NOW OPEN: The Contemporary Dayton has the holiday season wrapped up with handcrafted gifts

Shopping for a one-of-a-kind gift can be merry and bright at The Contemporary Dayton’s Holiday Gift Gallery.

The gallery space has been transformed into a holiday wonderland for the annual event showcasing more than 70 local and regional artists.

“It’s always the most fun, colorful, original, homemade shopping experience that everyone looks forward to all year,” said Eva Buttacavoli, executive director and chief curator. “The idea is to come and find an original gift.”

Visitors can browse a variety of work from fine craftsmen including glass ornaments, ceramic pieces, knit scarves and tabletop sculptures.

The gift prices are at every level Buttacavoli said, ranging from $15 to $500.

“Some people are unsure about buying contemporary art. This is a perfect entrance into that idea because a gift by a local artisan can be very affordable.”

Twenty-five artists were commissioned to create hundreds of ornaments in their style and medium that are $25 and under. Commissions from the gift gallery will benefit the artists and the Contemporary Dayton.

Shelves and wall space in the gallery are filled with unique objects. Among the selections are colorful hand-blown glass art by Jim De Lange, knit hats and scarves with unique stories created by Susan Brockman and a contemporary hall table made from metal and American black walnut by Burgess Gow.

The normally white-walled gallery space is also a work of art.


Chris “Red” Newman, a Dayton Emmy award-winning set designer, has created a “wow factor” decorating with oversized whimsical cutouts of holiday trees and ornaments. Artist Atalie Gagnet was commissioned to paint large-scale lettering throughout the gallery that reads “All is bright.”

There will be three pop-up parties and celebrity gift wrap nights during the event.

"Pop-up Pastry Shop by St. Anne the Tart" will be held Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Rubi Girls will be the celebrity gift wrappers.

On Thursday, Dec. 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. "WYSO in the House" will feature DJ Radio Basim with special food truck vendors. Luke Dennis and Nike Dakota from the radio station will be gift wrapping.

"Beer & Peanuts," featuring select brews from Ale-Fest organizer Joe Waizman will be Thursday, Dec. 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The celebrity gift wrappers will be Mayor Nan Whaley and the city commissioners.

“This time of year is so special for our visitors because they come in and we have completely transformed the gallery,” Buttacavoli said. “It’s warm and inviting and full of handmade fine crafts that our artists in the community have created.”


WHAT: The Contemporary Dayton Holiday Gift Gallery

WHEN: Open now through Dec. 21. Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. On Thursdays and December First Friday, the gift gallery is open until 8 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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

MORE INFO: (937) 224-3822 or

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