SPECIAL LOCAL COMMUNITY PROJECTS
ART EXHIBIT SERIES
An art exhibition — unseen for months during the pandemic —will be on view again. The 2020 Dayton Skyscrapers Visual Voices show will debut for a second time at EboNia Gallery during Wright Dunbar Day, Sunday, July 5.
The show originally opened in February in the Schuster Center lobby, which has been closed during the pandemic. The Visual Voices exhibition showcases the work of 13 African-American artists with local ties. The artists have created portraits “about African-Americans from our region that stand tall in our hearts and minds for their achievements and giving back,” said exhibition curator Willis “Bing” Davis when the show opened.
Among the artworks are portraits of Dave Chappelle and John Legend created by artist Abner Cope. Other portrait subjects include Matilda Dunbar, the mother of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, NBA champion Norris Cole and actor Dorian Harewood. EboNia Gallery, 1135 W. Third St., will open Sunday, July 5 from 1-6 p.m. The gallery is also open Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LISA POWELL / STAFF
Jan 17, 2021 · In 2019, DPS partnered with the highly-celebrated local artist Bing Davis to re-implement school-based art museums and bring pieces from his Skyscrapers project into schools. Davis’ Skyscrapers project celebrates African-Americans who have made a difference in their field and who serve as role models for children in Dayton and around the country.
Montgomery County’s biggest ever bridge project — a planned $21.6 million span of Third Street across the Great Miami River — will replace a structure that has sometimes carried negative perceptions into West Dayton with a new artistic symbol of unity for the region, say those working on the project.
“It’s more than a bridge, it’s breaking down a barrier,” said Dayton artist Bing Davis, who was hired by the county to help design the bridge, he said, “unique and special from beginning to end.” Design work began in 2013 on the new span, but dirt won’t be turned until 2020, according to the county. In the meantime, Davis, the celebrated Dayton artist with a studio just blocks from the bridge, and others took part in a process that included several public meetings between 2014 and 2016.
Also known as the Peace Bridge, the span links downtown with many of Dayton’s most historically-significant sites, including those associated with Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright brothers. Those historic figures as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 march on Washington, which is commemorated every year locally with a march over the Peace Bridge, will be recognized in bas-relief sculptures planned for two of the bridge’s piers that face the recreation trails on either bank, said Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner. “It’s really a piece of art and an historic monument right in the middle of downtown,” Gruner said. “It’s going to be a key feature of Dayton for a long period of time.”