VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
CELEBRATE THE ARTS WHILE APART!
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There’s nothing like seeing a work of art up close, but visual artists have found ways to share their works online as we’ve stayed at home in recent months. Below you can explore these local artists’ works with their online galleries.
Click on each item below to expand it and see its content.
African American Visual Artists Guild
The idea of a group for artists of African descent in the Dayton area, came to life in 1992 under the hopeful eyes of Dayton artists Curtis Barnes Sr., and Willis "Bing" Davis. Their vision was to bring together artists and art patrons to share their passion for the visual arts and work to uplift artists of African descent throughout the Miami Valley. So began the African American Visual Artists Guild of Dayton Arts club. The club slowly grew into the African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG) which officially became a 501 (C)3) non- profit corporation in August of 1995. Its membership is made up of professional artists, patrons of the arts, hobbyist and interested members of the community, all with a shared commitment to realize the organization's goals.
In Our Twenty Seven Years of Existence We Have:
• Become an officially state recognized non-profit arts activity
• Maintained an open membership
• Curated exhibits in public and private educational institutions, civic and government entities
• Conducted membership and awards programs
• Provided to the community, professionals to speak on arts topics
• Participated and exhibited throughout the community during the Black History annual celebrations
• Developed tours to area cities to view and critique art matters
• Brought to the community, internationally recognized artists and professionals
• Served as the Arts arm of the TWENTIG organization, in conducting workshops for young emerging artists
• Participated as a partner with the Dayton African American Culture Festival
Corporation since 1994 until the present
• Exchanged exhibits with arts organizations within the city and regional areas
• Provides an "Annual Art Day" for senior citizens and young teens, free of charge
• Produced an annual National Art Exhibition in partnership with the National Afro-American Museum and Culture Center of Wilberforce, Ohio
• Established an Exposition through Art Program which consist of a two year traveling exhibit locally and regionally
The Dayton Urban Sketchers are open to anyone. Please join by visiting our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/daytonurbansketchers/
- We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
- Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
- Our drawings are a record of time and place.
- We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
- We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
- We support each other and draw together.
- We share our drawings online.
- We show the world, one drawing at a time.
(See Tom's bio below his photos)
The Dayton Arcade
Dayton Motor Car Building
The Elks Lofts
The Huffman Lofts
Fire Blocks District Event Space
The Lindsey Building
Portraits of the Artist
Tom Gilliam was born in Dayton, grew up in the neighboring suburb of Beavercreek and has
been living in the City of Dayton since 2003. He graduated from Beavercreek High School
and Greene County Career Center in 1996 with a Computer Information Systems career
passport. Tom has been an IT professional for 24 years.
Tom has been a musician in Dayton area bands since 1997. Even though his primary
instrument is guitar, he can also play bass, drums & keyboards. He is the lead guitarist/co-
lead vocalist for the Dayton band Ghost Town Silence (formerly The Rebel Set from 2005-
In late 2011, he started a personal Instagram account and developed a love of photography
as a result. Tom created the @daytongram Instagram account in July of 2013 to showcase
the Dayton area and influence people to be excited about the city through his photos.
In 2016, Tom started doing freelance work for Dayton.com, part of Ohio Newspapers
(parent company of the Dayton Daily News) and created a series in which he
photographs/writes about the past, present and future of historic buildings in the Dayton
area, Dayton.com’s The Buildings of Dayton. Tom’s byline can be found on over 500
Dayton.com/Dayton Daily News photo galleries of the Dayton area’s events, festivals,
building construction progress, parks and more.
He has drawn inspiration from many photographers including Dave Schmidt (founder of
@cincygram on Instagram) who influenced him to create @daytongram, William Preston
Mayfield, Marvin Christian, Andy Snow, Bill Woody, Robert Tobin and Stuart Kunkler.
Working with The Contemporary (formerly the Dayton Visual Arts Center), auto dealer Jim
Evans commissioned Tom in the summer of 2017 to create a series of iconic Dayton-centric
images for his new showroom, Infiniti of Dayton. After the images were selected, he
collaborated with the graphic design team at Catapult Creative to digitally abstract creating
the final works of art throughout the showroom.
