It’s not a difficult task to discover visual arts in downtown Dayton. Whether you’re exploring a gallery space or admiring local products sold in downtown businesses, Dayton’s rich arts amenities abound. Last year, we introduced our first event in the new Summer in the City series in May, and it was a blast. But we’ve got a lot more in store for art lovers at this year’s event. Pack your bags, because you’re in for a trip! Art in the City is the next signature event of the 2016 DP&L Summer in the City lineup, and it promises to be quite the visual feast.
The Downtown Dayton Partnership is helping to roll out a new juried art show. The Dayton Visual Arts Center pulled together 26 talented local artists whose work will be on display in different downtown businesses. Our goals are simple: We hope to encourage art lovers to discover a new downtown business, and we want to introduce regular patrons to incredible local art. We’re also throwing another element into the mix: You get to decide which artist nabs the title of “People’s Choice” by voting for your favorite artist or artwork. Voting starts Friday, June 3, and closes at noon on June 17. Visit downtowndayton.org for details.
To kick off the open voting session, we’re hosting a huge visual arts party, complete with live demonstrations, hands-on activities, and other interactive programs throughout downtown. It’s free! It’s fantastic! It’s fun for all ages! And it lasts from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, June 3.
You can meet the artists from the juried show pop-up galleries in their spaces, and you can check out an array of other arts activities sprinkled around downtown, including:
- The Front Street Experience: Watch artists blow glass and create street art on canvas, get your face painted, and take a selfie at the art wall, located on Courthouse Square. While you’re there, check out more fun going on for the kickoff of Dayton Pride weekend, Affair on the Square.
- K12 Gallery & TEJAS: The whole family will enjoy visual arts activities and special performances by SMAG Dance Collective. Get down on the dance floor with music by DJ Tony Whitfield and DJ Scorpius Max. Visit “Make n’ Take” stations and create garden art planters and garden wire sculptures. Juice bar and snacks also available for purchase.
- Mendelson’s Mural: A new mural-painting company, The Mural Machine, is taking art to the streets and transforming buildings. Watch them work on their current project, Mendelson’s Outlet, off First Street.
- Live demos: Several downtown arts businesses will have live demonstrations, and you can browse artwork in the shop for sale. Check out Gallery 510 Fine Art at 508 E. Fifth St., Vessels at 227 N. Main St., Ink & Hammer at 506 Wayne Ave., Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors on 48 High St. in St. Anne’s, and the Front Street Galleries in the warehouse at 1001 E. Second St.
- Art on 5th: Following the success of its first art show and handmade craft sale, theNorthGate returns with its next gallery and market, located at Fifth and Wilkinson in the former historic Salvation Army building.
- Dayton Art Institute: If you haven’t seen the latest exhibit, Into the Ether, you’ll be inspired to visit the interactive light gallery when you visit the museum’s special Art in the City location near Lily’s Bistro (329 E. Fifth St.). Make your own luminary with color-changing LED lights!
- Innovative Arts Nexus (IAN): The University of Dayton’s former Art Street program has gone beyond art as a creative medium for expression and turned it into an application for creative problem solving and innovation. Learn more about the process and challenge your perceptions at their interactive experience in front of the Clair Lofts (St. Clair Street between Third and Fourth streets).
- Nucleus CoShare: Not only will you get to see one of the largest pop-up gallery installations at this space, you can experience a variety of other local artists. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could work here? Memberships to the co-shared office space are still available. Chat with the staff on-site to learn more about rates and benefits (besides being surrounded by inspirational artwork).
- The Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton: Create your own unique mosaic while you enjoy the sights and sounds of Pickin’ in the Park at RiverScape MetroPark. Be sure to try the free demo of the new Urban Family Challenge Food and craft beer will be available for purchase at this location. (Heads up – Monument Avenue will be closed from Patterson to St. Clair for this activity.)
- African American Visual Artists Guild: Watch computer art and thread painting demonstration at their station in the Oregon District.
- Courteous Mass: Get a new perspective on your city from the seat of a bike. Join a group ride to tour public art installations on a new iteration of the Bike the Arts Bonus: The new culture-wrapped Link Bike also will be unveiled! The ride departs from Don Crawford Plaza (Fifth Third Field) at 6:30 p.m.