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Life in the City 2022 Exhibition

Opening Night: August 5th | 5pm - 9pm
Closing Reception: August 21st | 11am - 4pm

Thirty 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, photographs, sculptures, and fiber art.  

Congratulations to this year's "Best in Show" recipient, Lorna Jahn!  Lorna is a native to Dayton, Ohio and a returning artist to Life in the City.  "My photographic style is influenced by a wide variety of art and artist. I don’t use filters or other manipulation of my photos, I like to capture what my eye sees."

SAVE THE DATE: Lorna will show her work in a solo exhibit here at Front Street in April 2023.  The show will open April 7, 2023.

“Night Watcher” - VOTED BEST IN SHOW
Lorna Jahn 
digital photograph
My work relates to Life in the City in that the city is my canvas, I often find beauty in places often unseen by most. Sometimes capturing places before they are gone.

Ashlyn Dressman 
Life in the city to me means art, expression, and community. Public art is something I have always admired and believe to be extremely important for communities based in an urban environment. Art is inspiring and can easily make a space positive and uplifting. My tufted artworks relate to life in the city because the city holds the people that inspire me to create everyday. In my opinion, collaboration is key when creating art. Cities are about learning new things and meeting new people and that is exactly what my tufted art has done for me in the past year.

“5/3 Field Dragon's Game”
Bruce Soifer
photography, aluminum print 
I feel it is important to show the true beauty around us and what is accessible to us. By showing our town and surrounding area through my lens and mind's eye view, I can open the eyes of the beholder so they may start to see Dayton anew.  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 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.

“Blue and Copper Brick Wall”
Christine Blair
screen print, monoprint on paper
During the initial lockdown of the pandemic I viewed my urban environment from inside my home in South Philadelphia.  During this time I started to really observe and appreciate the details of my small city row home. I made a series of “House Portraits” in printmaking.  As we were able to leave our homes little by little, I started to walk a lot in my city of Philadelphia. I have always loved walking in my urban environment. When I walk in the city I notice its beauty in surfaces and textures that are manmade and have been affected by time passing. I made artwork about my exposed brick wall in my home during lockdown, but the series of brick screen prints I made as our world opened show some of what I notice and appreciate in my city in general.  

“This One Time on Clay Street”
Christy Veres
My painting is inspired by a photograph of a now demolished building in Troy, Ohio.   Buildings adorned with chipped paint reveal the timelessness of structures throughout our cities.  Using a variety of techniques I strive to capture the essence of this timeless structure before it is replaced.

“Shade” June 2022
Chip Williamson
The energy of the Imperial City draws millions of visitors every year inside its walls. And I was privileged to spend 6 weeks this summer enjoying all Rome Italy had to offer. Our days were filled with urban adventures through the city of faith and culture. Its history, art and architecture led us from one fantastic street to yet another and another. And then there is the people, so welcoming. The Italian people love good food, good conversation and the opportunity to share their stories. Being tourists, we always asked questions and the people we met always had a story or a recipe or an experience to share with us.
This painting is one of several dozen I completed in Rome. In this particular painting I was seeking to capture a typical scene in Rome. It is hot in the summer and shade is a premium. So as tourists, both foreign and domestic, walk the city, every tree’s shadow is a friend. Here quite a few people have gathered under this tree near Chiesa Santa Maria de Loreto and Trajan’s Column. A vendor is taking advantage of the captured audience.

Cynthia Tipton
ceramic stoneware
When I see a city brimming with people, I have the urge to sculpt each of their faces. The face structure, expression, complexion, look in the eyes, etc., are clues to the personality of each. My faces, in their many shapes, colors and looks, reflect the diversity of people in the city.

Emily Von Stuckrad
oil on canvas
Emily’s fingerpaint style allows her to connect personally with her work.  With the absence of an extension and with every fingerprint, Emily feels a direct connection and paints with intention.  “2019” was inspired by the toll Covid has taken on our city and others around the world.  

“The Only Two in the World”
Eric Wright
digital photograph
I work in several different disciplines of photography; street, wildlife, landscape. I see city life and street photography as an extension and part of wildlife photography. I am simply looking for a moment worth capturing in the life of an animal, in this case the human animal, in its environment.

