Dark arts

Night of the Creeps Art Show: simply eerie-sistable

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Night of the Creeps Art Show will feature Halloween and horror-themed art and more, Oct. 30 at Club Vex; photo: Mary Kathryn Burnside

It’s that time of year when people seem to embrace all that is ghastly, ghoulish and creepy, and a group of locals in the music, art and fashion scene are doing their part to make the Halloween season in Dayton just a little spookier. This Friday, the collective will present its second edition of the Night of the Creeps Art Show at Club Vex in downtown Dayton.

The Night of the Creeps Art Show is the brainchild of Dayton-based DJs Matt Freeman and Mike Guidone, who conceived the idea a few years back and are participating as co-organizers, co-promoters and DJs this year. Mary Kathryn Burnside, proprietor of downtown clothing store Clash Consignments, has also had a big hand in making NoC happen, reaching out to local artists to participate in the event. According to Freeman, the catalyst for the event was simple enough.

“Mike, Mary and I are into anything horror/Halloween, and since we all love art as well, this sounded like the perfect event to embark on,” Freeman says.

The first Night of the Creeps Art Show took place in 2012 at Club Aquarius in downtown Dayton, featuring music provided by Freeman and Guidone as well as horror-movie inspired visual art by over a dozen local artists. Over 250 people attended the event, and while a few years have gone by since the last one, Freeman and company decided the time was right to resurrect Night of the Creeps once again.

“The first Night of the Creeps Art Show was simply artists representing their favorite horror movie,” Freeman explains. “With such a positive reception from the crowd and people asking if we would ever hold a part two, we decided this would be a good year. Everyone’s ready for Halloween, so Oct. 30 felt like the perfect time to hold the show and get everyone warmed up for the holiday weekend.”

The second edition of the Night of the Creeps Art Show will feature Halloween- and horror-inspired visual art by over 25 regional artists. Getting artists to participate in NoC 2 was an easy sell for the organizers as this event presents an opportunity to not only exhibit their work but possibly make some money doing so.

“Mary, Mike and I have a very broad network of local artists who are into the ‘darker arts,’” Freeman says. “After making a few posts and calls, we quickly developed a very seasoned lineup. With Mary owning Clash, she also has the opportunity to meet new, upcoming artists. It’s good to include not only the well-known artists, but the soon-to-be-known artists. We encourage all artwork to be available for purchase, but in the end, each individual artist will have the final say so on if they want to let their piece go or not.”

This year’s edition will be expanded for more intriguing artistic possibilities—for a possible prize.

“Some improvements this year [include] broadening the theme just a bit to include not only horror movies, but also Halloween and horror in general,” Freeman explains. “This allows the artist be more creative. To add to the ‘competing spirit,’ each paying entry will also receive a ballot to vote on their favorite piece. The winning artist will win a cash prize at the end of the night.”

Voting for attendees’ favorite visual artist won’t be the only contest for the night. A costume contest is on tap as an added encouragement for those who come out to get into the Halloween spirit with prizes provided by Night of the Creeps sponsors, Skull 13, Clash Consignments, Monkey Bones and Zombie Dogz. And speaking of Zombie Dogz, the local favorite food truck will be onsite from 8 p.m. to midnight serving up ghoulishly yummy grub. But according to some of the local artists presenting their work at Night of the Creeps, the art, the vibe and the people are the core of this event.

“We’ve done several themed events but this one is a pretty big deal,” says local artist Kevin Pittman, who will exhibit his works once again at this Friday’s event. “The artists get amped up. We spend weeks, months preparing our pieces and at the event we let them hang and share them with the community. They can purchase our stuff for their theatre rooms or wherever they want to hang them.”

“This is my favorite show to create for,” adds local artist Erica Blackstock. “I love the concept because I love horror movies, and I create dark art. This year is going to be amazing. The people involved in this show are the best of the best in Dayton—you will not be disappointed.”

Freeman sums up the Night of the Creeps in just one sentence: “Event-goers can expect an art show featuring Dayton’s finest, great food, top notch tunes to move your feet to and an-all out bizzaro evening of Halloween madness.”

Night of the Creeps Art Show 2 takes place Friday, Oct. 30 at Club Vex, 101 S. Saint Clair St. in downtown Dayton. Admission is $5 at the door for attendees 18 and up. Doors open at 8 p.m. For more information please find “Club Vex” on Facebook.


Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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