June 20, 2020

MEET GOSSYPION

Friends just call them Gossy

In the pandemic’s (very, very fine) silver lining, you’ll find new projects, businesses, and ideas that have sprouted from the fruitful soil of cleared calendars and decelerated schedules.

Among those projects: the newly formed, Dallas-based arts company, Gossypion Investments. Hardly a new kid on the block, Gossy is a crystallization of the work that has been long underway by its co-founders Darryl Ratcliff and Maya Crawford. Both artists in their own right, they’ve been active in promoting the Dallas art scene for years, hosting gallery events, artists’ exhibitions, and educational programming. A formal company had been on their radar since 2016, but it took the full stop of a pandemic as the final push.

The name Gossypion alludes to this weaving together of copious projects, as well as a much larger vision. “It comes from the Latin word for cotton,” says Ratcliff. “I’ve always been intrigued by cotton because there’s so much history in it. I liked the idea of a name that acknowledges the history of myself and Maya as Black Americans in the South.”  And like the fabric, Gossy is intertwining lots of different initiates under its roof. 

“We don’t just want to impact culture, we want to focus on the infrastructure around culture,” he says. This translates into an ambitious involvement in artist management, diversity and inclusion consulting, marketing and PR, cultural development strategies, and even real estate. Though they only officially began in April, Gossy has already taken on the Dallas Zoo, UT Southwestern, and Headington Companies as clients.

Yes, Headington Cos. as in The Joule, Forty Five Ten, Commissary, The Drakestone… The company announced its partnership with Gossy (serendipitously on Juneteenth) to further amplify works by local artists of color. The first installations are now on view at The Eye, while additional works will soon pop up downtown. Additional programming and events are in the works, too.

Bouncing from consultations with corporate leaders on how to improve inclusivity to managing a roster of talented artists (“superheroes”) requires a team comfortable with wearing many hats. For Gossy, it’s second nature and again ties back to its namesake.

“Cotton is  one of the most global crops in the world and super versatile in how it’s used,” says Ratcliff. “The ambitions we have for Glossy is to be global and versatile, too.”