Skip to content

Top Ten Picks for the Best of Dayton’s Visual Arts, 2013

January 5, 2014

Dayton was home to numerous amazing art exhibitions, collaborations and projects in 2013. Although there were many, many more superb events that are not on this list, the arts listed below serves as a glimpse into the vitality of the Dayton region’s creative folks and spaces! Enjoy!

Dayton Visual Arts Centre
January 2 – 11P1100868
A collaborative project between artist Leesa Haapapuro and the Young People’s Homeschoolers program at K12 Gallery culminated into a short show at the Dayton Visual Arts Center. The young circus performers next to their murals, sculptures and paintings, created an incredible new world of possibility and magic for youth and adults.

Jud Yalkut: Visions and Sur-Realities
University of Dayton
Jan. 31 through March 7

40098Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, Beatles Electroniques, 1969

One of Dayton’s most treasured artists, Jud Yalkut was revered for his advocacy of the arts, his pioneer video works, his collages and his writing.  The exhibition captured many of his artworks, including special screenings of his film and video works, many of which hadn’t been seen by the public in decades.  Jud passed away in July 2013, marking an end of an era and a huge loss to the Dayton arts community.  Learn more about the his timely retrospective and career here.

The week of May 4 – 12
Urban Nights,
Sideshow 8, Art on the Playground and AIA Architecture Week
Throughout Dayton and Kettering

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The high quality and numerous events that took place over the first and second weekends of May was inspiring; Dayton’s Urban Nights, The Circus Creative Collective’s Side Show 8, Kettering’s inaugural Art on the Playground and AIA’s Architecture Week brought thousands of people out to participate in Dayton arts and culture.

Reinvention Stories
Dayton Art Institute
June 30 – September 29

dcp_Twin Towers Portrait_Emily Evans

Emily Evans, Untitled (Twin Towers), 2012

As evidence of Dayton’s vitality, a special project launched in January captures the city’s pulse. Local radio station WYSO 91.3 and filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar teamed-up to create the multi-platform media project Reinvention Stories, a series of audio stories and short films of Dayton and its residents. The project, instigated by WYSO’s general manager Neenah Ellis, is based on a series of questions: how does a city of inventors reinvent itself? How are individuals reinventing themselves? How are people dealing with the economic turmoil of recent years? How is Dayton doing? Through this documentation, a collection of videos and photographs were selected by Eva Buttacavoli, Executive Director of the Dayton Visual Arts Centre, and partnership with the Dayton Visual Arts Center and WYSO 91.3. Learn more bout the project at

Inside Out 11M
August 4
Missing Peace Art Space and Synergy Incubator

IMG_2807Inside Out 11M at Missing Peace Art Space

Inside Out 11M is a project based on Jr’s Inside Out with a focus on the question of immigration. Focusing on the residents of Dayton, the project captured portraits of hundreds of kids, adults and seniors. From the website: “A nationwide participatory art initiative aimed at creating a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike.”  Learn more about the project here.

HWD: Regional Sculpture Exhibition
August 26 – September 27
Rosewood Gallery

rosewood_wilson_austere consumptionRoscoe Wilson, Austere Consumption

HWD, or Height x Width x Depth, featured dozens of artists working in three-dimensional form. Participating artists were featured from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana.  Highlights included the work of  Don Williams, Terry Welker, Rebecca Emrick, Courtney Kessel, Carrie Longley, David Kenworthy, Erica Wine, and so many more. Learn more about the exhibition here and photos are here.

Soo Sunny Park
Unwoven Light
Wright State’s Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries

September 15 – October 13

sonnysooImage courtesy of Wright State University

Exploring the boundaries between drawing and sculpture, Park’s chainlink fence and plexiglass transformed the Stein galleries into a moving experience.  Originally commissioned by Rice University, Park’s beautiful installation has been traveling to galleries around the country.

National Bronze Sculpture Symposium
October 13 – 26
Yellow Springs Arts Council

carreno-pourImage courtesy of Bernie Carreno

The Yellow Springs Arts Council launched its first symposium in October, focusing on the process of lost-wax bronze casting.  Commissioning four sculptors, including D’jean Jawrunner (New Mexico), Susan Byrnes (Cincinnati), Brian Maughan (Yellow Springs), and John Weidman (New Hampshire), the artists created works on site for two-weeks, culminating in a live pour of their molds.  Exhibitions, lectures and artist talks complemented the artmaking daily.  More info is here.

Object of Devotion:
Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum
Dayton Art Institute
October 26  – January 5, 2014

object-daiAnonymous, English, The Fifth Sign of the Last Judgment, c. 1440-1470. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A stunning collection of medieval alabaster sculptures, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, demonstrate the dramatic, narrative and intricate scenes interpreted from biblical texts.  An art form popular in the 15th and 16th centuries, alabasters were considered a low-end of medieval craft for centuries. Over 40 examples at the Dayton Art Institute show the merit of this art form, which finally gained recognition by scholars and collectors in the twentieth century.

Bullet: Who Pulls the Trigger?
Art Street, University of Dayton
September 24 – November 3

bullet_DECAJames Pate and DECA students collaborative drawing

Art Street presented a complicated, difficult and important question within the multi-faceted collaborative art installation with artist James Pate, Dayton Early College Academy, South Chicago Art Center and Newtown, CT artists. Focused on creating a dialogue on issues of gun violence with a focus on South Chicago, Newtown and Dayton, panel discussions were a major component to the gallery exhibition. Artworks included New York artist S.B. Woods’ Meditation on Mourning, paintings made by Sandy Hook shooting survivors, Dayton-based artist James Pate and a group of DECA high school students. From the website: “This piece was conceived in part by James Pate, and in part by the students. After a conversation about gun violence, the students came to the consensus that ‘we as a society pull the trigger.'” Chicago artist Sarah Ward and students from the South Chicago Art Center created etchings of bullets to symbolize one for every person affected by gun violence on a daily basis. Read more about the exhibition here.


Dia de los Muertos
November 1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dayton’s Day of the Dead parade and celebration took place on Friday, November 1, from the Oregon District to the historic St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood.  Hundreds of folks participated, many donning costumes and painted faces as music, art and food commemorated our loved ones. Stivers School for the Arts students, professional and emerging musicians and artists contributed to the celebration.  Spearheaded by volunteers, including Jean Howat Berry, MB Hopkins, Tonia Fish, Lisa Grigsby, and several others, the event found support from the community in its crowdsourcing fundraiser, as well as  Welcome Dayton’s sponsoring of the parade, and Missing Peace Art Space and the Unitarian Fellowship for World Peace hosting.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: