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The Contemporary Dayton

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.

Join The Contemporary Dayton to learn more about making and collecting art; to meet artists and art supporters; and to find beautiful, original objects that will make you think and feed your soul, as well as fill your walls.

Ideas in your Inbox

Want so stay connected to The Co’s exhibitions, programs, and events? Sign-up for our newsletter – sending ideas & curiosity to your inbox.

Our Mission

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

The Co shares a vision that commits the institution to advancing equity, diversity, and access now and in the future.

A rigorous artistic and intellectual community is enriched by diversity and inclusion. We promote artistic and intellectual freedom by fostering environments that value our diverse students, faculty, and staff and provide all community members with a respectful and challenging space in which to address divergent opinions and ideas. By ”equity, diversity, and access,” we mean that our community prospectively embraces differences in gender expression and identity, age, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning style, religion, occupation, nationality, immigration status, socioeconomic status, and the many forms of composite subjectivity and life experience that span these differences. Promoting such a broadly inclusive understanding of diversity requires ongoing education and effort, to ensure support, understanding, and awareness from all community members. The Co seeks to be a vanguard institution with regard to how we address and integrate notions of equity, diversity, and access. We continue to develop connections and mutually beneficial relationships between our immediate community and the global public in the belief that a multiplicity of voices has helped to make The Co the influential and inspiring institution that it is today.

The Contemporary Dayton, September 2020.

A jury of visual art professionals reviews proposals from curators and artists for all Calls for Artists; their recommendations go to The Contemporary Dayton’s Exhibition & Program Committee for final approval. Although The Contemporary Dayton is a member-based organization, non-members are encouraged to apply for exhibitions. While The Contemporary Dayton promotes local and regional artists through its programs and services, there is no geographic limit as to who may have an exhibit in the gallery. The Contemporary Dayton actively seeks an audience for the work it shows.

We want to keep you informed, not bug you! The Contemporary Dayton collects contact information for the purpose of serving our members and communicating with our funders about the organization’s public value. The Contemporary Dayton notes your address, phone number and email so we can provide you with information about events and exhibitions. You may choose to be removed from our email update list at any time via a link provided with each update. If you have questions about our privacy policy, please contact us.


WED – SAT / 11 AM – 6 PM

SUN / 11 AM – 4 PM

Holly Days at the Arcade Hours
Dec 6, 11-8 pm
Dec 7, 11-8 pm
Dec 8, 11-9 pm
Closed Easter, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
The Co galleries and CoSHOP will be closed December 24, 2023 – January 3, 2024. The Contemporary Dayton will re-open January 4 and resume regular business hours.


25 W 4th Street
Dayton, OH 45402


The Contemporary Dayton is a non-profit gallery and artist resource that provides art for the community and a community for artists since 1991.

Closed Easter, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
The Co galleries and CoSHOP will be closed December 24, 2023 – January 3, 2024. The Contemporary Dayton will re-open January 4 and resume regular business hours.