‘Social marketplace’ debuts with diverse artworks by leading Caribbean artists
Panama City, Panama (Oct. 20, 2023) — The community-driven digital arts platform Expressions debuted this week with an NFT project, Origins: Genesis, that minted out its initial drop in 30 seconds, showing the enduring popularity of art-related Web3 projects.
Origins: Genesis will showcase 5,000 handmade digital artworks by nine leading Caribbean artists as it rolls out with works of modern abstract art, surrealism and pixel art. Origins: Genesis will be released in five stages starting with the initial mint of 300 works followed by a second drop of 1,200 NFTs on Oct. 26.
“Our mission is to bring more cultural diversity and inclusiveness to the Web3 art scene,” said J.D. Lasica, founder of Expressions. “There’s no better way to kick off this project than to give Caribbean artists a platform to tell their remarkable stories through their artistry.”
Expressions is a joint project of Amberfi and the Panama City-based Artists & Creatives Foundation. The site, at expressions.com, is intended to provide a user-friendly “social marketplace” that paves the way for onboarding brands, art galleries, major artists and other creatives when so-called crypto winter ebbs, according to Lasica. Social elements include likes, sharing and the future addition of comments, he added.
Expressions and brand-focused sister site Amberfi received seed funding of $1.7 million from Animoca Brands, Polygon Studios, Delta Blockchain Fund and Hailstone Ventures. While other NFT sites have shuttered their doors, the scaled-back team at Expressions believes its Origins: Genesis drop will usher in hundreds of art projects, empowering artists from diverse art communities to sell their art, showcase their cultural perspectives and celebrate their artistic expressions with a global audience.
“One of our goals is to onboard tens of thousands of new artists into Web3,” Lasica said. “By creating a marketplace that’s diverse and creator-friendly, we can lift up underrepresented voices and spotlight creatives from cultures in every corner of the globe.”
After the monthlong series of Origins: Genesis drops, the Expressions team will finalize the rest of the platform over several weeks before opening it up to artists, photographers and other creatives the world over, he added.
Featured artists in the Origins: Genesis drop include Edward Bowen, one of the top artists in Trinidad and Tobago, and contemporary artists Carlos Dávila Rinaldi of Puerto Rico and Isabel Bérénos of Curaçao, who now have an outlet to express their unique artistic perspectives in a new digital medium, inspired from their personal historical and cultural identities.
“As an artist from Curaçao, it’s exciting to share my work alongside talented creators who are exploring themes of identity, culture, and heritage,” said Bérénos, who is selling digital versions of her paintings as NFTs. “Being a part of this project means more than just showcasing my art. It’s about contributing to a larger conversation about who we are and our origins.”
Through a simple, elegant interface, Expressions caters to both crypto natives and those new to the Web3 scene, Lasica said. Innovations that will soon roll out include private workspaces for creators, best-of-breed NFT licenses, encrypted content delivery, seller identity verification, free mints, purchases with a credit card, protection against wallet phishing attacks and optional shipping of physical goods.
Origins: Genesis is the first of ten art drops Expressions plans to host over the next two years, with future drops featuring artists from South America, Asia, Africa, India and elsewhere.
Collectors and art lovers will be able to set up a profile, share and like their favorite works, save NFTs to a private watchlist, and purchase a variety of 3D digital works, acrylic paintings, digital photography, sculptures and more, Lasica said.
For more information, visit https://expressions.com/.
Image at top: Detail from “Your Choice” by Carlos Davila Rinaldi
Expressions is a community-driven creativity platform and social marketplace that supports diverse cultural traditions from around the world. The project’s goal is to create a global community that celebrates diversity and provides a platform for artists to showcase their talents and connect with collectors from around the world.