New Dayton Arcade gallery to hold grand opening, focus on social justice issues

DAYTON — The Contemporary Dayton, an art gallery formerly known as the Dayton Visual Arts Center, is holding a grand opening on April 30th for its new home at the Dayton Arcade.

It’s a big step forward not only for the Dayton Arcade, but for a Dayton arts organization that will bring world class art to the public.

Organizers of The Contemporary Dayton believe this is an opportunity to address social justice issues through the art.

There will be two inaugural exhibits that take on issues art galleries sometimes shy away from.

“Museums have generally not addressed social change, social justice, social equity,” said Chief Curator of The Contemporary Dayton, Michael Goodson,

The first works spotlighted are from Dayton native Curtis Barnes, Sr., which includes a series of individual community portraits done in 1995 at the Westwood Community Center.

Goodson said the Contemporary Dayton’s new space will allow more exhibits from more points of view, such as African-American women and LGBTQ artists that may have been overlooked in the past.

“There’s a wonderful juxtaposition of history and newness,” said Eva Buttacavoli, Executive Director of The Contemporary Dayton.

Buttacavoli says the history and newness combination applies to the art they’ll share and the new space they’ll use, and that the extra space and intentional focus will be a “game changer” for both them and the community.

“We’ll be seen as a jewel, here we are in Ohio, in the Midwest, with this great space and great artists that exhibit. People are going to want to exhibit here, people are gong to want to see it,” said Buttacavoli.

The Contemporary Dayton is also featuring the works of another Dayton based artist, Zachary Armstrong, as well as a short film by an LA filmmaker on historical discrimination.