DVAC auction returns to Sinclair’s Ponitz Center


Attendees can appreciate local artists while socializing with their friends and family.

By Andrea Kowaleski

If you were to walk into a Panera, Kroger, or even your neighborhood bar, I bet you wouldn’t expect to see an original piece of art by a local artist. But in fact, local art is being celebrated and bought throughout the community (even in places like Panera and Kroger), thanks to organizations like the Dayton Visual Arts Center. At their 24th annual art auction fundraiser on April 27th, DVAC hopes to amplify their mission of providing art for the community. “We’ve been doing it for 24 years and each year we’ve had 100 works donated by local artists, and we sell 100 works of art to people who come. So that means that over 2,400 works of art are in people’s homes that live in Dayton and southwest Ohio,” says the center’s executive director Eva Buttacavoli.

One hundred works, donated by only local artists, will be sold in a silent auction, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and in a live auction from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will also feature music, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. “It is one of the city’s favorite events and it makes a lot of money for our budget. It’s not just about the money. It’s about how special we treat the artists in our community, and how we show off their work and celebrate it. It’s almost like it’s our responsibility to do it,” says Buttacavoli.

Twenty-four years ago, a small group of six volunteers held the first auction fundraiser in the lobby of the Kettering Tower. During the first auction, artists were asked to create and donate masks to be sold. Today, the artists are no longer limited to masks, but donated visual art in all media. This year the auction will feature paintings, photographs, prints, glass, jewelry, ceramics, pottery and sculpture. Once a year the center will ask artists to give back through donating work, and the exhibition and program committee juries the work for the auction.

The center is excited to feature some artists that are new to the auction, including Heather Reid, Megan Fiely, and Justin Teilhet, who is based in Yellow Springs and is nationally known for his pottery. Buttacavoli says the center is also excited about artist Rebecca Tsaloff. “She’s not a new artist but her work has taken a new direction and we’re really excited.” This year’s auction will also feature four artists, Katherine Kadish, John Emery, Richard Malogorski and Sandra Picciano-Brand, who have donated to the auction every year for the past 24 years.

This year the center is making bidding even more accessible by offering mobile bidding for the silent auction pieces. Starting April 22nd, ticket holders can pre-bid online or on their smart phone. “We feel like we need to be up to date with the ways in which people now view art. Looking at art on your mobile phone is now a thing and purchasing art on your mobile phone is now a thing. So we thought we would just dive in and give people the opportunity to bid on their phone,” says Buttacavoli. Additionally, mobile bidding will allow for less crowding and complications at the checkout area. At 6:30 p.m., the night of the auction, mobile bidding will also be available to those who cannot attend the auction. “It’s exciting to see how competitive people are. When you get a text message that tells you someone outbid you, we’re hoping that the bids go up,” says Buttacavoli.

Not only is the center making bidding more accessible, but they hope that people who would not normally attend an art auction will go. “The auction is a perfect entry point for anyone who is curious about art, because you walk in and you get to see 100 works of art, a bunch of artists, people eating, drinking and talking about art,” says Buttacavoli. The auction is also affordable with prices for some works starting at $60. Buttacavoli stresses that the event is casual. “You can wear jeans. You don’t have to buy anything, and you can be blown away by the talent and the creativity that is in Dayton, Ohio. Just for that fact it’s worth going.”

While the center hopes to raise funds during the event so they can continue to fulfill their mission, the center also views the auction as an event to honor local artists. “It’s a celebration of our artist community. The artists make our community really special,” says Buttacavoli.

DVAC’s Annual Art Auction will be held on April 27th at Sinclair Community College’s David H. Ponitz Center, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. Tickets are $50 for DVAC Members, $60 for nonmembers, and $75 at the door. You may purchase tickets online at www.daytonvisualarts.org or call DVAC at 937.224.3822.

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"Andrea is a Daytonian with a slight Kentucky slur. She's a J.D. who made the potentially poor decision to pursue writing instead of law. She loves watching too much TV, horses, soccer, stories of triumph, and cold beer." Reach DCP freelance writer Andrea Kowaleski at AndreaKowaleski@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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