Winner crowned in Dayton’s ‘Art in the City’ contest

The 5th Annual Art in the City art show offered Dayton-area residents the opportunity to choose their favorite works from new local artists over 13 days of online voting — and now, those votes are in, they’ve been tabulated, and the margin of victory was razor-thin.

This year’s winning artist is Emily von Stuckrad-Smolinski, for her oil painting entitled “Quarantine.” She was chosen out the showcase of 17 Dayton-area artists who were part of the Downtown Dayton Virtual Art in the City online event. Online voting took place from Aug. 8 through Aug. 21.

There were 5,140 total votes cast, and von Stuckrad-Smolinski earned 1,473 votes. The second-place finisher, Amy Kollar Anderson, garnered 1,453 votes, according to a Downtown Dayton Partnership spokeswoman.

As the show winner, von Stuckrad-Smolinski’s will receive a $250 prize from The Contemporary Dayton, which curated the show, according to a Downtown Dayton Partnership release.

The inspiration for the oil painting, which stands two feet wide by three feet tall, came to von Stuckrad-Smolinski as the coronavirus quarantine began, when she knew she would have the time to focus on such a large painting, the artist said in the partnership’s release.

“The figure in the painting and I bonded for probably a week, and a lot of wine was consumed,” von Stuckrad-Smolinski said with a laugh, the release said. “It’s been such a great experience being part of Art in the City for the past five years and seeing how the event has grown.”

The annual downtown Dayton arts event had to transition to a mostly-online affair and was branded as the DP&L Summer in the City Virtual Art in the City, Downtown Dayton Partnership officials said. The goal was of the event is to highlight the rich artistic community of artists, dancers, musicians, and performers in the Dayton region and increase awareness about the arts community. The online event is still posted for viewing at, and features videos of performances, activities, tutorials and online galleries from more than 100 Dayton artists and organizations.

Even though current conditions forced Art in the City to be an online event, von Stuckrad-Smolinski said she was thankful the community art event could continue to support Dayton-area artists and create a platform to show their work to a wide audience.

“With Art in the City it’s so great to see the whole community of artists, businesses, and everyone come together to celebrate the arts we have,” she said in the release.

The works that were included in the contest also were displayed in the windows of the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch in downtown Dayton.

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