Celebrate female artists pushing boundaries at new exhibit at The Contemporary Dayton

‘Matter and Pattern’ second in a series of exhibits that highlight the work of female artists.

The works of three artists on display at The Contemporary Dayton deconstruct the way we think about media.

“Matter and Pattern,” on view through March 28, is the second in the Still SHE Creates series of exhibitions that highlight women artists pushing boundaries in contemporary art.

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The artists, selected by Tess Cortés, curator-in-residence, are Michele BonDurant of Dayton, Sonya Berg Menges of Austin and Britny Wainwright of Columbus.

Cortés and the artists will be part of a gallery talk and reception tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

“All three artists are changing the way we think about their media,” Eva Buttacavoli, executive director of The Co, said. “What you see as a painting isn’t entirely a painting it’s a collage. Or an artist may take a flat surface and make it three dimensional.”

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Michele BonDurant

BonDurant has “been trying to find a way to take a landscape and push it past the edges of the canvas for years,” Buttacavoli said.


Much of her subject matter is buildings, sheds and shacks.

“It’s not important that it’s a house, she’s using the structure of the house to play with lines and shadows,” Buttacavoli said. “She’s painting paper, cutting it up and adding to it. Instead of painting on canvas she is collaging on canvas and making textures with paper.”

Sonya Berg Menges

The artworks by Berg Menges deconstruct images.

She’s taken found photographs, cut them up and adhered them to a surface in a woven pattern resembling a quilt that fractures the image.

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“Just like a Picasso, you’re seeing multiple views at once,” Buttacavoli said. “They look like a quilt and they are made of slices of images. Craftsmanship wise, they are beautifully and perfectly done.”

Britny Wainwright

Wainwright’s artwork is two and three-dimensional. Freestanding sculptures combine colors and ceramic floral shapes sewn onto fabric.

“She’s a contemporary Matisse and takes materials and mixes them up,” Buttacavoli said. “She is upending the notion of what a painting can be. This is another way of recognizing and dismissing traditional painting.”

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The Still SHE Creates series at The Co will span two-years with four exhibitions. It is designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.


What: "Matter and Pattern"

Where: The Contemporary Dayton, 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton

When: Now until Saturday, March 28. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission: Free

More info: www.thecontemporarydayton.org

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