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Life in the City 2023 Exhibition

Twenty-Seven artists from across the midwest share their experiences and perspectives in relation to life in cities across the world through a variety of mediums. This year's exhibition features paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, collage, and fiber art.  

This year we are thrilled to work with guest juror, Scott D. U. Gibbs. 
About Scott: A master painter and a Dayton, Ohio native, Scott Gibbs has been creating his works for many years. Scott is known for his “word” paintings in which he writes words all over the piece and works with paints until the words are no longer recognizable. These days, Scott has moved on to rely less on the linear quality of the letters, but in the forms of the negative spaces. Though the paintings look nothing like the earlier work, the initial concept is the foundation of all works.
Scott has had many exhibitions around Dayton and across the country, and won numerous awards, including two Montgomery County Art and Cultural District grants. Although primarily an artist, Scott has worked extensively with juveniles involved with the court system and many schools to bring the visual arts to children from a wide range of backgrounds. He has been an Artist in Residence at various Dayton public schools and at K12 Gallery & TEJAS.
Learn even more about Scott at


Congratulations to this year's "Best in Show" recipient:

David Brand!

SAVE THE DATE: David will show his work in a solo exhibit here at Front Street in June 2024.  The show will open June 7, 2024.


David Brand

"Morning Fog" *BEST IN SHOW* 
Media: hand cut boulder opal, mokame gane, sterling silver, green tourmaline

""Morning Fog" relates to downtown events such as dressing for gala events including the DAI Art Ball."
Artist Statement: Dave is a metalsmith with broad experience in bronze casting smart jewelry. Much of the work is narrative with extensive use of found objects. Other work is more formal but is broadly sculptural.

Sandra Picciano-Brand

"Her Musings"
Dimensions: 3' Diameter 
Media: Necklace/Brooch: copper, handmade paper, charcoal archival print, silver, feather

"We have a large garden at our home in Grafton Hill Historic District, in Dayton. This jewelry piece is a night scene, and features topiary trees, a feather and a woman musing and taking in the beauty and hard work of her garden.
I divide my time between my 2 passions - gardening and creating jewelry. A memory that stands out is from several years ago when the city I love, Dayton, sadly was stigmatized as a major dying city in America. I never believed this, or took it in for a second, and it made me want to concentrate even more on creating beauty. My garden, with the flowers, wildlife and many trees we have planted, feels like a gift for people driving or walking by, to lift their spirits and heal their hearts. This pendant represents experiencing the beauty of our garden in the city."

Artist Statement: While utilizing many design and jewelry-making
techniques, these ideas have remained a constant in my work: The organic form,
romantic themes, fluidity, impeccable craftsmanship, sculptural intricacy, and the challenge of complex techniques with difficult materials.  Inspiration for my metal pieces comes from my passion for gardening, as well as dance, women in mythology, and my travels.  Many of my sculpture and jewelry pieces take several weeks, to months to complete, utilizing several metal techniques, including: lost wax casting, repoussé, enameling, hydraulic press forming, reticulation, Keum Boo, and forging.  I've developed my metal techniques through studying with internationally known artists, as well as continuous self study and research.
My husband, David and I have won numerous awards for our jewelry and sculpture. Since 2000, we have maintained Mythic Silver Studio at Front Street where we create our meticulously crafted artwork. With our individual styles and perspectives, we creatively collaborate, and teach as a duo in our studio, Rosewood Arts Centre, and Troy-Hayner Cultural Arts Center.

Danielle Georgiou

"Rainy Afternoon at the Shoppe" 
Media: acrylic on canvas panel
Dimensions: 5" x 7" 
"My work is meant to show a narration of the parts of the city we don't always see--the people outside the shoppe conversing when it rains, the lonely photographer who is uneasy about his direction, or the empty street that no one is around to observe. Too often I think we see the city as being this rustling, bustling place, but we don't see it in it's calm."
Artist Statement: Art is meant to make you feel something, whether it be that it touches your soul, or that it helps you to understand the depths of loneliness--art makes you feel something. I study what I see, working mostly from real life observation. I take that and try to paint scenes in such a way that the viewer might be able to place themselves there.

