Botic Point Launches NFTs
(Black PR Wire) Leon Ashby hopes to harness cryptocurrency technologies to create perpetual wealth for Black artists. The CEO of start-up Botic Point announced today the pending release of three non-fungible tokens—or NFTs—created in partnership with the estate of Mary Ann Carroll.
Carroll, whose paintings hang on the walls of the Smithsonian and collectors worldwide, is known as the First Lady of the Florida Highwaymen. The only woman among the group of 26 Black artists whose work has been called the last great art movement of the 20th century, Carroll’s estate joins Botic Point in releasing the first set of NFTs later this week using the OpenSea marketplace.
“Our announcement on the last day of Black History Month marks not an end but the beginning of a new era for Artists of Color,” said Kandie Carroll Ingram, daughter of the pioneering painter. “When my mother presented one of her paintings to First Lady Michelle Obama during the First Lady’s Luncheon at the Congressional Club, she realized the dream no child of sharecroppers could have imagined.”
The Highwaymen were so named by St. Petersburg Times’ journalist in 1994 and their popularity grew with the release of visual artist Gary Monroe’s book, “The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters,” in 2001. Four years later the group of 26 were elected into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
Improvising wallboard as canvasses and crown molding for frames, their talent and an entrepreneurial flair defied the conventions of the Jim Crow South in the 1950s and 1960s. Early efforts found success as the artists sold their paintings roadside to tourists and through direct sales efforts to banks and pharmacies. Over the next several decades, their paintings moved from the obscurity of yard sales to the marketplace of prestigious auction houses.
“Paintings my mother likely sold for $25 so long ago now capture nearly 30 times that,” said Kandie Carroll Ingram. “I’m excited about the potential created by our exclusive partnership with Botic Point to create wealth for artists beyond the original sale while extending my mother’s legacy as a pioneer.”
When she wasn’t painting, Carroll also served as the spiritual anchor for many living along the Indian River region of Florida. She and her husband, James Brady Carroll built the Piney Grove Primitive Baptist Church from the ground up. She later founded the Foundation Revival Center Church of Redemption in Fort Pierce, Florida.
“We’ll be lifting up Mary Ann Carroll’s legacy both through our NFTs and video sharing platform in the coming months,” said Leon Ashby, Botic Point’s founder. “The first set made available on OpenSea this week will feature three paintings from her estate.”
Ashby said Botic Point plans release of an extensive catalog on its own NFT platform in May. “Botic Point’s proprietary video on demand will magnify the impact of the Mary Ann Carroll story and other Black artists while paving the way for Black-NFT penetration into metaverse applications,” he said.