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The Dayton Visual Arts Center is now: The Contemporary Dayton

DAYTON (Thursday, September 27, 2018) – Eva Buttacavoli, Executive Director of the Dayton Visual Arts Center, has announced a new name and new brand as the arts organization transitions from its 25th anniversary in 2017 and begins its next era as greater Dayton’s contemporary arts center.

“We remain committed to presenting local artists to the community just as we always have,” said Buttacavoli. “The new brand and new name – the contemporary dayton – simply reflect the true nature of the art we have been presenting for the last several years. We believe our new name and our new tagline, “Art that’s now” says it all.

Buttacavoli explained that over the last several years the organization has evolved by remaining steadfast in its role of presenter of local artists’ works while also introducing regional and national artists’ works, often in the same exhibitions.

Board President Chuck Vella described the inspiration for a new brand, the rebranding process, and how the new name and tagline were developed. “We – Eva, and members of our board of trustees – wanted a way to recognize that both the popular and critical recognition of the shows had grown in a significant manner. The creative and technical excellence of the artists whose work we are presenting, in addition to the fact we are curating (seeking and selecting relevant themes and artists) all of the exhibitions we present and that the majority of them are first-in-the-region or first-ever seen premieres, helped us realize that we were and are functioning as the region’s contemporary art center. The name and the way we talked about ourselves did not necessarily reflect our growth as an organization.”

Vella explained that the organization engaged L2 Marketing Research to conduct a consumer study to better understand the opportunity to reposition the visual arts center. Concurrently, LMG, a local marketing and branding firm was also engaged to develop the new name and brand.

“Both L2 Marketing Research and LMG have a national footprint and national clients – they’re among the top firms in their respective fields, so we knew we were in good hands,” Vella said. “We assembled a panel of individuals from the community – artists, donors, heads of recently re-branded organizations, members of our board and other stakeholders – to help guide LMG and be guided by LMG. It was a great experience with, we believe, great results.”

“The team at LMG has enjoyed partnering with DVAC to explore the evolution of this storied brand including new positioning, naming, logo, and design system,” said Doug Lunne, President of LMG. “This transformation reflects the unique role and place of this institution in making our region a destination for amazing contemporary art experiences. Dayton is fortunate to have such a strong arts resource in our community, and we hope the new branding will serve the contemporary well for years to come.”

Buttacavoli added that the new name and tagline were chosen very carefully.

“In the art world, the expression ‘modern art’ describes art created and reflective of the time from the late 1800’s to the post-World War Two era,” Buttacavoli said. “The term contemporary art is all that dynamic art that has happened since 1945 and continues to the present. Contemporary art is, literally, art that’s now.”


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.