Clarice Moore

"Boodles and Strawberry"
Dimensions: 25" x 29"
Media: oil and mixed media on stretched canvas
"I was born and raised in Dayton.   Boodle & Strawberry depicts the pure joy of a child's embrace."  
Artist Statement: My art celebrates life in simplicity. I endeavor to communicate through movement and color.

Maria McGinnis

Dimensions: 30" x 24" x 1"
Media: acrylic on canvas
My work depicts the busy life within an abstracted moment in time such as the city nightlife.
Artist Statement: My life experiences influence my art. Creation of my work is based on recovery and power of the mind.

Katie Bowlby

" New Beginnings"
Dimensions: 22" x 28"
Media: Acrylic on Canvas
"My piece depicts the experience of new beginnings. From the perspective of a person raised outside of civilization seeing the city as a far-off land that sparkles and shines through the trees, unlike anything they've ever seen. The true city, however, may not be all sparkle and shine, but a mask designed to call people into it, so perhaps its beckoning is a little more sinister."
Artist Statement: Nature, my self-proclaimed muse, has inspired me all my life into creating. A childhood among the forests in Appalachia, Tolkien fantasy, memory, and whimsical imagination are all themes I enjoy exploring. I thrive on various media, including oils, clay, ink, and charcoal. I am also a student of Fine Arts at Sinclair and was previously featured in Front Street's EDU gallery.

Margie Grove

"City Lights"
Dimensions: 11" in diameter
Media: fused glass 

"Lights, as it is, city lights.  They are many colors, and they are all around us."
Artist Statement: I started out as a painter, and as most painters ,watching paint dry. I looked for something to fill my time. Fused glass fit the bill. My creativity exploded. Now glass is my passion.

Martin Zeinway

Dimensions: 4' x 2'
Media: collage map and Adinkra on paper
My artwork expresses "The Chapters of My Life-Chapter 10-The Identity Issues," Who am I? Three areas of my identity were addressed as follows:
• In the United States of America, I am considered Black, then African, then Liberian.
• When I am among African-Americans, I am considered an African who is Black and from Liberia.
• When I travel to Liberia, I am considered an American who is Liberian. 
All these layers of identity have influenced my work and who I am. Should one's identity be defined by where he /she is born or where he/she lives most of his or her life, by outer appearance, education, or social classification? These are some of the questions I am researching.

Ginny Baughman

Dimensions: 11" x 14"
Media: cut layered paper
"Through my art I promote a dialogue about issues that are close to my heart.  My art is content, not media based, because my choice of media is dictated by my theme.  I utilize a variety of media for my art."

Samantha Farkas

"The Endless Sky"
Dimensions: 24" x 24"
Media: spray paint and marker
"The stark contrast of endless sky juxtaposed with finite birds and wires is a view in every city across the world, big and small cities can both enjoy nature while being reminded of human interference."
Artist Statement: In recent work I have found myself reflecting on the surrealism of modern times. Throughout 2020 to the present I have explored the positive effects of light, illumination and brightness with landscapes and natural subjects through the use of an inviting and radiant color palette to create a welcoming and safe embrace for the observer. A deeper look beyond the luminous and dreamlike color palette reveals a subtler and whimsical realism within each design, summoning the viewer back to a more familiar and natural world.

Abiona Venee

"Hidden Sparkle"
Dimensions: 8" tall, 2" 3/4 wide 
Media: blown glass
"I’ve always been intrigued by the way light reflects off of surfaces. When I’m out in the world I look for what I call nature glitter; the unintentional sparkle that happens in everyday life, objects, plants, things. That sparkle that happens when the sun hits fresh snow just right or when the golden hour sun hits every window in an old factory as you drive by. The sparkle of black pavement streets and the shine that bounces off of a row of cars as they go by. I try to incorporate that same hidden glitter and sparkle into my artwork. This blown glass vessel has an opaque black base color with a powder gold glitter applied to the middle layer. The outer layer of glass has a reduction frit for another added sparkle. Similar to the natural glitter I find throughout the city this piece has a hidden sparkle; when in the right light it will shine!"
Artist Statement: Abiona Venee began working with glass in 2007.

Erica Keener

Dimensions: 24" x 36"
Media: pastel

"The morning commute is a daily routine of life in the city, a mundane and preferably uneventful ritual that nevertheless can provide an opportunity to appreciate the beauty and resilience of the natural world."

