Welcome to Deep in the Heart of Dallas! Our latest series, focused on sharing the stories of the Dallas community, follows local creatives through the city to learn how the city inspires their work. Today, we're featuring Daisha Board - founder of Black Sheep Art Culture and owner of Daisha Board Gallery - who's generating opportunities for underrepresented artists. Let's take a deep dive into Daisha's story!
Tell us about your journey to the art scene in Dallas
My initial background is in finance, but I got laid off in 2016. I've always been drawn to art, and I wanted to go into a career that would serve a higher purpose for me. I took a year off and visited galleries and museums with my children. I saw that there was a void in representation of female BIPOC artists. So I just started asking questions, asking artists that I knew who they were being represented by, what was that process and experience like for them - and it was really negative. I realized I could advocate for these artists, and make it into a business. So I started Black Sheep Art Culture in 2017.
Tell us more about what Black Sheep Art Culture is, and how it propelled you to opening your own art gallery.
It's consulting, curating, and even helping some negotiate. I'm not an attorney, but I have people that can look over contracts for them to help them get the best deal. Black Sheep Art Culture is me going into these spaces and asking: "Do you have any women artists, do you have any artists of color? LGBTQIA artists? I have an artist here who has an amazing portfolio of work."
After doing this for four years, I got fed up with being called to curate events only during Black History Month or because of the murders of innocent black men and women. These artists and these causes weren't being supported year-round. And the art was always censored. It almost had to be in our pain and trauma vs. our joy and everyday life. I knew in order for me to really fully capture these artists in their full capacity I would have to open my own space.
Talk about the process of opening Daisha Board Gallery.
The location, which is in West Dallas, was an old garage - so we had to gut it out. This space was a blessing because my next door neighbor is Erin Cluley. She told me about this space because it's right next to her secondary location Cluley Projects. I came in and I loved it and we just made it happen.
Since Daisha Board Gallery's opening in Oct. 2021 you've housed exhibitions from artists like Gerald Bell and Sharidyn Barnes. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
An exhibition from Jennifer Monet Cowley, an amazing abstract artist and former curator of the African American Museum of Dallas. I'm excited to feature sculpture, installation, and digital art towards the end of the year. I also want to include some NFTs. There are so many different ways we can show the creative energy here in Dallas!