The Contemporary Dayton opens three new exhibitions

Three new exhibitions open Friday night at The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St., inside the Dayton Arcade.

Willis “Bing” Davis creates a thought-provoking exploration into social justice with the aptly titled “Kneel.” In this installation, he examines police brutality through “kneelers” formed with reclaimed wood sculptures. The Contemporary Dayton says, “In the tradition of African Folk Art prayer, the kneelers metaphorically connect Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests and the fatal action in the murder of George Floyd.”

Samuel Levi Jones provides “The Empire is Falling,” a series of paintings described as being “comprised of the rended covers of books whose purpose is to influence, educate and inform.” Attempting to address “omissions and falsehoods deeply embedded within these volumes,” the work finds Jones sewing the book covers back together to create “uncannily beautiful abstract paintings, often at a large scale.”

Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s “The Boat People” is a reflection of his goal to extract and rework narratives. The Contemporary Dayton describes the work: “Set in an unspecified future at the precarious edge of humanity’s possible extinction, ‘The Boat People’ follows a group of children led by a strong-willed and resourceful little girl, who travel the seas and collect stories of a world they never knew through objects that survived through time.”

The Members Preview is from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday. Public reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Patrons are invited to enjoy donation bar, light bites and an opportunity meet Davis and Jones.

The Contemporary Dayton is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On First Fridays, the gallery is open until 8 p.m.

The exhibitions continue through Jan. 16, 2022. Admission is free.

For more information, call 937-224-3822 or visit

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