Artist Statement: With her bold use of color and her eye for natural detail, Erica’s work captures the world around us, yet requires viewers to reconsider even the most mundane of daily scenes in what she refers to as "luminous brightscapes". In particular she enjoys trying to recreate clouds and storms as they move over the landscape. Erica 's goal is to share that simple, meditative joy she finds in contemplating the ever changing skies above and she would like to encourage everyone to look around more often - especially to look up.

Beau Cook

"Courtside Seats"
Dimensions: 14" x 11"
Media: digital photograph

"Courtside Seats" is very personal. This one embodies my childhood. Staying out on the court with friends until the sun would set, and the streetlights would come on. That feeling of not wanting to go home where you may not belong. The feeling of not wanting to leave your friends. The fear of tomorrow. The end of the game." 

Artist Statement: My name is Beau. Born and raised in St Louis, MO, and a new Ohio resident as of 2021. I started my photography journey when I was in college nearly 20 years ago. As an amateur, I began by shooting street scenes on cheap point & shoot film cameras I would come across. The last time I exhibited any of my work was in 2017. My style is driven by urban life, community, and raw emotion in everyday life. In early 2021, I completely walked away from photography. Two years later, Life in the City is one of my first real attempts at returning to what I believe is my true passion.


Lorna Mantia

Dimensions: 11" x 14"
Media: photography
"The city of Dayton has always been my muse. In my new work I am digging deeper into the hidden areas of Dayton. Still with the focus of capturing the city as it changes."
Artist Statement:  I’m an artist whose medium is Photography. My Art has always been about finding beauty in the overlooked or the declining city scape. My photographs range from industrial abstract to environmental portraiture.

Elissa Porter

"Building 13"
Dimensions: 12" x 8"
Media: Relief/linocut print

"Building 13" relates to "Life in the City" in a very concrete way in that it's a depiction of a building in downtown Dayton that is part of Sinclair Community College. This is where I, like many others in the Dayton area, started my art education journey. Building 13 is specifically the art building at Sinclair where all of the sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography classes happen. So, it's a great representation of the city of Dayton and the arts and students here."

Artist Statement: As a recent Wright State University Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, mother of two, and Dayton native I continue to find my voice in art through looking at art history and other artists, learning to really see my surroundings, and incorporating my experience as a woman, mother, and student into my work. Much of my current artwork has a sense of play and curiosity that reflects the experimentative and playful spirit that comes from both being a student and having small children - who always inspire me to be lighter and always learning.

Cathy Jeffers

"Urban Garden"
Dimensions: 28" x 30"
Media: textile

"I have been spending more time in Dayton due to a project I am involved in and I have noticed so many beautiful urban gardens. The colors are vibrant and one color plays against the next. The sizes of the flowers also work well together.

Art in the City is a good opportunity for me to show my love of flowers,and how the city gardener plans out their garden carefully. It's truly beautiful."

Artist Statement: I have chosen to work with fabric and create art quilts for the last twenty years. I feel like there is so much to say with fabric. I create my contemporary art quilts using commercial and hand-dyed fabrics, fusible, and embellish with all sorts of techniques.  It is hard not to be inspired by the beauty of nature, just like I was in my quilt, Urban Garden.

Kimberly Weiss

"Daily Life in 9 Places"
Dimensions: 12" x 12"
Media: Ink Vignettes on paper
"I have been fortunate in the last 10 years or so to adventure with my mom and visit multiple cities in Europe as well as Central and South America. During those visits, I was able to capture many scenes and moments of city life in my photography, but I was inspired by this artistic challenge to recreate some of those scenes, as well as a few local city life scenes, in one of my favorite formats, freehand black and white ink drawing. Each scene is based on a photograph that I captured."  *from left to right and top to bottom:
1. Laundry in Lima 2. Waiting in Dayton 3. Concert in Cincinnati 4. Block Play in Cusco 5. Hopscotch in Springfield 6. Coffee in Dubrovnik 7. Night Biking in Columbus 8. Venetian Coastal Night 9. Porting in Pisac
Artist Statement: Kimberly Weiss is a Dayton, Ohio native who has expressed herself through one art form or another her whole life. Besides painting and drawing, she has been a vocalist for several bands and has positioned herself as a freelance graphic designer for both commercial and personal design work. She also holds a Bachelors in Economics from Wright State.
Her artistic journey has been long and winding but in 2020, during the pandemic, she reconnected deeply with the more visual aspects of her creativity and began a new adventure under the name, Odyssey Arts. Whether she’s working with canvas, paper, fabric, furniture, or a camera, the goals are always self-expression and to be a mind stretching to connect with the world.

