PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas November 2023

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Francis, whose husband is artist Mark Francis. When we connected at last over the summer, I was struck by the charismatic Board's sense of purpose, which exceeds most dealers' alignment to show artists whose aesthetic they connect with. During our tour of Board's West Dallas space, with photographer Tramaine Townsend's Black cowboy series as backdrop, we discussed the gallery's raison d'être to represent BIPOC artists and foster new generations of collectors from communities not usually in the wide white world of contemporary art. As an agent for change, Board sought a place at the table after being a widely buzzed about newcomer on the scene. After the gallery did a quarter of a million dollars in sales last year, its new downtown showcase came about when Headington Companies created space for her at a high- profile location in a building adjoining their luxury downtown hotel, The Joule. Tin District Triumph During our meeting, Board took us on an exclusive preview of her new space, which was being readied for its opening a fast and furious five weeks later. (See PaperCity September Art Notes.) We had a focused 15 minutes before she zoomed off to host a group of Fort Worth collectors at her downtown gallery; they were there to catch works by Ifeanyi Anene, a Nigerian Pop artist and portraitist living now in Dallas whom Board discovered. The Tin District gallery's expansive digs, designed by Board, can only be described as heroic, with interiors more redolent of a kunsthalle than a place for conducting art commerce. "I was inspired by the Dallas Contemporary," Board said. "Under the leadership of Justine Ludwig and Angela Hall, that is where I hosted the first Black Sheep Art Culture art tours." Board proudly showed us her new endeavor — there's even a room for screening videos — which may be one of the most ambitious spaces for showing art in the state. Flash forward to its big reveal. It's mid- August in Dallas — not the expected time to roll out a new gallery, but again, there's little competition from other events. Daisha Board Gallery | The Tin District made a dramatic entrance. "The grand opening was a captivating and immersive celebration of hip-hop's 50th anniversary, with over 400 guests that attended opening night," she says. "The vibe and energy was absolutely electric, permeating every corner of the space (despite the triple digit heat) and igniting the spirits of all who attended. It was divine! The opening attracted a diverse mix of individuals, all united by their shared love and appreciation for hip-hop and art." The night included words from the gallery's chief curator, Nickolas Gaines. "Nickolas spoke so eloquently and unapologetically about the influence of all genres through hip hop," Board says. "We had many guests from The Modern in Fort Worth to our dope DJs Brent and Lena English, and Brent is on the board at the Dallas Museum of Art." Also adding to the occasion was the gallery's partnership with Big Thought, a community organization dedicated to providing equitable access to quality arts education and creative learning experiences for young individuals. "Big Thought's mission aligns perfectly with our vision of using art, culture, and community engagement as transformative tools," Board says. The dealer also brought on Puma, who gifted 50 selected students who visited the exhibition each a pair of sneakers and backpack. Puma's involvement as a sponsor "added an extra layer of excitement and connection to the students' experience," Board says. "It was a powerful affirmation that their voices matter and that they have the ability to make a positive impact on the world, just like the artists they had the privilege of meeting." Future Perfect As to programming, Board breaks it down for us. "The gallery on Main Street, focusing on international artists and conceptual art, attracts a diverse audience interested in contemporary and avant-garde art. Daisha Board Gallery in West Dallas has a more focused mission of supporting BIPOC, LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) artists, and artists with disabilities, serving as a hub for emerging artists, both locally and internationally, who belong to these marginalized communities." The gallerist singles out some of her recent discoveries. "We currently have two remarkable emerging artists, Roscoe Hall [Alabama] and Demarcus McGaughey [Dallas], at our Tin District location and two powerful works by Roscoe Hall at our downtown Dallas location, which were previously exhibited at the Dallas Art Fair and caused quite the stir — of Botham Jean and the Dallas Police officer who shot and killed him in his own apartment." What's next? Immediate plans call for Miami Beach this December. "This year," Board says, "we are returning to the Prizm Art Fair, which, although smaller, still offers global exposure, networking opportunities, great sales potential, artistic validation, cultural exchange, educational opportunities, media exposure, and a high-quality exhibition presentation for the BIPOC, Queer and African Diasporic artists that I represent." Looking ahead to 2024, Board is keeping the deets under wraps. "While I can't share who we're exhibiting, what I can share is that at Daisha Board Gallery, the excitement will be palpable as major artists showcase their conceptual art through more performance pieces," she says. "The boundary-pushing creativity and emotional impact of the artwork will be a transformative experience that elevates the spirit and leaves a lasting impression." Daisha Board Gallery | Tin District, Daisha Board Gallery | The Joule Hotel, Chief curator Nickolas Gaines with his portrait by Jeremy Biggers Artist Jessica Bell with her sculpture 96

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