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LARGER THAN LIFE: DVAC Showcases Large-Scale Drawings of Four Prominent Midwest Artists

DAYTON (January 6, 2015) – The Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) presents Gesture Control, featuring four Midwest artists working in charcoal, graphite, painted wood and Plexiglas constructions. The exhibition is curated by Patrick Mauk, DVAC’s Gallery Manager, and opens January 15th and runs through February 27th, 2016.

The artists featured in Gesture Control, Wesley Berg, Tyler Bohm, William Potter and Shelby Shadwell, each utilize the creative process in very different ways, but the end results showcase their craftsmanship and the unique quality of each artists’ hand.

“Drawing is one of the oldest and most respected expressive technical skills,” states Mauk. “It’s the beginning of the creative process, from cavemen to contemporary art. Drawing has significance throughout art history as a means of capturing a moment, conveying a place in time or showing physical movement or spiritual essence.”

“Noted artists known for their exceptional facility in drawing include Leonardo da Vinci, (Italian, 1452- 1519); Rembrandt van Rijn, (Dutch), 1606-1669); and Chuck Close (American, 1940). Like these masters, these four artists are all working through drawing, either as a starting point to paintings or sculptures, or they elevate the process to create finished works of art,” Mauk adds.

Wesley Berg’s work focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural world in a society that is constantly pushing us away from nature and towards modernity and technology. He is inspired from his own experiences traveling to remote places, hiking, and trail running.

In addition to the inclusion of the works in the exhibit, DVAC will also unveil a new site-specific mural, Landfell, by Berg in DVAC’s Fountain Gallery. The mural will be similar to works included in the exhibit, focusing on our human presence in the natural world and will be on long-term view.

Berg received his BFA from Miami University and his MFA from the University of Florida. He currently teaches part-time at the University of Dayton.

Tyler Bohm’s Plexiglas works suggest the hypothetical progression of artificial intelligence. He uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs and a laser cutter to create plastic components that are painted to create the large wall sculptures.

“My work serves as a form of creative future studies, a speculation about the imminent that draws on science fiction narratives and past eras’ visions of the future,” says Bohm. “A unifying theme in my work has been the attempt to re-imagine this evolving technological landscape through a futuristic visual vocabulary.”

Bohm received his BFA from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.

William Potter’s constructed paintings begin with an old sketchbook drawing that is scanned, photocopied, morphed, and through use of the computer, sent to a CNC router where shapes are milled out of plywood. The cutouts move back to the studio where he paints, scrapes and repaints them, until the final product is produced.

Potter received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and his MFA from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Shelby Shadwell’s large scale drawings explore the visual tensions between representation and abstraction. The subject matter of the drawings explores disposability, decay and, most notably, repulsion (trash bags, diapers, roaches) but the resulting imagery is sumptuous and attractive for the viewer.

“My work fits into the ongoing dialogue that elevates the mundane, the ephemeral, or the vulgar to a higher status,” states Shadewell. “The figures in my work are an attempt to both create and destroy what is monstrous to me.”

Gesture Control is sponsored by Exhibition Partner Amelia Hounshell & Brian Albrecht, and Education & Public Program Sponsor Susanne Scherette King & Michael Peters.

A Collectors’ Preview will be held for DVAC Collector-level Members and Sponsors on January 15th from 5-6 p.m. The Opening Reception is free and open to the public and will be held that same day from 6-8 p.m. A Gallery Talk, featuring lectures and Q&A’s with the four featured artists, will be held February 25th at 6:15 p.m. at DVAC.


Mission: To provide art for the community and a community for artists.

Overview: The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) is the region’s contemporary art center. Established in 1991 as Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC), a 501c3, The Co produces and presents original exhibitions and programs, art events, community partnerships, and artist opportunities. Exhibitions and education programs feature artists living and working today, both nationally and in Ohio, with an emphasis on those whose work focuses on issues of social justice. In addition to its three galleries—open to all and always free—its retail store, the CoSHOP, provides income for Ohio artists and extends The Co’s accessibility to art, from visitor engagement to educational outreach through store products, programs, and experiences.

The Co is proud to support the creation of connections among the arts, community building, civic engagement, community planning, and use of public space, and makes an annual economic impact of 3.4 million to the region. Recently raising 1 million during the Pandemic to expand and move into its new home in downtown’s historic Dayton Arcade, The Co is led by Executive Director Eva Buttacavoli, a 30-year art museum administrator, curator, and educator, whose previous roles were at The Contemporary Austin, TX and The Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; and Curator Michael Goodson, who previously served as Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Beeler Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design, OH; and as Director at James Cohan Gallery, NY.

The Contemporary Dayton receives operating support from Culture Works, Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District, Ohio Arts Council, the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, and Members.