Jamie Adkins

"Red House"
Dimensions: 20" x 16" 
Media: photograph

"Every city has those areas that no one finds attractive. But they are very beautiful in their own unique ways."

Artist Statement: All walls should have paint on them. As an artist I create for those walls. Using a variety of mediums from paint to wood and everything in between I want to be on those walls. I hope you enjoy viewing a couple of pieces as much as I enjoyed creating them.


Tarah Trueblood

"House on Mango Street"
Dimensions: 24" x 24"
Media: acrylic on canvas

"I have always loved the architecture of windows and doors because they suggest passages, mysteries, and opportunities. A walk through the city is exciting, like a walk through a great museum, because the variety of windows and doors seems infinite. I like to imagine myself looking or stepping into another world to see what's next."

Artist Statement: My process is oriented around a theology of presence where the marks, shapes, and passages of color push, pull, and resolve in a balance of harmony and dissonance. Compositions are nuanced through a dialogue among the voices of each mark and brush stroke. Intuitive decisions are made during this dialogue as new perspectives and possibilities present themselves. The sense of order, in whatever form it takes, is an expression of my connection with the aliveness of the world around me and thus with The Great Consciousness.


Christy Veres

"A Corner View"
Dimensions: 30" x 40"
Media: acrylic on canvas

"The window is an actual window from The Mayflower in Troy Ohio"

Artist Statement: I have been an artist all of my life always wanting to create for others’ enjoyment. It is wonderful to see the happiness on the observers’’ faces and to hear their thoughts, both positive and negative, on the works they are observing. I thoroughly enjoy creating art in different media and exploring new ideas. To create a unique take of reality. I am often sidetracked with by new media and projects.

My formal training in art began in high school in Troy, then at the University of Cincinnati, continued at Bowling Green University and was completed at Sinclair Community College. I currently take advantage of the many workshops and training sessions offered.

Because of my interest in many variations of art, I have a variety of followers interested in different forms of my art.

I like to create a unique version of the original in everything I create. I am inspired by my fellow artists, nature and others.


Emily Von Stuckrad-Smolinski

Dimensions: 24" 3/4 x 28" 3/4
Media: pastel on paper
Available: $375
"Iris - A personal favorite flower, I work downtown at CareSource and one of my favorite things to do in the spring is walk around and admire the hidden patches of iris blooming."
Artist Statement: My works find much of their character by using the chosen material combined with technique to create a depth of texture unlike most. Choosing the touch of a finger no matter the media, is always my first choice. Exploring past the expected boundaries, excites me as an artist and breathes energy into my pieces. The works come to life as the materials dictate the path each piece travels.


Sarah Wrona

"Liminal Spaces"

Dimensions: 24"x30"x24"

Media: welded steel and fused glass

"Liminal Spaces is about the area in between the landscape of a city. Cities are about the buildings and the structures humans have built. But in the midst of the buildings are the trees that we need for oxygen. We need to have a mixture of nature and structures in the city. The combination of the steel and glass with the light shining through represents this."

Artist Statement: Sarah Wrona enjoys working in a variety of mediums. She has created works in fused glass, welded steel, wood, crochet, alcohol inks, clay,
photography, and plaster. Her latest endeavor is to combine her welded sculptures with fused glass.


Jacob Hume


Dimensions: 16" x 24"

Media: Photography

"God is found in the deepest hell. Though this alley was littered with trash, feces, and a hanging Kroger bag full of white mystery juice, this degenerative pit felt in my heart to be a place of transformation. This is the real world rock bottom confronting you with the horrible truth that no religion, society, or Ill conceived substance can save you from the life situation you create for yourself. Even though the wayward sinner made his nest here to overdose, the overwhelming tranquility of this grungy church ensured me that a new faith was found. I have no doubt that some have ended their story here, while others end only a chapter, but one thing is for certain; Your last hit will be here in this alley."

