The Medusa Collection, which was released today, isn’t Mieke Marple’s first NFT release, but it is a drop with a greater purpose: to re-examine the story of the woman behind the snakes, putting aside what we know about the world’s most renowned gorgon.
It’s also a fundraiser for TeachRock, a nonprofit dedicated to providing educators with alternative curricula that integrate music and pop culture references to make learning more engaging and relatable for kids.
Music and entertainment celebrities such as Stevie “Little Steven” Van Zandt, Bono, Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese, and Bruce Springsteen launched TeachRock. In this drop, Marple continues to challenge expectations with the same “rock n’ roll” vigour.
They are able to make the donation tax-exempt by going through Endaoment, the first on-chain 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, though I do not believe this is the case for purchasers of the NFTs.
Endaoment reports that as of this writing, it had handled $10,797,101 in donations via its website.
TeachRock is a free and open-source curriculum extension that has been endorsed by the National Councils for Social Studies, Geographic Education, and Music Education, as well as the New Jersey School Boards Association’s STEAM education initiative.
It works directly with over 100 schools in five states and provides over 300 educational tools.
“TeachRock works tirelessly to keep the arts in the DNA of the public school system,” said TeachRock founder Stevie Van Zandt. “Now we’re using the arts to raise the money to pay for that work too. This NFT project encourages us to rethink the true story of a myth we all grew up with and funds a new curriculum that will share that story freely with teachers and students worldwide.”
The Medusa Collection is a collection of 2,500 generative art NFTs based on Marple’s paintings of canonical Italian Medusa sculptures from the 1545s to the 1805s.
The book was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which describes the narrative of Medusa being abducted by the god Poseidon and subsequently turned into a monster by his wife, Athena, as retaliation.
The tale is frequently taught in schools without questioning who, in current society’s eyes, is the true monster in the story.
Maple took the time to talk to us about her job as an artist, the meaning behind her work, and her experience with the NFT drop.
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