Fashion / Shopping

Famed Pop Artist Jumps Into NFTs With the Help of a Houston Entrepreneur — Inside the Ashley Longshore and Metagolden Teamup

Francine Ballard's Company Makes Digital Art Accessible

BY // 12.07.21

“I tried to get a meta wallet, and I needed a Xanax and two martinis to figure it out,” pop artist Ashley Longshore says in a hype video for her first-ever NFT (non-fungible token) drop. All Longshore really needed to get into that digital realm was trusted friend Francine Ballard, the Houston founder of Metagolden, a gallery platform that connects consumers to the lucrative world of NFT digital art investment.

But this drop — like most of Metagolden’s — comes with a twist. The NFT is coupled with a valuable physical keepsake in the form of 18K gold jewelry.

Through her new company, Ballard — PaperCity’s style editor at large — seeks to bring more women into the crypto art sphere, both by collaborating with women artists and by representing art that appeals to female collectors. So, what better marquee talent for a collaboration than Longshore, whose new book, Roar!: A Collection of Mighty Women (Rizzoli), celebrates the most culturally seminal women in history via 62 of her signature striking and vibrant portraits.

NFTs will be minted and available for presale starting this Thursday, December 9th via Metagolden’s website, with the drop fully released to the public on January 20.

 

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The collection (minted at .05 to .1 eth per NFT with a dollar equivalent of $300 to $500, for purchase via crypto wallet or credit card) consists of randomized digital pieces of art based on the book —62 vivacious portraits of powerful women who dared to dream and stood their ground, including Harriet Tubman, Simone Biles, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Frida Kahlo.

The Ashley Longshore Release

The release comes in the form of a blind drop, meaning collectors don’t know which piece they’ll receive, but it also could come with a valuable physical or digital bonus unlockable. Planned unlockables include a pair of 18K gold earrings with three carats of diamonds, valued at $8,500; a trademark Metagolden Blockchain necklace valued at $7,450; a gold medallion designed by Ashley Longshore that comes with its own NFT of her artwork, valued at $6,375; copies of the Roar! book; Canetti Lucite display cube frame to display art via QR code; and even the chance to have a portrait painted by Longshore. A portion of the proceeds will benefit emerging artists and women and girls in the tech space (the beneficiaries will be announced later).

Francine Ballard
Francine Ballard. (Photo by Lili Oren)

This collection is major. Ballard and Longshore are breaking barriers — if you’ve been eyeing the world of digital art, this collaboration may mark an ideal entry point.

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