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The Contemporary Dayton

Founded in 1991 by a coalition of Dayton-area artists, art supporters, and visual arts professionals who saw a need for more interaction between the public and regional artists. The founders established an organization that allows the community to see and experience the wealth and diversity of visual art being created in the area and to get to know these artists. Over the years, The Co has presented a schedule of exhibitions that has explored the variety and diversity of the visual arts in communities from Dayton, Ohio, and internationally.

The Contemporary Dayton is a group of artists and art lovers who believe that a vital visuals arts community is essential to the life of the community. From gallery talks and exhibit openings to professional development workshops, we provide opportunities to meet others who share an interest in art and to learn about and support contemporary visual art. Since 1991, The Co has been a leading proponent of contemporary art in the region. Our gallery in downtown Dayton presents a full schedule of innovative exhibitions each year. The annual art auction has grown to become one of the largest auctions of contemporary art in Ohio. The Holiday Gift Gallery, which includes the very popular holiday gift gallery, connects artists with the public for the purchase of reasonably priced fine art and fine craft. Through ArtSource, we consult with art collectors, assisting them in finding art by regional artists. And we have fun together, presenting a series of Artist Palate parties in the homes and studios of artists and art collectors.

The Co is a resource for everyone who enjoys art. It’s a place where artists and art collectors find each other. Our gallery on North Jefferson Street, between First and Second streets in downtown Dayton, features rotating exhibits of professionally hung contemporary art. You will always find something new at The Contemporary Dayton. While you’re visiting, ask about upcoming events and programs.

The Contemporary Dayton mounts 12 to 18 exhibits each year, showing art that is being made here and now, expressing ideas about our environment and society. A 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that encourages working artists., we provide educational programs and activities for anyone who has an interest in the visual arts, whether they create it or not.

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.

Our Mission

Advancing 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.

The Contemporary Dayton welcomes all individuals and groups who wish to learn and grow through contact with the visual arts. This organization is open to all persons, without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical, mental, or medical disability.

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.

Plan Your Visit


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.

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