather the best minds and hearts working in digital art.
5. Clara Che Wei Peh
The Singapore-based founder of the thriving NFT Asia community is also an incredible curator, lecturer, writer, art historian and critic. Added bonus—she’s a soulful Twitter-er. To follow her is to like her. PS—check out her brilliant interview with Mario Klingemann , and others, here (https://so-far.online/a-fractional-possibility-from-christies-to-artist-communities/#)
6. Clare Maguire
Musician and artist Clare Maguire is a co-founder of thriving WTF Industries, purveyors of fine collectibles and fine fun. To fully understand the NFT space you need to understand community, and this master community builder guides diverse and inclusivity-minded discussions via the rapidly growing WTF family of enterprises—Discord.Art, CakedApes, Delectables, BadKidsAlley—all in some way powered by the magic that is Foodmasku. Other notable women in this community include Jimena Buena Vida (@jimenabuenavida), Margaret Labour (@margaretlabour), Shakenbakespeare @shakenbakespeare, and Trish (NFT_ish). Follow Clare and her crew to keep up-to-speed with WTF is happening.
7. Diane Drubay
The list of reasons to follow Diane is long, so I better get started. Founder of We Are Museums, co-founder of alterHEN, arts and culture advisor for Tezos, co-founder of Arteztic, member of Museums for Future and mentor in the VerticalCrypto Art Residency. Among others. What’s more, she helps keep environmental concerns front and center, right where they should be.
Founded by curator, writer, and creative consultant Elle Anastasiou, DRP.IO is an innovative gallery-led NFT platform, featuring exclusive drops by artists such as Lushsux, Shohei Otomo and Shintaro Kago. Additionally, Elle is a wonderful Twitter Space host, who dives deep into questions of context, value-creation and curation. Elle is based in Australia and well-versed in Asian art; I always discover something new and exciting when going through her roster of artists.
9. Fanny Lakoubay
Highly experienced and respected art curator, consultant and connoisseur, Fanny is one of those rare individuals who can talk serious talk with one hand and crack jokes with the other. Together with wonderful writer Harry Martin (@martjpg), she advises one of the most considered collections gathering in the space, the Elsie Edicurial Collection (@Elsie_Edicurial). Subscribe to her newsletter to learn and, more importantly, to laugh.
10. Gisel Florez
“Artist in light” Gisel Florez is a treasure, an envelope-pushing OG photographer and serial uplifter of others. As one of the co-founders of Women of Crypto Art and Art Advisor to literary NFT gallery theVERSEverse, her legacy in the space is ongoing. A generous retweeter, collector, and excellent curator of GIFs.
11. Gladys Garrote
Gladys is an art historian and curator based in Havana, Cuba. Recently announced as one of the curators for NFT Liverpool, she’s also a writer, head curator for The Infinite Machine Movie and Collection, and a co-founder of @ClitSplash, a feminist art collective. But, beyond any accomplishments, she’s an inspiration to her community and to anyone who meets her.
12. Ivona Tau
Claire Silver, Helena Sarin, IX Shells and Sarah Ridgley are household names that cannot be omitted from any generative/AI/GAN-powered artist list. But so is Ivona Tau. Her poignant urban-scapes get all the tones of late night city haunts right. Her cloudy, moody nature-scapes capture the subtle nostalgia of dawn. I recently had the pleasure to collaborate with Ivona on a generative text collection for theVERSEverse and can vouch that she is also kind, professional, and deeply intelligent. Sold at Sotheby’s and ranked within the top 50 artists on Tezos, Ivona is just getting started.
13. Lady Phoenix
Founder and CEO of Universe Contemporary, Lady Phoenix has a curation practice anchored in elevating culture and diversity in the metaverse. She’s also the founder and chief curator at YesUniverse, the largest network of virtual museums, a place “where art and technology bring people together.” What’s more, YesUniverse’s podcast is aimed at educating and onboarding her listeners on all aspects of Web3. You can sense the generosity of her spirit just by following her.
14. Linda Dounia
Linda wears the hat of artist and of curator equally well. She’s a founding member of Cyber Baat, a decentralized autonomous collective of African descent. Meanwhile, her art has been exhibited at Art Basel Miami, Art X Lagos, Fort NFT Gallery, and The Museum of Newfangled Art. Linda is also fearless, addressing matters of inclusivity and self-worth in the sometimes-draining high-pressured pace of the NFT space. Follow her to be constantly inspired.
15. Micol AP
It’s hard to summarize what Micol, via the force of VerticalCrypto Art, brings to the space. But I’ll try. An artist residency program meant to empower and uplift new and old comers in the space, curation rooted in diversity and thoughtfulness, deep dives into individual artists’ practices, Twitter Spaces that address difficult questions, and near-poetic shill threads. Whenever crypto Twitter veers off-track into PFP Land, Micol is there to remind us that it is truly about the art.
16. Power Dada
Founded by Judy Mam (@grandenchilada) and Beatriz Helena Ramos, Dada is an OG NFT platform that invites its users to “speak through art.” Metapurse, the innovating force behind Dreamverse, acquired a full set of Dada’s iconic 2017 collection of Creeps & Weirdos which included pieces by powerhouse artists Angie Taylor (@theAngieTaylor) and Moxarra González (@Moxarra) for a whopping 500 ETH. I follow Power Dada as a welcome reminder that blockchain-native art is not new and its history is right there—colorful, bright, and eager to be found.
17. Regina Harsanyi
The world of IPFS data pinning and NFT conservation and preservation is one few people can claim to understand. (As I write, I feel uncertain I’m even getting the terminology right.) But, trust me, this is an important topic, and one that will become increasingly so. Follow Regina to learn more.
18. Serena Tabacchi
The director and co-founder of MOCDA, the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art, is also a curator at DART2121, Museo MAXXI, and Cinello Official. As a Board Member of the Blockchain Game Alliance and a key figure within The Sandbox, she has her finger on the pulse of many wrists within the metaverse. In addition to curating, cataloguing and writing up exhibitions at MOCDA, Serena helps present curated selections of KnownOrigin drops that are key in getting the work of lesser-known artists out into the world.
19. Sofia Garcia
As the co-founder of ArtxCode, the mastermind behind The Digital, and a top curator at Art Blocks, Sofia’s name has become essential to any conversation about generative art curation. Her feed is eye candy for lovers of generative art and subtle humor. Oh, and she’s been known to throw around excellent Sponge Bob Square Pant GIFs.
The undisputed queen of Latin pop has joined the metaverse with full force. Accompanied by devoted community builder Rox (@iconoclasticoon), Thalia is on a carefully planned mission to empower and educate her ginormous following on all things crypto. She is sure to generate a lasting and positive impact.
21. Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan
In a space highly enamored with its novelty and promise, Dr. Rivers is there to remind everyone that digital artists and their patrons have been around, fighting the good fight, for a very long time. With her encyclopedic knowledge of what came before, she’s equipped to judge what is happening now, and what will come after.
22. Vanessa Coleman
The boss lady at Fort Gallery NFT, a pioneering Tezos art gallery, Vanessa Coleman is also a fierce community builder. She’s a champion defender (and collector) of women, queer and transgender artists and an incredible artist in her own right. Not in vain, her work was awarded a Sevens Foundation Grant. I keep a close eye on V, for all this, but, more so, for the explosive and contagious joy she brings to the space.