Springfield artist exhibits ‘Art and Soul’ in new collection

Springfield artist Nathan Conner is putting his art and soul on display for a new exhibit at Central State University-Dayton.

Conner’s aptly titled collection “Art and Soul” opened July 3 at the African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG) Gallery on the second floor of university’s satellite location. Conner recently became a member of AAVAG, the artist collective founded by Dayton artists Curtis Barnes Sr. and Willis “Bing” Davis. He exhibited with the collective for the first time in January 2023 as part of its new members show.

One of the pieces on display showcases the historic 2022 appointment and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African American woman to sit on the nation’s highest court.

Conner is known to use a variety of mediums for his pieces, including acrylics, oils, pastels and pencils.

“His artwork, done in several mediums, never fails to generate mixed emotions and conversation,” the AAVAG stated regarding Conner’s work.

The artist has also had a hand in creating on larger canvases around Springfield. Conner came on as a lead artist for the Transformation Mural at the State Theatre alongside local artists Kelley Booze and Pete Hrinko. The mural was commissioned by Disney and conceptualized by Columbus artist Jeremy Jarvis for John Legend’s hometown special “Finding Harmony,” which aired on ABC and streams on Hulu.

Conner also joined Dayton artists Clifford Darrett, Gregory DeGroat, Clarise Moore and Changa Freeman in creating a Black History Month collection for the Edward A. Dixon Gallery in February.

He also exhibits his work in his studio space at Hatch Artist Studio in Springfield. He opens his studio for visitors who are interested in seeing more of his work every first Friday during the city’s monthly downtown initiative.

The “Art and Soul” exhibit runs through Aug. 26 at the AAVAG Art Gallery, 840 Germantown St., Dayton. Conner will answer questions and host an artist talk at the gallery Saturday, July 15 from 2-4 p.m. The gallery is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit https://aavag.org/index.html.

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