The NFTs will support Heifer International’s blockchain programs that provide supply chain traceability to help smallholder farmers access new markets.
WASHINGTON – Heifer International today announced that independent artists Erica Chisolm, Diego Peñuela, and Niki Zarrabi will release three NFTs, non-fungible tokens that are unique digital collectibles, on Rarible with a portion of proceeds from each auction benefiting the global development organization’s blockchain programs. The auction of each NFT will take place Friday, July 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT through Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
Heifer International uses blockchain to facilitate traceability along agriculture supply chains from the farm to consumers, increasing smallholder farmers’ access to data and global markets to help increase their sales and incomes.
“Technology has the potential to transform farming around the world, and this is especially true for smallholder farmers that Heifer International works with to build profitable and sustainable businesses,” said Jesus Pizarro, Vice President of Financial Innovation at Heifer International. “We’re delighted to partner with these three socially-minded artists as they bring forward new digital works supporting local farmers to end hunger and poverty in their communities.”
The artists created their individual NFTs around subjects that represent Heifer International’s work with smallholder farmers to improve incomes and health, increase gender and economic equity, and strengthen local food and farming systems to benefit people and the planet.
“Our lives are in the hands of farmers who use their hands, creativity, and knowledge to feed communities and take people from starving to thriving. I am excited to work with Heifer International and use my art to combat world poverty and support global social change,” said Erica Chisolm. “I have lived amongst the starving, waking up to a barren pantry. ‘Transformation’ represents the shift from starving to thriving and understanding that everything you need comes from within. With the help of Heifer International, families around the world show each other that change is possible and can feed themselves - physically, mentally, and emotionally - and are forever transformed.”
“As an artist, I feel responsible for actively incorporating the challenges our world faces into the context of my work. I love Heifer International’s focus on community, education, and training as a means to create a better future for farming and rural communities,” said Diego Peñuela. “This piece entitled ‘Fires’ is a reflection on the environmental damage we are causing to our planet and the need to continue our efforts to save it. It is no secret that our relationship to our planet needs to be reevaluated and improved and that current conventional agriculture practices are harming it. Local farmers are a big part of the solution to fighting climate change, by focusing on environmental sustainability, education, and training, Heifer International is contributing to the development of better production practices and healthier communities.”
“As a feminist artist creating work on subjects of nature and our environment, I find Heifer International’s work to be inspiring, powerful, and directly related to my core beliefs and values. I hope to use my artwork to help raise awareness on sustainability, female empowerment, and economic development,” said Niki Zarrabi. “’An Exchange’ is ultimately about the cycle of life and death through reincarnation on an elemental level. The animation shows flowers melting, representing organic matter wilting down to restart the cycle. This is a commentary on our material and spiritual connectivity to all living beings. Furthermore, the work concurrently examines the environmental implications of climate change by literally being animated as melting. Both subjects explored in this NFT - humanitarianism and environmentalism – are directly related to Heifer International’s mission and programs to produce food in a way that benefits the planet.”
Heifer International chose to partner with artists on Rarible, the world’s first community-owned NFT marketplace, keeping in line with the organization’s commitment to community-led economic development. Rarible is powered by the ERC-20 RARI token, and holders of the RARI token receive governance rights with the ability to vote or put forward any protocol proposals.
About Heifer International
For 76 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For information, visit https://www.heifer.org.
About Erica Chisolm
Erica L. Chisolm is a mixed media painter, art activist, and muralist based in Atlanta, Ga. She uses acrylic paint, tissue paper, decorative paper, twine, and other elements to create textured portraits that represent the beauty and imperfections of becoming. She has a bachelor's degree in Sociology, concentrating in Urban Development. She has murals in Atlanta as well as Birmingham, AL, where she serves as the Creative Placemaking Specialist Fellow for the Historic 4th Avenue Business District and Civil Rights District. Her goal is to activate public art in underserved communities.
About Diego Peñuela
Diego Peñuela is an artist from Bogota, Colombia and currently based in Chicago, Ill. He is passionate about illustration, painting, nature, books, and chocolate chip cookies. Diego loves to create dreamy images influenced by his Latin American identity and personal experiences as an immigrant and citizen of the world. His work has earned accolades from publications and organizations like 3x3 magazine, the Society of Illustrators of LA, Latin American Illustration, the Red Dot Award, and the American Advertising Federation. Diego has worked on a range of public art projects (including several murals) and also regularly shows in galleries like Nucleus Portland, ABV Gallery, WOW x WOW online gallery, and the FreeMarket Gallery.
About Niki Zarrabi
Niki Zarrabi is a mixed media artist from Atlanta, Ga. Her work ranges from painting and installation to large-scale mural work. Zarrabi explores the complex relationship between spirituality and the science of human existence. She uses art to study the structure of our universe as a means to understanding its sustenance. By recreating the delicate infrastructures of biology in her layered pieces, Zarrabi is abstractly interpreting her perception of our existence. Her goal is to provide her audience with an alternate appreciation for the countless fragile yet complex elements that come together to give us life.