Picture of AAVAG logo 


The African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG) was started in 1992 by two local artists; Curtis Barnes Sr., and Willis “Bing” Davis.  These aspiring artist envisioned a place where all emerging African American artists could come together and share their passion, ideas, and creativity for the Arts.  In the late 80’s and the early 90’s, showcasing the work of artists, especially African American artists, were under-recognized by contemporary galleries and museums through out the world.  Mr. Barnes and Mr. Davis felt that is was vital to create an organization that would keep the dreams and passion for the arts alive.

Our emphasis have been placed on visual exploration featuring contemporary art, traditional fine art, paintings, crafts, photography, sculptures, and other types of visual art.


Our mission to serve the arts, artists and community by promoting, developing, empowering and cultivating visual arts and artists.

Strengths and Accomplishments

Painting workshop Sculpture workshop 

For over a decade, The African American Visual Artists Guild has been recognized locally as a venue that encourages innovative, thoughtful visual presentations while nurturing emerging talent.  Since its inception, AAVAG has been a leading proponent of prominent African American Artists such as “Bing” Davis, Dr. Lois Fortson, Dwayne Daniel, Craig Screven, Clifford Darrett, Betty Bolton and Abner Cope and other prosperous and talented artist from the Dayton and surrounding areas.  Almost all of the artists in the organization have won numerous of awards locally and nationally.  In 2008, Mr. Curtis Barnes Sr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Arts Council and Mr. Willis “Bing” Davis received the Irma Lazarus Award, which is the Governor’s Award for the Ohio Arts Council.

Community Involvement
Children in free drawing workshop
The African American Visual Artists Guild stands on the premise that fine art should be available to the novice as well as the seasoned collector.  The Guild prides itself on its continuous involvement in the community by offering an extensive source of educational enrichment courses and activities such as: workshops, open studio, presentations, seminars, lectures, demonstrations and technical assistance to inspiring artists.  These services are available because of its unique partnership with the Willis “Bing” Davis Studio and the EbonNia Gallery. 


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