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.



Save The Dates, October 5 through December 16, 2022

The African American Visual Artists Guild invites you to join us on Sunday, October 16, 2022, 2 pm to 4 pm at CSUD, 840 Germantown Street for this wonderful opening reception.

These artists are past students of art teacher Curtis Barnes Sr., at Sinclair Community College. This exhibit features the art of these two ex-students and by looking at their art you can see they spent a lot of time using Curtis's techniques and colors. The exhibit officially opens to the general public on October 5, 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.


Artist Call For Entries

Black History Month 2023

Black History Month- Call for Entries - The Ed Dixon Gallery is calling for entries for a juried Art exhibit for Black History Month. The exhibit will run from February 2, 2023 to February 25, 2023, there is no entry fees and no prizes will be awarded. Artwork submitted does not have to be for sale but cannot be valued over $100,000. The artwork submitted must relate to Black history, locally or nationally, submitting artists must be 18 years or older. The Ed Dixon Gallery will take a 40% commission on each piece of artwork sold in the exhibit (so price submitted artwork accordingly). The deadline to submit entries is January 14, 2023, each artist can submit up to a maximum of 3 images (one per piece of art). There are no dimension restrictions, art must be two dimensional or art that could be hung on a wall. Send all digital images with the following information (Title of Art, Artist name, medium, sale price or insurance value, original dimensions) to: info@eadgallery.com

For more information, call 937-985-2115

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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