Zion Baptist Church
Erin Glenn-Smith
graphite on paper
Mt Zion Baptist Church is located in Cincinnati OH, and was a former underground railroad safe stop.  Currently the building offers low cost housing to its residents.  This image celebrates the 50th anniversary Fair Housing initiative that Dr M.L.King once pioneered and successfully saw come to pass. 

“View from the Window”
Fabienne Bee
“This view of the rugged mountains and lake can be seen from the window of a modern hotel…all the buildings and monuments that man creates, yet we still enjoy the view of nature out the window.”

Jacob Hume
digital photography
This selection depicts an aged cityscape struggling to adapt to a modern, changing world. Does technology empower us or keep us tethered to a network matrix? Can we build anew without wiping away the old? Will we ever learn to appreciate and maintain what we already have? A simple stroll down a city block can raise some of life's deepest questions if you have the patience to ask.

“The Oceanside at Ft. Lauderdale FL”
Janavi Goldblum
pencil, highlighter, ink
“The Oceanside at Ft. Lauderdale, Fl” is a piece from an architectural series I completed while living or visiting in different cities. The series is a reflection of the diversity in architecture that exists from one city to the next.  I came to associate certain architectural styles, scenes, or even one specific building with moments, memories, and feelings that have stayed with me long after I left these places.   In this drawing I capture a walkway of Spanish-style high-rises that remind me of evening walks with my grandmother scored by soft waves and swaying palm.


“Love Fart, Washington D.C.”
Jen Hunter
photography, vinyl poster
I love wandering cities, amongst the hustle, framing a fresh take on architectural features, textures, pops of color, and people living life in the city.  “Love Fart” was photographed in Washington D.C.


"Light at the Edge - Levels" 
Jeremy Mudd
film photography print on Kodak Endura paper
“Light at the Edge - Levels” is an image that is part of a larger, ongoing body of work entitled "Life at the Edge.”   Life at the Edge focuses on the time between 4am and 6am, when urban life is quiet. People are either asleep, finishing their long night, or waking up during this period - during the edge of the approaching dawn of the new day.

“Chelsea Water Towers”
Jonah Hunter
I had the opportunity to live in NYC and grew to love the city in all its glory. This art represents how I spent my life in the city when I wasn’t working my restaurant job in The East Village.


“The Return”
Kathleen Caffery
ink and gouache
The decline of Dayton has been well documented, whole neighborhoods being lost to highways and redlining. Yet the story of the recovery of Dayton is being told with less zeal, and this image created expresses this aspect. St. Anne’s Hill is a historic district in downtown Dayton that suffered along with the rest of Dayton while under republican governorship and corporate abandonment. Images of the whole area for decades were dramatic. Buildings boarded up, lots full of wood and trash, whole blocks lost to disrepair. But that was then. The recovery of Dayton is far from complete, but progress has now become the theme of much of the city. “The Recovery” shows the interior of a Church in St. Anne’s Hill that is currently in the process of repair. In the windows are the same houses mentioned above - now repaired and among the most well-known areas in the city. Loss and decay can happen but despair need not follow.

“The Sand Forest”
Kelly Ingerson
framed photograph 

Located at the city’s edge, visitors​ come​ by the thousands in the summer, giving the beach a human presence. In the months when the beaches are quiet, there is an uncomplicated beauty of open space; the place where the water meets the sand.The rhythm of the waves washing onto the beach cleanses the soul; the salty air tossed around by the breeze, opens your heart. The noise from the bars and restaurants, now echo in the past, and the pier stands quiet in the tranquil waters where children played, and men fished. It’s here you find the treasures. Sand patterns so different and unique, visible as the tide recedes, only to be erased by a single wave; thousands of tiny particles of sand spurn in every direction creating anew design opening the mind to thousands of possibilities.Buckroe Beach ~ Hampton Virginia, 2016

“Window Pane”
Kelsey Wolford
resin and mixed media
"Window Pane" City life has so much, but the one thing I love about it is all the old architecture. This piece is inspired by looking through an old distorted window pane and seeing the city abstracted by it. Not as fully recognized objects, but as colors and light. This box has lights behind it that react to the sound in the area. This is to represent how much looking through that window things can change based on time of day or who or what is around.  

