Welcome to the African American Visual Artists Guild!

Expanding the visual arts rainbow in the Miami Valley

The African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG), of Dayton, Ohio, was born out of the need to express visually the African American experience through a wide range of styles and subject matter using many diverse approaches and materials with a focus on communicating the artist's own spirituality.

This organization shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for membership or employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability, and shall take such affirmative action as necessary to ensure that applicants are employed or become members and are treated equally during employment or membership.


80 Years Of Art

Save The Dates

The African American Visual Artists Guild invites you to join us on Saturday, September 10, 2 pm to 4 pm at CSUD, 840 Germantown Street for this wonderful opening reception and celebration of the evolution of Yvette's Art over the years.

You can also help celebrate her 80th birthday with music, food, prizes and fellowship. The exhibit officially opens to the general public on September 6 to 30, 2022 -AAVAG Gallery 2nd floor of Central State University Dayton branch, 840 Germantown Street,Dayton 45402. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm, no charge to enter.


"We Wear The Mask"

Plan to join us and please share this information with your network

On Friday, September 9th, 4 pm to 7:00 pm in Brooklyn, New York at the Faurschou Foundation Museum there will be an opening reception featuring the paintings of Curtis Barnes Sr., for friends and family. In honor and love of the "Dream team", Cobalt Blue Fine Art is the concept of the late Curtis Barnes Jr. and sister, Denise Lyons. The name derives from the two siblings witnessing their father's love for the color, as he created art compositions. The inaugural project for Cobalt Blue was to establish a legacy for their father and artist, AAVAG's co-founder, the late Curtis Barnes Sr.(1935 -2019). The exhibition opens to the public from September 10, 2022 to January 29, 2023. The Faurschou Foundaton Museum is located at 148 Green Street (Greenpoint neighborhood), Brooklyn, NY 11222. For more information call Diana Barnes-Cary at 931-472-7055, email: dianamack36@yahoo.com.

We Wear the Mask presents paintings by Curtis Barnes Sr. in New York for the first time. Barnes (1935-2019) spent most of his life as a key figure in the artistic community of Dayton, Ohio, producing a rich body of work that drew on the liberatory frameworks of post-colonial thinkers, free improvisation of jazz music, and enduring friendships and mentorships. Taking its title from an 1895 poem of the same name by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask explores the interplay between face and mask in Barnes’ works. For Barnes, the mask as ritual object, image, and emblem of African culture became an effective expression of the African American spirit. By painting African masks into his portraits, Barnes reconnected the masks with the cultural history of Black faces, reclaiming control over representations of his culture and experience. As the artist expressed it, with the mask he could “hold on to the Africanness of the image.” Comprising a selection of Barnes’ portraits and self-studies, We Wear the Mask introduces Barnes as an experimental colorist admired by his students for limited yet powerful palettes. The yellows, blues, and reds in his subjects’ faces speak to the lyricism and freewheeling embrace of abstraction found in Barnes’ work. His mask-like portraits reveal subjects close to the artist who he represented vulnerably and honestly. In these paintings, Barnes opens our eyes to the structures that we find ourselves in, freeing ourselves from the masks behind which we dream, cry and smile.


The President's Club Announces

The Region's 2022 Citizen Legion of Honor Award

The President's Club of Dayton is pleased to announce that Willis Hoke "Bing" Davis will be the 71st recipient of the region's 2022 Citizen Legion of Honor Award. The award given annually since 1951 is the oldest, most continuous and prestigious recognition of volunteer servant leadership in the Dayton region. Bing is a local, state and nationally recognized educator, teacher, professor, artist and curator. Bing has been the driving force of many important cultural and arts projects and initiatives not only in the Dayton region, but in Ohio and beyond. Mr. Davis has been a life long educator who began his career at Dayton Public Schools in 1960 and continued his professional work as a college professor at DePauw, Miami of Ohio and concluding locally at Central State University from 1978-1998. All along the way he continued his passion for arts and culture by teaching our area citizens, of all ages, how to appreciate art and how to cultivate their own talents. His local studio, The EbonNia Gallery, is a collaboration of his work and the Dayton Public Schools and the Victoria Theatre.

Bing is the only artist to have attained all five of Ohio's most distinquished awards given for his continuing service to others and for the arts, including years of volunteer service as Vice-Chairman of the Ohio Arts Council. The President's Club will honor Bing at its annual luncheon event on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the Dayton Convention Center from 10:30 am to 1:15 pm. Sponsorships and tables are available to honor Bing by contacting Phil Parker at 937-478-3000 or emailing pparker@dacc.org.

Open Studio drawing and painting sessions!
We are scheduling painting and drawing sessions, that will be open to the public; check this page daily for date, place and time.
Our Monthly Meetings

We meet the last Saturday of the month, 2 pm to 4 pm at Central State University Dayton at 840 Germantown Street 45402, except for July and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Meetings could be live or by Zoom because of coronavirus restrictions, Call 937-263-9907 for meeting place before last Saturday of each month.

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African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG)

840 Germantown Street

Dayton, Ohio 45402

Our Gallery Hours:

Monday - Friday: 9am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday: 6pm-8pm

Saturday: 9 am - 4:30 pm, Saturdays Closed June and July

To Contact Webmaster

Contact: Clifford Darrett

5100 Retford Drive

Dayton, Ohio 45417


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