You may remember that in early 2019 the Society hosted an art exhibit from the Guild focusing on historic African American churches in Southwest Ohio.
‘The leadership from both organizations wanted to continue to keep the partnership strong,” says the Society’s gallery director, Amanda Grieve. “In developing this exhibition with AAVAG, we realized most of their artwork could be categorized into three sections: painting, digital art/photography, and collage/fiber art. Our new show exhibits detailed portrait paintings, layered digital art, and non-representational work, plus much more. "
If you visit in person, you’ll see a different theme is highlighted in each of the gallery’s three main rooms.
Andrea Walker Cummings, curator of AAVAG’s gallery, says it’s been exciting for the members of the two groups to come together to celebrate both differences and commonalities using like media.
Among the artists
Seventeen artists from each organization are represented, with ages ranging from mid-20s to 80s. The senior member of the group is internationally renowned artist Willis “Bing” Davis, who is a founder of the AAVAG. For this exhibit, Davis shows a mixed media collage, “Concealed Carry Class.”
LaChrisa Gales of Dayton is excited about exhibiting in a gallery for the very first time. A Sinclair Community College interior design student, Gales says this opportunity makes her feel like a real artist. “Art gives me a sense of purpose and a playful platform for self expression,” Gales says. “I enjoy creating abstract art from found objects and playing with color.”
Her mixed media piece in the exhibit is entitled “Duality.” She describes it as “a play on opposites being connected and whole.”
Two of the artists are members of both organizations. Morris Howard, well-known for his murals, was one of five artists commissioned to create portraits of former University of Dayton basketball players for a past DSA/UD Bookstore project. His piece in the exhibit is entitled “I Dream the World.”
Simeon Oyeyemi, who is on the board of the Dayton Sister City Committee, was involved in bringing Liberian artist Patrick Gono to Dayton as an artist-in-residence.
Oyeyemi is the child of two artists who met in art class while attending Central State University. ‘I was born drawing,” he says. “At an early age I was introduced to aerosol art or graffiti, as it’s more popularly known. This was how I learned to write — not print — my name. This led me to working with Warhol, Herring, Basquiat and the popular vandals of 1980s New York City before the sixth grade. I have been at the craft ever since.”
For the piece on display, Oyeyemi used burlap twine instead of canvas when stretching. “It is experimental yet it has a feel of something my own and extremely difficult,” he explains. “The fiber absorbs the spray paint like you wouldn’t believe ... with no color to show. I’m basically dying fabric.”
Other participating artists include Arlene Branick, Eunice Bronkar, Clifford Darrett, Amy Dolan, Horace Dozier Sr., Karen Fisher, Lois Fortson-Kirk, Bill Franz, Janyce Glasper, Shannon Grecula, Al Harden, Gae Helton, Kelly Ingerson, Cathy Jeffers, Bennie Kelley, Kevin McNeeley, Linda Phillips, Marsha Pippenger, David Redmon, Debra Richardson-Wood, Paul Rienzo, Yetunde Rodriguez, Ron Rollins, Craig Screven, Rachel Tepe, Andrea Walker Cummings, Yvette Walker Dalton and Catherine Yeates.
Most of the work is for sale with prices ranging from $45 to $2,000. Interested parties can purchase directly from the website, or during open hours. Sold artwork will be picked up from the gallery after the exhibition closes.
About the organizations
Founded in 1938, The Dayton Society of Artists is a member-based organization focused on “connecting, supporting, and educating artists and the community.” In addition to hosting exhibitions in its High Street Gallery, DSA offers professional development and material-based workshops throughout the year along with other community building opportunities such as art critique or plein-air days.
The African American Visual Artists Guild was founded in 1992 by artists Curtis Barnes Jr. and Davis. Their vision was to bring together artists and art patrons to share their passion for the visual arts and work to uplift artists of African descent throughout the Miami Valley. Membership is made up of professional artists, developing artists, patrons of the arts, hobbyists and interested members of the community.
HOW TO GO
What: “Convergence,” an exhibit featuring members of the Dayton Society of Artists and the African American Visual Artists Guild. Also on display in the DSA project space is art by Katie Clark Gabbard.
When: Through Jan. 23
Where: High Street Gallery, 48 S. High St., Dayton.
Cost: Admission is free. Visitors may schedule an appointment to view the exhibition in person at daytondsa.org and may bring a total of 10 people to the gallery at one time.
View online: daytondsa.org/convergence