Another year of amazing art exhibitions, artists and events! Although I couldn’t make it to everything and even putting this list together was challenging because of the many, many terrific activities of 2014, this does offer a glimpse of a great year of creativity in Dayton. Enjoy!
We Care Arts, a nonprofit organization supporting artists with disabilities, and The Motel Beds, a Dayton-based rock/indie band, collaborated on an art/record series that would in turn support the WCA mission. WCA clients created 500 unique LP covers for the release of the Motel Beds’ “These are the Days Gone By.” A fundraiser, live performance and exhibition, the record release/art exhibition celebrated the musical and visual community in an accessible, meaningful evening, celebrating so many things that are great in Dayton.
Benjamin Entner and Steven H. Silberg
April 21 – May 16, 2014
The artwork of Benjamin Entner and Steven Silberg were refreshing examples of artwork not meant to hang on a gallery wall or sit on a pedestal. Entner’s singular piece Colossus was a larger-than-life, realistic inflatable black marker drawing of the artist, the figure’s feet crushing against one gallery wall and his head another. Floor to ceiling, the sculpture’s unexpected scale was awe-inspiring, as was encountering the subject himself, clad only in socks. Silberg, on the other hand, works primarily with the pixel, transforming vernacular pieces of technology into interactive artworks. When a viewer entered the gallery, a video camera activated and recorded movements throughout the space. These movements were translated into layers of color and form on a projection, thrown onto a large gallery wall. The longer the visitor was active in the space, the more complex the composition became, capturing layers upon layers of imagery. Read more about the exhibitions here.
Migiwa Orimo, Adornments
Dayton Art Institute’s Experiencenter
May 10, 2014 – April 12, 2015
Ordinary household items find transformation into beautiful, fancy objects, in the series Adornment. Migiwa Orimo, an artist known for her work exploring humanity and narrative through thoughtful, carefully constructed installations and paintings, created a subtle and exquisite body of work with these altered, everyday objects. Tassels, gemstones and ribbons adorn gloves, mop head yarn and mirrors; a carefully constructed cape and a banner; all pieces perfectly neutralized in immaculate white and frames.Architecture Week Kettering Art Tour
May 12, 2014
AIA Dayton celebrated Architecture Week 2014 with many activities, including a night of contemporary art and mid-century modern design. Organized by AIA member and artist Terry Welker, the private mid-century home of painter Susanne Scherette King was opened to participants, with architectural details, period furnishings, and her own contemporary paintings on display. Following King’s home, Studio 4095 at Town & Country Shopping Center, one of the first suburban shopping centers of its kind in the US, highlighted both the revitalization of an older Kettering landmark as well as the artwork of painter Ron Rollins and sculptor Terry Welker. Read more here.
Third on Third
Rediscovering a place lost in the busy hum of a city is an exciting moment, particularly when it’s assets and vitality are brought into focus by a fresh, timely resurgence of activity. This is the beauty of the monthly Third on Third events, taking place both in an outdoor market on Third Street and also the Front Street Warehouses. With studios open to the public, the third floor of Front Street is suddenly a lively, creative place, allowing access to established and new artists and gallery spaces. Spearheaded by Peter Bekendorf of the Collaboratory, Third on Third is creating a new momentum for this arts destination.HWD Regional Sculpture Competition
August 25 – September 26, 2014
Featuring sculpture by artists from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, this year’s HWD Regional Sculpture Exhibition was an incredible variety of materials, techniques and concepts. Particularly interesting where the sheep rug, bear skin, aviation inspired sculptures and the use of common materials transformed into dense, lovely sculptures. Read more about the exhibition here.
Variations on Likeness: Keliy Anderson-Staley, Glenna Jennings, Julie Jones and Daniel McInnis
September 5 – October 18, 2014
Dayton Visual Arts Center
A curated selection of photographic portraiture including tintypes, installation, and large format pieces, the exhibition was thoughtfully selected and interesting in content, technique and formats. Anderson-Staley’s tintypes were mesmerizing visions into the faces of people from around the country, through the use of an intimate, romantic process; McInnis’ large format portraits captured individuals and couples in their own environments in great detail with clarity and vulnerability. Read more about the exhibition here.
Mary Ellen Croteau and Locked-In
Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery
October and November 2014
Chicago-based artist Croteau inspired many artists and visitors this fall with her installations created from found plastic objects. Collecting thousands of bottle caps and disposable shopping bags, Croteau has built new worlds out of plastic waste, drawing attention to the excessive materials utilized for each installation. Bottle cap paintings and recreations of a corral reef out of woven plastic bags were exciting and easily translatable to DIY art projects (although perhaps not at the same level of Croteau’s mastery). As Croteau’s exhibition came down, “Locked In” began. Three artists were selected to live in the gallery space with the following rules: 3 Days Locked In to Create an Art Installation, 3 Art Tools Each, 3 Boxes of Unknown Stuff to Work From, 1 Videographer 24/3 Filming It All. It was an unusual premise with incredible negotiations, ideas and processes, resulting in a successfully unique experiment. Read more about Croteau’s exhibition here.
Dick Black Estate Sale
October 24 – 25
Dayton Visual Arts Center
For over five decades, Richard Black churned out illustrations, graphic designs, paintings and drawings as a prolific artist and arts educator. When he passed away early in 2014, he left behind a massive collection of thousands of artworks. A weekend sale purged this collection—walls were filled from floor to ceiling with paintings, tables were layers deep in illustrations and sketches, and portfolios were bulging with graphic design work. The sale was a remarkable event, an uncurated view into the reality of an artist’s lifetime of production. Oddly, we were witness to work that was never meant to find an audience alongside work that put Black on the national art scene. The display of the bad, mediocre and the gems made this artist suddenly vulnerable but also allowed us a deeper understanding of his world.4th Annual Art Off
K12 and Tejas
An annual fundraising event for the K12 and Tejas scholarship program, Art Off was a lively, participatory event featuring artists of all ages. Painting over the course of a few intense hours, spectators watched and even voted for their favorite artist. Finished pieces were auctioned off, with an elementary school and high school “artist” taking first and second place for their innovative, unexpected and passionate paintings. Proclaiming this as the “Iron Chef” style battle for visual artists, the energy, variety of skills, diversity of participating artists and clear passion for art made this event dynamic and celebratory.Bonus Picks:
Dayton Visual Arts Center
January 17 – February 28
Whimsical, funny, dramatic and sincere, Holyoke’s ceramic portraits touched upon a multitude of ideas of self, ethnicity, origin and color. A part of the REACH conference, which explores cultural similarities and differences, Holyoke’s work was a testament to the diversity of humanity, beyond her masterful ceramic techniques. Read more here.
October 27 – December 7
Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University
Featuring 58 artists incorporating three-dimensional printing into their artwork, this exhibition was a glimpse into the present and future of this tool.Deco Japan
November 15, 2014 – January 25, 2015
Dayton Art Institute
A traveling exhibition featuring the decorative arts from an era marked by cultural shifts and Western influence, Deco Japan brought another world to life through prints, textiles, ceramics, metals, jewelry, painting and sculpture.