Bidding for treasure

DVAC’s 21st annual art auction

By Janell R. Ward

Photo: MB Hopkins’ “The Order of Things” is a featured piece of artwork at the 21st annual DVAC Art Auction

Place your bid at the 21st annual Art Action for your favorite painting, photograph, print, sculpture, piece of jewelry or glass by a local artist. The Dayton Visual Arts Center, also known as DVAC, will host its biggest fundraiser of the year on April 24. This live and silent art auction is a signature event that raises funds for DVAC’s exhibitions and education programs. It’s the only art auction in the region devoted entirely to visual art, and all the showcased work comes directly from Miami Valley artists.

In 2014, DVAC raised $85,000 from the auction. This year, the goal is $100,000.

Eva Buttacavoli, the executive director of DVAC, talks about the history behind the event. “DVAC has been around for almost 25 years,” she says. “It was born with artists and community leaders wanting space for local artists. Those founders were seeking to build a fundraiser and they decided that one of the ways to raise money and awareness about the local art scene was an auction.” Doug Sorrell, also known as Dayton’s “superstar auctioneer” will be this year’s auctioneer.

“The live auction is going to be a highlight this year, featuring works from some of the area’s most accomplished artists,” Buttacavoli says.

Local artists will include Jon Barlow Hudson, Amy Kollar Anderson, Terry Welker, Jean Koeller and many others. Live music will be featured along with hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and free parking. A few of the paintings up for bid will include “Water Lilly” by Ashley Simon, “The Order of Things” by MB Hopkins and “Two Faced Charmer” by Peggy Steinburg.

“There are local artists who are so dedicated to DVAC that they choose to give back every year for the past 20 auctions,” Buttacavoli says. “Those artists are Katherine Kadish, Richard Malogorski, and Sandra Picciano-Brand. They honor DVAC by giving to us.”

Do you enjoy ceramic art? Come place your bid for Bob Coate’s ceramic piece “Leaves.” Humor and love for the environment is what has inspired Coate’s artwork. He mingles textures on his clay slabs. Currently, Coate works and lives in Dayton and he teaches at Sinclair in the field of ceramics. Place your bid for additional artists including Susan Byrnes and Andy Snow. Snow will present “Modernism Thru Glass II.” His recent work, “Watershed, Then & Now,” was featured by the American Society of Media Photographers as one of the 20 best of 2013. You also do not want to miss “Viscosity Series Number 4” presented by Byrnes. This piece is pigmented cast rubber. Byrnes works in a series of areas including writing, conceptual sculptures, radio broadcasting and curatorial projects. She received her Master’s of Fine Arts in sculpture from Eastern Michigan University and a BFA from Syracuse in photography.

If you have an Instagram account then you can take part in the DVAC Auction by simply snapping a photo of yourself anywhere with a work of art and the hashtag #dvacselfie. “This is a fun and interactive way to get people talking about what art is – or isn’t,” Buttacavoli jokes.

Buttacavoli finishes with her favorite aspect of the show, “I think the most special aspect for me is witnessing people purchase their first work of art. It’s affordable and there are different ways for them to meet the artists. You can watch them literally fall in love with a piece, bid on it frantically, and then get to own it. It’s like a gateway to a whole new language or passion. We sell 80-100 works of art a year. All those pieces are living in people’s homes right here in Dayton.”

The 21st Annual Art Action will take place on Friday, April 24 from 6-9 p.m. at The Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College, 444 W. Third St. Preview the art and purchase admissions at For more information please call 937.224.3822.

Reach DCP freelance writer Janell R. Ward at

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