Get your art on

DVAC presents annual Holiday Gift Gallery

By Tim Smith

Photo: Amy Deal, Collage, 2014; The ARTtoBUY Holiday Gift Gallery runs through Dec. 24 at the Dayton Visual Arts Center

Ask a dozen people to define art and you’ll probably get a dozen different responses. Whatever your definition or preference is, you’ll likely find an example at the Dayton Visual Arts Center’s ARTtoBUY: Holiday Gift Gallery. The annual exhibition runs through Dec. 24.
The work of 67 local artists was selected by a panel of arts professionals from across Dayton and throughout the Midwest. “This validates that DVAC represents not one perspective, but many viewpoints reflective of the best of the best,” says Executive Director Eva Buttacavoli.
This year’s ARTtoBUY jurors were Kim Megginson of ZIG ZAG Gallery, Nancy Mellon of the Yellow Springs Arts Council, and Josh Stuckey of Agnes & Orson Gifts and Goods. The exhibition attracts about 3,000 visitors annually.
This is the 24th year for the gallery. Items available for purchase include one-of-a-kind ornaments, jewelry, glass, art-to-wear, accessories, ceramics, photography, sculptures and original drawings and paintings. The price range is $6 to $600. Proceeds from ARTtoBUY support participating artists and DVAC’s exhibitions and education programs.
“We are the region’s leader in supporting emerging artists,” Buttacavoli states. “We present 12 exhibitions and 30 programs each year that connect local artists to national audiences and inspire and educate new audiences to art. We are good stewards of public support.”
The DVAC consistently receives high marks from the Ohio Arts Council, Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and Culture Works. “We keep it affordable,” Buttacavoli says. “Our gallery is free and open to the public, and workshops are free for artists.”
The gallery’s big fundraiser of the year, the Annual Art Auction, is ranked as a top 25 non-profit fundraiser by the Dayton Business Journal and has one of the lowest ticket prices for all the arts organizations in the Miami Valley.
The Center serves as an integral part of the community.
“The arts are essential to the health and vitality of neighborhoods, cities, states and our nation,” Buttacavoli says. “They enhance community development, create jobs, spur urban renewal and attract new business. DVAC has been working at the ground level for the past 24 years to make that happen for the Miami Valley.”
The gallery kicked off the festivities with a “Holiday on Ice Preview Party & Artful Cocktail Mix-off” on Nov. 19. The ticketed event was catered by Scratch Catering, and local celebrity bartenders competed for the Most Artful Cocktail mixed with Belle of Dayton Hell’s Vodka. Dayton’s own Gem City Rollergirls were also on hand to mingle with the guests.
During this year’s exhibition, Buttacavoli will curate three pop-up experiences of art and design. Three featured artists will present new, limited edition works for two days only, each with their own opening party the night before. The three shows are “Outside the Heart Limited Fantasy Glass Jewelry” by Rachel Goetz on Dec. 4 and 5, “Quirky Cool Ornament & Desktop Robots” by Pat Antonick on Dec. 11 and 12 and “Blooms in Sgraffito” by Kevin Tunstall on Dec. 18 and 19. Each show runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Local glass artist Rachel Goetz has participated in ARTtoBUY since 2007.
“I was honored, thrilled and humbled, all at the same time, to be selected for the pop-up exhibition,” she says. “This venue is giving me the opportunity to explore some glass techniques that are not the norm for me.”
She is primarily known for creating heart-shaped glass, but this exhibition has encouraged her to add a whole other dimension to her work.
“I aspire to give visitors that ‘Aha, so that’s how it’s done’ moment. I love getting feedback from customers. They are my reality barometers.”
Goetz draws inspiration from many sources.
“The first and foremost is color,” she explains. “In working with glass, I continually explore its color and reactive properties when combined with other colors of glass, minerals, metals and enamels. Nothing is more beautiful and elusive as trying to duplicate the nuances of color found in nature.”
She concurs with the positive influence the Center has on local arts.
“DVAC, by its very nature of being an artist community, is inspiring me to move outside my comfort zone.”

The ARTtoBUY Holiday Gift Gallery runs through Dec. 24, at the Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St. in Dayton. Hours are 11a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 5-8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. The Center is closed on Sunday and Monday. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events and more information call 937.224.3822, or visit daytonvisualarts.org.

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at TimSmith@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at TimSmith@DaytonCityPaper.com

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