Artist Statement: Jacob heals you with Art. By collapsing our perception into a single frame, Jacob entices our inner observer to reconsider what we believe life to be. One photograph can be a signpost to a world of emotion, meaning, and life-lessons all captured within the snapshot of a moment. Photography allows Jacob to "save the world" and create visual statements that transcend the present and impact our future.
He heals himself with Art. It is a great catharsis to display the inner workings of your soul for all to see. Art represents to Jacob the celebration of vulnerability and a stepping into realized selfhood. To be understood is a privilege afforded only to those who understand themselves.
We heal each other with Art. No piece is created in an echo chamber. All art is inspired from the past iterations of itself. Like the sprouts of our family trees, Art flourishes only when the free exchange of energy and ideas is allowed to water the entire forest.

Linda Hart

"After Last Call/ Trolly Stop Patio"

Dimensions: 18" x 12" x 1.5"

Media: watercolor on canvas

"My watercolor painting, After Last Call shows the quiet beauty of the Trolley Stop patio in the Oregon District after the patrons have gone for the night. Easily one of the prettiest outdoor urban spaces, I see beauty in the shadows of the string lights reflecting on the architecture, ivy covered walls and the water feature. This urban space is part of vibrant life in the city and I hope my piece celebrates that."

Artist Statement:  As a watercolor artist that is passionate about bringing out the beauty of urban decay and urban architecture. I strive to bring these images to life for others to enjoy and appreciate.


Libby Morgan

"Nineteen Floors up the Stratacache Tower" 1/1

Dimensions: 10.5" x 16"
Media: woodcut and watercolor

"The City of Dayton exudes magnificence, whether it be through the minute details of its breathtaking architecture or the grand expanse of buildings dissected by the Great Miami River. My prints aim to highlight the variety of beauty in Dayton."

Artist Statement: Libby Morgan is a Printmaking MFA candidate at Miami University Oxford and received her BFA from Wright State University. She is a multi-media artist working primarily in printmaking, textiles, and sculpting. As an Air Force child trying to reconcile a lifetime of moving with the home she is building for herself in Dayton, her work has taken on a journalistic approach. Some recurring themes include transition, domesticity, nature, distance, loneliness, travel, memory loss and the difficulties of being a young woman in the 21st century.

Bruce Soifer

 "Reflecting Pond of Dreams"
Dimensions: 17" x 24"
Media: acrylic print of digital art

"As we work, play, and struggle through the daily life in our city, I try to capture the beauty that we create in our buildings, the opportunities for joy, and the depth of our struggles in these tough times. Walking from the light was captured during the height of Covid and conveys the loneliness we felt. Light up Dayton celebrates our growth and reemergence of Downtown. Reflecting Pond of Dreams looks to the future of our life in the city."

Artist Statement: As a photographer, digital artist, and painter, analyzing light has been the driving force in my art: The direction it comes from, the color, the way it is reflected off different surfaces, or how it passes through materials, and the shadows it creates to show texture. I have been photographing Dayton and all areas around most of my life. When I am showing someone my images or prints, they often ask, "Where is this?" When I answer,
“Dayton, Ohio,” they cannot believe the images are of our city’s architecture or the greenspace down a winding road in a neighborhood close to home. I like to print on different materials, matching the image captured to what fits best, whether paper, aluminum, or canvas. How I see the world around me is what I try to capture with my camera to communicate that perception to others. Each day is different, offering unique opportunities to capture our city and community. I could never get enough time to take advantage of capturing our home town.

Chip Williamson

"The Prophet" Dimensions: 
Media: photograph, framed

"While in Italy, on our last day, I walked around Rome, where we had spent the last six weeks, and photographed the graffiti filled walls. I created an Instagram show of this work, and thought one piece would be appropriate for this show. None have been printed to date. Life in the City includes art, Street art and museum art. Rome has very good examples of both. I think sharing this Roman Street art will connect to all who love Street art in Dayton or any city. To say the least, it was a wonderful way to spend our last day in Italy."

Artist Statement: Local Dayton painter and photographer seeking to find the sacred in our everyday lives. Inspired by artists, any book but especially vintage ones, the natural world and whales.