Based in Richland, WA, DrewBoy Creative (DBC) promotes emerging artists, and artists that challenge the traditional school of thought related to art, through their gallery space, while welcoming audience members from all walks of life.
Founders Davin Diaz and Ashleigh Rogers answered a few questions about creating an exhibit in COVID times, and their latest plans to continue their mission of providing opportunities for their community through artistic discovery.
DrewBoy Creative showcases work from so many talented Washington creatives. How do you decide who to feature?
Davin: At DrewBoy Creative our mission and values function as our North Star, driving every decision we make. Usually our creative volunteers come up with a theme and a call for an art show, then we invite an artist or group of artists to develop a show - no strings attached; they have complete artistic license. Artists or group of artists can submit an art show proposal via our webform.
Our public calls are a great way for us to discover new, emerging artists and expand the DBC family. A recent study found that in 18 major US museums, 87 percent of artists are male, and 85 percent of artists are white. So DrewBoy Creative is dedicated to dismantling these systems of inequality in the art world, and that is at the forefront of our curation decision making process. We strive to create a space that is truly reflective of ALL voices in our community.
Prior to COVID-19 we were scheduling about 18 months out and had a show scheduled with the African American Community Cultural & Educational Society in May and June of 2021. With so many talented creatives in the Pacific Northwest and the number of show possibilities it is important we stay true to who and what we are.
Something Hopeful, Please includes two virtual art galleries of COVID-19 inspired work. Can you tell us about how that came together? And from your perspective, how is this unique moment in time impacting the creative process?
Ashleigh: Through tragedy, hardship, heartbreak, war and illness, art is something we turn to for perspective, comfort and change. When our community was asked to "Stay Home and Stay Healthy," DBC remained dedicated to our mission of providing a platform for artists in our community to raise their voices, to process and document their experiences, and to bring our community together through art.
We knew we would have to shift the way we created this community space, but quickly realized we could connect through a virtual platform. Opening night was certainly different from our usual receptions, but some things remained the same—our community showed up, our artists created work that propelled dialogue and connection, and we were all reminded of our shared humanity, our responsibility to one another and our ability to connect even when it is necessary to be physically distant. We had over 50 works of art, most from artists right here in the Tri-Cities, though we also had artists participating from as far as Ireland!
What are your upcoming opportunities for artists?
Davin: We are working on a Drive-In art show for once we reach Phase 2 in Benton County. We're also working on strategies to keep artists working and to take art to the people in a time of COVID-19 (and beyond). We should have an innovative program launched by September 2020. If an artist would like to know more please contact DBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.