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The Contemporary Dayton presents: With Devotion

Featuring Four Female Ohio Artists & the Kick-off of Still SHE Creates, a Two-Year Series Designed to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment

DAYTON (January 7, 2020) – The Contemporary Dayton (formerly the Dayton Visual Arts Center) is proud to present its first show of the new year, With Devotion, opening Friday, January 17 and on view through February 15, 2020.

As we begin 2020, a year in which we celebrate the 100 th anniversary of the passage of the 19 th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote, The Co presents a timely and thoughtful exhibition series entitled Still SHE Creates, examining the materials and themes of 11 contemporary female artists living and working in the Midwest. The first exhibition of the series, With Devotion, presents artists whose work recontextualizes traditional materials in new and bold ways. Curated by Curator-in-Residence, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, (Dayton), this exhibition features work in various media by 4 diverse regional artists.

With Devotion exhibiting artists: Alison Jardine (Cincinnati); Heather Jones (Dayton); Jenniffer Omaitz (Kent); and Paige Williams (Cincinnati). Working with a range of diverse materials and surfaces, including fabric, cast concrete, polypropylene, traditional oil and acrylic, casein and marble dust, the artists all share a common love for surface, edge, and touch. They push the visual language of abstraction in new and unique ways, bucking the limitations of the medium and subject.

The Still SHE Creates Series is organized by The Co Executive Director and Chief Curator Eva Buttacavoli and is designed to spotlight the work of female artists living and working with contemporary art themes outside the country’s art centers; specifically the Midwest, amidst economic decline and displacement—but also with the advantages of an affordable quality of life, with little distraction, in which to create.

The Series will include 4 exhibitions and ancillary programs in 2020 and 2021 that will culminate in a published anthology of the 4 shows and include guest essays and full-color images of the works and will launch The Co’s commitment to hosting an original exhibition by a female artist each year.

Second in the Series: Amy Powell: Erica & I, September 4–October 24, 2020, curated by Stacey Kranitz, Lexington-based photographer and writer and presented in conjunction with the Fotofocus Biennial, (90 lens-based projects at museums and galleries across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Columbus, featuring more than 400 artists, curators, and educators—the largest of its kind in America). This is the premiere of a 50-photo multi-year portrait of the artist’s 20-years younger half-sister documented against the backdrop of her Ohio-based family’s struggle with bankruptcies, evictions, car repossession, cat feces on the living room floor, and her parent’s discussions of their impending divorce. Powell’s photos have been published with The New Yorker, TIME, Wired, Bust, and Huffington Post.

Third in the Series: Mychaelyn Michalec: Domestic, May 7-July 3, 2021, curated by Dr. Jordan Amirkhani, a regular contributor to Daily Serving, Artforum, and Burnaway; and Professorial Lecturer in Art History at American University in Washington, DC, will feature the premiere of new, large-scale paintings and hooked-rug wall-hangings (some 7 feet tall). Using family life as a reference, Michalec covertly uses her phone’s camera to capture relationships with each other and daily life, in moments of both simultaneous disconnect and connection.

Lastly, Women Working in Time, September 3-November 6, 2021, curated by Tess Cortés (artist, writer, faculty, The Modern College of Design, Dayton), will feature 3 artists whose time-based, sculptural and installation works are defined by physical and temporal dimensions and limitations; Kristin Reeves (KY), Heidi Kumao (MI), and Claudia Esslinger (OH).

Please join us for a free Gallery Talk & Opening Reception for With Devotion on Friday, January 17. The Gallery Talk takes place 5-6 p.m. and the Reception from 6-8 p.m.

In addition, The Co will host an artmaking workshop with With Devotion exhibiting Artist Alison Jardine, January 25, from 1-3 p.m. at The Co. For more information and registration, go to

About the Workshop: Make Great Art on your iPad

The Co presents “Make Great Art on your iPad,” a workshop for all levels of artists led by With Devotion featured artist Alison Jardine.

Jardine, artist and author of “Make Great Art on your iPad,” will guide you through a diversity of iPad art techniques, through importing a selfie and using digital painting software to alter, paint on top ,and transform your selfie into a new image.

Attendees must bring: iPad or tablet, pre-loaded with software such as Procreate, Adobe Sketch or similar, and Apple Pen (for iPad). Registration Information:

About the Artists:

Alison Jardine is an artist and author who works across a broad range of disciplines, including new media, sculpture and painting. She was selected as a featured artist in Dallas’s Aurora festival in both 2013 and 2015, where she presented her physically immersive digital video environments. Jardine was named a Finalist for the 2016 Hunting Art Prize for Painting & Drawing. The artist’s sculptural cement drawings were featured in New American Paintings, Issue 126, West edition. She is a Fellow of the Hambridge Center of Arts & Science, in Georgia, USA. In 2013 she founded the Dallas Arboretum Artist in Residence program. Her book, Make Great Art on the iPad, was published in Europe and the US in summer, 2017 (Octopus Press, Hachette, London). Her work has been exhibited across the country including Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Connecticut and Georgia, and is represented in Dallas by Erin Cluley Gallery. She studied at the University of London (Bachelor of Arts), University of Texas at Dallas (ATEC), and the College of Visual Art & Design (CVAD) at University of North Texas (MFA, Painting and Drawing).

Heather Jones is an artist, designer, and educator whose work questions and pushes traditional conceptions of both quilt-making and painting. Her work is represented by Imlay Gallery, Montclair, NJ; the George Gallery, Charleston, SC; Jenner McGuinn Studio, Atlanta, GA; and is available through Marta Hewett Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a three-time winner of the Project Modern Quilt Design competition and a two-time finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Her work has been exhibited widely at venues including the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH (solo); Marta Hewett Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Iowa Quilt Museum, Winterset, IA; New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA; Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg, Germany; Dr. Julius, Berlin, Germany; the University of California, Berkeley, CA; Raygun Projects, Toowoomba, Australia; and numerous art fairs. Heather’s first book, Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday was released in October 2015 by STC Craft, an imprint of Abrams, New York.

Jenniffer Omaitz lives in Kent, OH and works in both Kent and Cleveland. She holds an MFA in painting from Kent State University and a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at the Sculpture Center, Cleveland; Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver; Kent State University; Hinterland, Denver, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. Her work was also featured in the 2010 Biennial of the Americans, Denver; Fresh Paint, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, and the CAN Triennial, Cleveland. Omaitz was the 2017 recipient of the Akron Soul Train fellowship.

Paige Williams is currently the Academic Dean at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, she exhibits locally, nationally and internationally including exhibitions in Germany, Ukraine, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York. She has been selected as an Artist in Residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts in New York, The University of Alaska in Anchorage, The Neu Rathaus Gallery in Munich, Germany and The Vermont Studio Center. Grants include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and a Summerfair Award to Individual Artists.

Presenting Sponsor: The SHE Society
Exhibition Sponsor: University of Dayton
Education & Public Program Sponsor: Dr. Robert L. Brandt, Jr.


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.