Dallas Artist Uses Work to Showcase Diversity and Promote Empathy

Joey Brock's 'we ARE' exhibit at Daisha Board Gallery in Dallas highlights diversity and inclusion in LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities

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The stark white walls at Daisha Board Gallery in Dallas are accented with bright colors and geometric patterns of the mixed media art of Joey Brock's "we ARE" exhibit.

"Which is a direct reference to the Constitution, the first line 'We the People,' Brock said. "We all have the right to take up space and have freedoms."

Brock's art showcases diversity in all its forms; race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

"It's about celebrating diversity," Brock said. "That's a big responsibility that I have to, like, get it right, to represent it in a beautiful way."

The art weaves photos printed on mylar with cotton thread, fabric, and ribbon. Many of the subjects have accompanying audio stories, told in their own voice.

"I really wanted to celebrate people in those communities and give them a voice," Brock said. "I'm elevating our community, the everyday people, and I want people to look and them and see how beautiful we are as a people, and change their perception."

The centerpiece of the show is a largescale 94 1/2" x 74 1/2" work titled "American Beauty." The quilted pattern is a composite of two faces in four panels, held together with cotton thread.

"I wanted it to take up space," Brock said. "You know, we are a patchwork of different cultures and ideas and people that create this country."

Brock said art can help spark conversation, and create empathy.

"We need to listen more in this country, and we may not agree, but we need to respect each other," Brock said. "If they can feel the love that I feel in the work, then we're walking away with something positive."

ONLINE: You can view pieces in the exhibit, and listen to their stories here.

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