The Contemporary Dayton honors local artists with exhibition and photo auction

Returning for the first time since 2020, ‘The 30th Annual Open Members Show’ features 113 local and Ohio artists.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The beautiful legacy of a late local photographer and a popular community-wide celebration of local artists launches February programming at The Contemporary Dayton.

“Lives Loved,” an online auction of global portraits by Tipp City nature photographer and traveler Barbara Jo Bailey (1936-2023), will take place on The Co’s website at The sale will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 and close at midnight Feb. 29.

Thirty photographs ranging in size from 8 x 10 inches and 24 x 30 inches comprise the works available in the Main Collection, with 100 8x10 inch works make up the Small Works Collection. Anyone can browse the available artworks for free, but you must register to bid. Registration is free and more information is available at

The self-taught Bailey kept more than 40 journals of her travels to more than 110 countries, including Nepal more than 26 times. Her entire collection encompasses hundreds of photographic prints of the landscape, wild animals, birds and the regions’ people.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit The Contemporary Dayton.

Returning for the first time since 2020, “The 30th Annual Open Members Show” features 113 local and Ohio artists. The exhibition will open Friday, Feb. 2 with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Best in Show Award announcements will be revealed at 7 p.m. The exhibition ends Friday, April 5.

The “Open Members Show” is intended to provoke “dialogue that transcends geographical boundaries. This cross-pollination of ideas enriches the artistic discourse and positions local artists as vital contributors to the global artistic landscape.”

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

In addition, all members were guaranteed the display of one work of art. All types of media are included, ranging from painting and drawing to photography, printmaking and sculpture. There are also landscapes, portraits and still-lifes. And in honor of the event’s 30th anniversary, many artists responded to the optional, gemstone-centric theme: pearls.

Numerous artworks are for sale with proceeds divided to benefit the artist and The Co. Prices are reviewed by a local fine art appraiser so as to be fairly priced for the Dayton market and to align with the artist’s studio or website. Additionally, of the 113 works on display, 27 are designated as Reserved for The Co’s upcoming fundraiser, The 30th Annual Art Auction, which will be held on Friday, April 26, where they will go home to the highest bidder.

More online

For more information about both events, visit

About the Author