Your guide to art galleries in Dayton

Dayton is rich in art. From famous pieces in galleries to local artists showcasing their talents on the walls of coffee shops, there's something for everyone.

Whether you're a connoisseur of fine art or simply appreciate interesting visuals, here are some local galleries to check out.

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Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

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The Dayton Art Institute

456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday

937-223-5277 or 

One of the most well-known art institutions in the Miami Valley, Dayton Art Institute has the visual stimulation you're looking for. Its galleries feature works from local Dayton artists, as well as works from all over the world. DAI has special exhibits regularly, with past exhibits featuring famous artists like Norman Rockwell and Rembrandt. Also, make sure you check out these six can't-miss treasures while you're there.

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The Dayton Visual Arts Center 

118 N. Jefferson Street, Dayton

Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday 

937-224-3822 or 

Art lovers and artists band together at this gallery to deliver the finest local visual art to the community. If you absolutely love what you see, you can attend events such as ARTtoBUY and the annual Art Auction, which connect you to the artists and allow you to purchase their creations for a decent price. You can also attend gallery talks and Artist Palate Parties to learn more about your local artists and their works. Different from the DAI, DVAC is not a museum, and all of the art featured is by living, breathing artists in our community. These contemporary works include anything from jewelry, abstractions, photo realist work, fine art and fine craft. 

Credit: Gallery 510 Facebook

Credit: Gallery 510 Facebook

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Gallery 510

508 East Fifth Street, Dayton

Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday

937-672-6717 or 

Native Daytonian, artist and owner of Gallery 510 Loretta Puncer describes the gallery as an “ever-changing selection of fine art and fine crafts created by local and regional artists.” Coolest of all, Puncer uses this gallery as her own studio. If you come in at the right time, you can watch her paint her latest creation. Curious about art? Sign up to take a class with her in the gallery! If you just want to browse, the gallery showcases a wide variety of artworks such as paintings, photographs, linocut, jewelry, hand-dyed scarves, handmade handbags and more.

Credit: Lauren Rinehart

Credit: Lauren Rinehart

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The Color of Energy

16 Brown Street, Dayton

Open noon-5 p.m. or by appointment on Friday and Saturday

937-266-3491 or 

Mega cool Mike Elsass is an active artist in the Dayton community. He’s featured in 15 galleries nationwide and has a knack for painting. His gallery Color of Energy has been up and running since 2007, and you can find pieces painted on recycled, weathered steel. He’s also involved in galleries such as Divisible (1001 E. Second Street), which is curated by UD art professor Jeffrey Cortland Jones, and the Front Street Gallery (also at 1001 E. Second Street). These galleries showcase work from younger artists, including UD and WSU students, as well as artists outside of Dayton. If you stop by at the right time, you can do some painting with Elsass, which he calls brush before the brain. “We paint first and think about it later so there [are] no mistakes,” said Elsass. Not only are you viewing some of the best visual art in Dayton, but you’re also walking into a friendly, welcoming space worth checking out.

Robert and Elaine Stein Gallery at Wright State University

A128 Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton 

Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday; noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours subject to change based on campus hours during holidays and breaks. Call for special hours.

937-775-2978 or 

Drop by WSU’s Robert and Elaine Stein Gallery to view art created by professionals, faculty and students. The focus is on contemporary art, and the gallery showcases works from the most current forms of media. The Stein Gallery is large compared to the galleries at Sinclair and UD. An example of something that sets the Stein apart from other galleries is its two-level space, which allows viewers a unique view -- they can look at works vertically, or from the floor. 

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

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Sinclair Community College Galleries

Building 13 at the corner of 5th and Perry Streets, Dayton

Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Hours subject to change based on campus hours during holidays and breaks. Call for special hours.

937-512-2253 or 

The Sinclair art galleries are constantly changing (usually every 1-4 weeks), which gives students, the primary audience of the galleries, a chance to experience a wide variety of eclectic art. The galleries feature works from professional artists on the fourth floor of Building 13 and student art on the third. If you want to see some modern works, visit the “Works on Paper” gallery that features photography, drawing and printmaking. During the year, the galleries also showcase works from students with the Jury Student Competition and an exhibition of work created by graduating fine art majors. 

Credit: Gallery 249 Dayton Facebook

Credit: Gallery 249 Dayton Facebook

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University of Dayton Radial Gallery

Fitz Hall 249, 300 College Park, Dayton

Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday 

937-229-1000 or 

Located in the heart of the Art Department at UD, the  newly-renamed Radial Gallery (formerly Gallery 249) showcases art from students, faculty and artists working in and outside of Dayton. Artists range from Chicago to New York, and the gallery showcases various types of art such as paintings, drawings, photography and printmaking. If you’d like, you can attend some of the exhibitions held at UD, such as the Senior Exhibition, the Student Jury Exhibition or faculty shows.

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