Fellowship celebrates and empowers photographers of the past, present and future.
We are a group of artists, curators and collectors striving to elevate photography's cultural significance by helping transition the medium into the NFT space. Our combined efforts foster historical context for photography, educate and inspire new audiences, and provide tools and support to photographers entering the NFT space. We do this through two initiatives: Fellowship Trust and Fellowship Studio.
The Fellowship Trust is a permanent NFT collection of photography from the 19th century to the present day.
Art should be seen and appreciated, but unfortunately too much is hidden from view or is inaccessible to all but few. Large museums typically only display a fraction of their collections at any time, and are hard to visit for many because of geographical restrictions. We want to change that. To start, we're building a permanent collection of 1,000 images from historically significant, contemporary and NFT-native photographers on the blockchain. We imagine a future where everyone can visit our collection in the metaverse to be inspired by the world's best photography. We are investing in a space for the community to discover, collect and learn together.
Fellowship Trust aims to provide new insight and context to large bodies of work from the world's finest photography estates. What you see in museums is the tip of the iceberg. Some bodies of work are simply too large for physical display and there's often limited room to show contextual work that gives a deep insight into the careers and practices of the world’s leading image-makers.
We're working with famous estates to breathe new life into their work and uncover the genius behind the artist. We are currently working on a number of projects that we believe will bring real value and excitement to the photography community.
How The Fellowship Trust curates work
The NFT space, for various reasons, has made us rethink the traditional ways we collect photography. For most collectors, collecting one image can be enough to have a connection with the artist and the body of work the collector is interested in. The Fellowship Trust collects a percentage of the body of work in which the relationships between the images can create a faithful
representation of the artist’s vision. We believe in photography as a narrative art, and because of that we promote photography as a kind of visual literature through our writing and public dialogue.
We have an in-house team of curators who have an intimate understanding and passion for the history of photography. They work with estates and artists to understand how to best represent their work in our collection. We are committed to collecting a diverse range of photography:
Legacy: significant and historical photographic work created from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
Contemporary: work created by the leading photographers from the 1960s to present day.
Icons: revolutionary photography that has inspired and shaped the industry.
Native: innovative work from photographers emerging natively in the NFT ecosytem.
Fellowship Studio empowers artists by helping them enter the NFT space successfully and stay in control.
We're artists and collectors ourselves, so we know this new and innovative technological paradigm can be difficult to navigate. It moves so fast it's hard to keep up with all the options and best practices. We're platform agnostic, so we work with photographers to find the right way for them to mint and sell their work. We champion artist sovereignty, so we make sure photographers, not the platforms, retain ownership of their own smart contract.
In addition to providing support, we provide financial, community, and public relations support as well. In its role as “First Supporter”, Fellowship helps photographers connect with the community of collectors and, in some cases, provides funding for projects or acquires a selection of work for The Fellowship Trust's permanent collection.
How Fellowship Studio onboards artists
The NFT landscape is complex. One size does not fit all. The approach we suggest for an estate of an early 20th century photographer is likely to be different to an NFT-native rising star. But regardless of the method, we are passionate about certain things that we believe to be best practice:
- The artist should be in control. We often use Manifold to create the smart contract, sometimes we invest in creating a custom one ourselves and in other cases a platfom's native contract might be the right choice. However, we always ensure you are in control, have sovereignity over your work and ultimate ownership of the smart contract.
- Fees should be fair. Depending on the platform and launch strategy our fees range from 5% - 20% of primary sales and between 0% - 2.5% of secondary sales.
- We can help fund projects. We have the flexibility to provide a wide variety of funding options for projects from micro-grants to artists in the early stages of their career to full production budgets for NFT-native projects from established artists to working with expert developers to create custom smart contracts and interactive experiences for special projects.
- We can help market projects. We help artists engage and connect with collectors and supporters. We have a team of theorists and writers that create unique content and dialogue to champion your work.
Above all, we believe in availability and communication, so feel free to reach to us through our Discord server and our Twitter profile for any comments or concerns, we will be happy to discuss and reach agreements on the best ways to create a healthy space for photography in this new era for our medium.
How Fellowship Trust collects work from onboarded artists
We're curators and care deeply about how we represent an artist's work in our permanent collection. We commit to investing in a broad enough selection of pieces to give full context to a body of work and work alongside artists in choosing the right pieces to achieve this goal. In most cases we acquire between 10% - 20% of an artist’s collection at the artist’s chosen reserve price, and one to two “legacy” pieces from the collection at a rate of 2-4x the public reserve. Collaboration of selection in the acquisition process allows us to achieve the narrative the artist wishes to maintain within our permanent collection.
It is essential for us, the artist and the collector community that we ourselves collect in the right way, so we are committed to staying in active dialogue with the community, maintaining transparency in our practices, and being pragmatic in our approach.
Our Guiding Principles
We empower artists
From world-famous photographers to rising stars, we stand with you. We help guide you on your journey into NFTs, create context and dialogue for your work and ensure you're in control.
We curate and educate
We want to inspire the next generation of photographers. Through careful curation and inspiring storytelling, we're reimagining the history of photography into the future.
We're good citizens
We value and support the community of artists and collectors. We also care about the environment and carbon offset all our mint costs.
Art should be accessible to all
We believe that more people should have access to art. It shouldn't be hidden or hard to access for some and we want to level the playing field.