“Nine Lives”
Linda Hart
watercolor on canvas
Like any city which is going through a rebirth, Dayton has many deteriorating buildings waiting for development. This building with great bones located near the Second Street Market has a rich history starting as a coal yard, then a freight terminal and finally as a builders supply company. Recently purchased by a developer, I can't wait to see how it contributes next to life in the city of Dayton in its newest incarnation.


 photo coming soon
“Around the City”
Margie Grove
fused glass
Each section on the platter is something you see on walls all over cities. These cities can be found all over the world. A person's expression to be shared by many! I like to share mine in glass. This piece has 4 different types of glass on it. The four types are sheet, shaved, frit, and glass paint.


“Fall From Grace”
Molly Christian
charcoal and crayon
A theme in my work is time and how throughout the seasons of our lives, we experience a wide range of different emotions. In my angels and cemeteries series, I explore these emotions being portrayed outwardly, while most of the time we keep them hidden.  My work uses reference photos of Cemeteries or "Cities of the Dead" from all over. A more appropriate description may be afterlife in the city.

“First playoff win in 22 years. WHO DEY!”
Nick Dailey
digital photograph
Born and raised in Dayton Ohio but have traveled to many wonderful and beautiful areas on the rock we call Earth. Ranging from icebergs and penguins to forests and waterfalls in Oregon, I love having my camera on me capturing the moment.  Whether it's a person doing an activity, celebrating a "holiday", or just going about life, the city captures so much movement involving life.

“City Overgrown Smiling Face”
Renee Hopson
mixed media on paper
These works are an exploration of combining my love for natural and urban environments. Reflecting on how they exist independently, together, and in conflict with each other.  I find inspiration in the world around me, both natural and urban settings. But it’s my love for the tactility of the materials that keeps me painting, drawing and exploring new visual solutions for my journaling, paintings, and design work.

“Side Mirror”
Rusty Harden
ink, SOLD
A glance in the side mirror reveals a stunning sunset along Dayton's Skyline. A view of where we have been.

“Gem City Skyline”
Ryan Taylor
digital photograph
Dayton is home, and some may say that you never forget your roots. I choose to take images of my home city as it embodies everything I am and to where I'm going. Remember where you came from to know where you're going.


“Best Seat in the House”
Samantha Wott
acrylic painting
This piece was inspired by The Loft Theater in Dayton. A part of the city’s history and location.  At times I focus on the people and their performance trying to capture them in a moment of action across the stage. This one I focused on the theater itself. The view from the center balcony with the theater rolling out before you. The vast feeling of it with its bright colors and simple structure. The Best Seat in the House.

Sara Sturdivant
digital photography
As a child, I think I feared the closeness of city life, it felt dangerous and scary. I feared for my future children and the unknown life of a child in the city. As an adult parent living in the city with my child exploring our new home and creating in a space now touched by so many people, options and conveniences that scared feeling has been expanded into excitement and uncertainty, but a comfort in knowing that at least there will be witnesses if my childhood fears come true.  This work reflects on a feeling of congestion I worry about when my son experiences growing up in a city. While my childhood experience was full of wide open spaces and large yards, which provided a different sense of safety in space and adventure. In this work I followed him as he explored with a similar feeling of adventure the tight spaces and close safety he feels existing in a city space. 

“The Brooch”
Sarah Brashears
mixed media wall sculpture
“The Brooch” is part of a series of saucy, scandalous, storytelling book sculptures, "The Brooch," is a piece of historical fiction about Dayton, Ohio. An artistic map of real Dayton city buildings, the story takes place in those buildings over multiple decades and multiple lives. The tale of mystery, rumor, and regret is indeed fiction to be discovered in the minds of the viewers. However the theme of misogyny in the Dayton workplace certainly would not be a tale of fiction. The 1931 novel, Skyscraper, by Faith Baldwin, plays a role both informatively and physically in this piece of wall art. Who do you think ends up with the stolen brooch? Where is it hidden today?

“Steele Joy”
Sarah Wrona
welded metal sculpture
Steel Joy represents the buildings of a city merged with the influence of nature. The straight edges of the buildings have been softened and could almost be mistaken for trees.

“My Side Yard”
Tracy Foskuhl
oil on panel
Since I live in the city of Dayton proper, my inspiration comes from the scenes around me. As a plein air painter, I am on the lookout for scenes that inspire me to paint. I've painted my own yard multiple times, as well as downtown views, and many of the MetroParks. All these locations tell the tale of the love I have for my city.