Art in action

The auction is held at Sinclair’s Ponitz Center and attracts hundreds. The auction is held at Sinclair’s Ponitz Center and attracts hundreds.

DVAC’s 18th Annual Art Auction

By Nicole Wroten

The auction is held at Sinclair’s Ponitz Center and attracts hundreds.

Lately, if you have said something like, “My walls are so bare,” then you should mark your calendars for Dayton Visual Arts Center’s (DVAC) 18th Annual Art Auction on Friday, April 29. Preceding the show, all artwork will be on display at DVAC beginning April 1 during the Auction Preview Exhibition, on display until April 27.
But the art will not only include paintings to grace those bare walls in your home. Auction patrons have the opportunity to bid on a spectacular array of more than 100 original paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, blown glass and jewelry by emerging and established artists.
All of the artwork has been donated by regional artists and all proceeds from the event support DVAC’s mission of providing art for the community and a community for artists.
“It helps to keep the gallery open and free, five days a week,” said Patrick Mauk, DVAC’s gallery manager. “It helps us do our programs, and install, curate and put up all of our exhibitions. We do 12 to 14 a year, which is a good number.”
DVAC’s art auction was created by Ray Must, one of DVAC’s early contributors and a professor at Wright State University, and Linda Lombard, a local art collector and art supporter. Early DVAC art auctions took place at the Dayton Art Institute. “The Art Institute at that time was very humble in supporting the event,” said Mauk. “The artists loved it. It was a very meaningful thing to be connected to a major artistic institution for a working artist.”
While it was initially a fundraiser, the auction also began connecting local artists with art supporters to help people see that there was a person behind every piece showcased.
“It helps bring people who love art together,” said Mauk. “One of the best things about introducing artists with people who love art at the auction is that many of those guests start to realize how locally focused Dayton is when it comes to art. We’ve had that experience before, where people will buy art and then find out that the artist lives in their neighborhood.”
Another way DVAC emphasizes connecting artists with art lovers is following up with attendees after the auction in case they didn’t get the piece they wanted. “We want you to come back and look for another piece by the artist and get to know that artist,” Mauk said. “It could be someone you end up owning a few pieces by. The artists are here (at DVAC) and they have more work. We’ll put you together.”
The vibe inside the art auction changes every year according to Mauk, but each year, he admitted, gets more exhilarating with the people and the artists coming together to celebrate art. “It’s not quite a flash mob … well, mob’s got an angry connotation!” he joked. “It’s not quite a mosh pit, but it’s a very large group of people who are having a great time.”
This year, the auction will take place at Sinclair Community College’s Ponitz Center, as it has for the past three years. Attendees, participating artists and other art collectors will converge in the Great Hall while enjoying a complimentary glass of champagne provided by Heidelberg Distributing Co., grazing a generous buffet of finger foods and listening to an eclectic mix of world music by Michael Bashaw’s Puzzle of Light.
“[Sinclair] works with us to sponsor the auction and they’re wonderful hosts,” said Mauk, especially since Sinclair’s recent technology upgrades, including the installation of new large-screen televisions and updates to their software in order to connect to remote locations throughout the building. Therefore, this year, DVAC will move their live auction into a smaller space and broadcast from that room out into the Great Hall where the party is
going on.
“It really gives those people who want to buy in the live auction a place to do it, where it’s a little quieter and it’s more intimate,” Mauk said.
For first timers, this might seem a little overwhelming. To remedy this, Mauk encourages auction virgins or anyone who is interested in attending the auction to first visit DVAC to take a look at the art beforehand from April 1 through 27.
“If you really want to see the work, there’s no place better than the gallery,” said Mauk, also mentioning all of the pieces are also showcased online at
After months of planning and hours upon hours of creating art, the auction is finally here. DVAC and Mauk encourage all art lovers to come show local artists what they mean to the community.
“Think about your walls, think about where do I want a new piece of art?” Mauk said. “We’re very art-centered. These are all fine original works of art. It’s all original artwork by individuals. It’s to honor what they’re doing for us.”

DVAC’s 18th Annual Art Auction will be held on Friday, April 29, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sinclair Community College’s Ponitz Center in downtown Dayton, located on Fourth Street, just west of Perry Street. Free parking is available at the underground garage on Fourth Street. Tickets for the event are $50 for DVAC members and $65 for nonmembers in advance, or $75 at the door. To view all work online and purchase pre-sale tickets, visit or call (937) 224-3822.

Reach DCP Editor Nicole Wroten at

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