Dayton Art Institute will shine like never before

The Dayton Art Institute is offering free admission to nurses the third Sunday of the month thanks to a generous donation. CONTRIBUTED
The Dayton Art Institute is offering free admission to nurses the third Sunday of the month thanks to a generous donation. CONTRIBUTED

A specially programmed LED lighting display will be featured for the holiday season

The Dayton Art Institute is about to get a whole new look.

Though the museum itself is now temporarily closed because of the pandemic, an exterior LED lighting system around the building will be unveiled Wednesday, Nov. 25. Once the switch is flipped, the façade of the historic building will be illuminated each night.

The Dayton Art Institute was in the midst of construction when the Great Depression hit. Because the startup budget was dedicated to building, when the new museum opened in 1930 the galleries were filled with donated art.   TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The Dayton Art Institute was in the midst of construction when the Great Depression hit. Because the startup budget was dedicated to building, when the new museum opened in 1930 the galleries were filled with donated art. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The new lighting, designed by Dayton-based Scenic Solutions, is part of the museum’s ongoing renovations of the grand staircase and fountains and hillside landscaping.

This first phase of lighting will illuminate the front and balcony of the iconic structure. A second phase planned for the future will light the stairs, rotunda and the bronze sculpture of Leo the Lion.

“Adding permanent exterior lighting to our building is something we’ve wanted to do for several years, and we are excited to finally make it a reality,” said Michael R. Roediger, DAI director and CEO, in a release.

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“We are so thankful for a community who continues to support us and step up to care for the arts, so it’s only appropriate that we are able to unveil this new lighting system just prior to Thanksgiving.”

The new lighting will be able to change colors and patterns for holidays, Oktoberfest, Art Ball and community events and observances.

An aerial view of the newly completed DAI museum building, taken around 1930 by noted Dayton Daily News photographer William Preston Mayfield.
An aerial view of the newly completed DAI museum building, taken around 1930 by noted Dayton Daily News photographer William Preston Mayfield.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The DAI will also be able to offer custom color schemes for weddings and other rental events.

Following the unveiling, a specially programmed lighting display will be featured for the holiday season. Special building lightings will be announced on the museum’s social media pages.

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Installation of the lighting system was funded by a Signature Grant from the DP&L Foundation made in honor of the DAI’s 2019 Centennial Celebration.

The museum building was constructed in 1928 and 1929 and opened to the public in 1930. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the museum announced it would close its galleries until further notice due to an increase in coronavirus cases in Montgomery County and Ohio.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the museum again,” Roediger said. “With the implementation of new state-wide restrictions this week and Montgomery County issuing a stay-at-home advisory, we felt it was a necessary step to take, in order to help safeguard the health of the community and our staff.”

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