The History of the African American Visual Artists Guild




The African American Visual Artists Guild was formed in 1992, in Dayton, Ohio under the initiative of Artists,  Willis "Bing" Davis and Curtis Barnes .  AAVAG is a non profit visual arts group anchored  in and  reflective of the Miami Valley's African American community.   Since May of 1992 our commitment has been to building a deeper appreciation of African American visual arts throughout the Miami Valley.  This includes developing long term community support as well. The African American Visual Artists Guild is committed to working with producing artists, art educators, other community organizations, and  businesses to spread the good word about African American visual arts to all the people of the Miami Valley.


We are also committed to increasing growth, networking, and business opportunities for African American visual artists and developing and guiding the youth in our community, especially those that have a desire to express themselves through the visual arts.  We qualified as an IRS 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation,  August 22, 1995. Our membership is made up of practicing artists, art educators, art students and members of the community, all with a shared commitment to realizing these goals.


In Our Twenty two Years of Existence We Have:

  •       Become an officially state recognized  nonprofit arts activity

  •      Maintained an open membership

  •      Curated exhibits in public and private educational institutions, civic and government entities

  •      Conducted membership and awards programs

  •      Been recipients of Ohio Arts Council grants to address internal development

  •      Provided to the community, professionals to speak on arts topics

  •      Participated and exhibited throughout the community during the Black History annual  celebrations

  •      Developed tours to area cities to view and critique art matters

  •      Brought to the community, internationally recognized artists and professionals

  •      Served as the Arts arm of the Twentig organization, in conducting workshops for young emerging artists

  •      Participated as a partner with the Dayton Black Culture Festival Corporation since 1994 until the present

  •      Exchanged exhibits with arts organizations within the city and regional areas

  •      Developed a rotating exhibit at the Roosevelt Center

  •      Provides an “Annual Art Day” for senior citizens and young teens, free of charge      

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During the course of festivals, exhibits and workshops, every effort and consideration was given to the inclusion, encouragement, and the display of the art work of our youth. Hundreds of submission have been viewed and critiqued. The rewards for us have been the positive responses from the public and private sector institutions, schools, art departments, faculties and community groups throughout the metropolitan and regional area.


Children using airbrush  Children drawing  Young adult learning airbrush techniques


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