In August 2018, he was the visiting artist at Crane Studios Market in the East Dayton Arts
District (now The Market at the Park). The Gem City Catfe, located in the St. Anne's Hill
Historic District hosted photographers Amy Dallis, Eric Brockman and Gilliam for a group
photo exhibition titled Dayton: City of Restless Horizons in November 2018.
Tom was a featured artist at Sideshow 13 in May 2018 and Sideshow 14 in May 2019,
located at Yellow Cab Tavern in downtown Dayton.
When the Dayton Arcade redevelopment project began to ramp up in March 2019 before
financial closing to start construction, Tom started to do regular photo documentation to
capture the progress on this historic set of nine interconnecting buildings for lead developer
Cross Street Partners. In June 2019, Tom announced that he was in the beginning stages of
writing a comprehensive history of the Arcade which will also feature his photos from 2014
when the property was in an abandoned state until the completion of construction work
In April/May 2020, Tom collaborated with Brixilated Lego Mosaics to create photography for
the back packaging and instruction manual for their limited edition Dayton skyline LEGO set
featuring the following buildings: Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at the University of
Dayton, The Dayton Art Institute, Stratacache Tower (formerly Kettering Tower), The
Dayton Arcade, Deeds Carillon Bell Tower and the “Flyover” Civic arts project sculpture.
Literary works by Mock Turtle Zine: Mock Turtle Zine is an independent publishing effort undertaken to give artists and authors in Dayton, Ohio, and surrounding areas a vehicle for sharing their work.
My home for the past 5 years has been the Historic Oregon District in Dayton, OH. In this time,
visual storytelling through city and landscape photography has become one of my obsessions.
On March 5, I left for a month-long trip to shoot of France, Germany, and Luxembourg. I
watched the world shut down from Paris, and on March 10 I returned home. Artistically, I felt it
was my obligation to create something out of this impossibly unique situation in which we’ve
found ourselves, and it was finally time to get serious about shooting Fifth Street. I concentrated
on a one-mile stretch (between Keowee and Ludlow) over about six-weeks (from March 24 to
May 8), the period when the lockdown had the strongest grip on our cognizance. I’ve selected 4
shots from this series for consideration to Art in the City 2020.
The intent of this work is to communicate to those afar and remind those nearby, what a day in
life was like during this pandemic induced stay-at-home order, when business districts and
social epicenters were converted to ghost towns as an undetectable terror consumed the
streets. Thus, this project displays a community in lockdown, presented not from our planet’s
epicenters of business and tourism, but from this fascinating little stretch of road in middle
America that I call home.
I hope this work will inspire my community to believe that even when life halting change occurs,
new opportunities are always created in the process.
The following photographs will be displayed using a modern frameless print-on-metal style to
preserve all color and detail. They will be printed at 300 DPI resolution with a minimum size of
about 14 by 20 inches, bringing out the details that are essential to these compositions. My
workflow includes a color calibrated monitor and proofing process that ensures final products
and accurately luminance and color matched. Project will only require indoor wall space for
display with typical room lighting, I am available to present/discuss the work upon request.
Fifth Street Lockdown: Part 1 (Approx. Print Size: 15 by 25)
Fifth Street Lockdown: Part 2 (Approx. Print Size: 14 by 20)
Fifth Street Lockdown: Part 3 (Approx. Print Size: 14 by 20)
Fifth Street Lockdown: Part 4 (Approx. Print Size: 20 by 14)
Back to Virtual Art in the City Main Page
Virtual Art in the City is presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership as part of the DP&L Summer in the City, and sponsored by DP&L and Dayton.com, with support from the Ohio Arts Council.
Virtual Art in the City Partners
Artists United, The Contemporary Dayton, Culture Works, Dayton Live, Dayton Society of Artists, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Five Rivers MetroParks, Front Street Art Studios and Galleries, The Human Race Theatre Company, The Levitt Pavilion Dayton, and The Mosaic Institute