Art in Real Life


Art in Real Life

Critical Conversations on Creativity and Community

Past Events:

Out There

a Live Performance by Art-Pop Psychedelic Duo Princess as Part of their World Premiere Tour, including stops at the Andy Warhol Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and MOCA Cleveland

Saturday, April 6, 2019 | 6:30-9 p.m.


About Out There

The Contemporary Dayton, as part of their new series Art in Real Life, will present Out There (2019; 4K video, live performance; 55:20min), a concept video album and live performance piece by the band Princess. The video’s science fiction narrative explores the power of the Divine Feminine through references of MTV and Devo. Princess is made up of NY-based performance artists and musicians, Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill, who will perform the music alongside the projection of the video.

The performance will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019, through a collaboration with The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) and design studio Jetpack. Both organizations are situated next door to each other in downtown Dayton at 118 N. Jefferson Street. The performance and artist Q&A will take place at Jetpack from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a casual reception with the artists in The Contemporary’s galleries from 7:30-9 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door: $6 for Adults and $4 for Students. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The World Premiere of Out There will be this spring at the Andy Warhol Museum followed by a tour at other institutions including the NYC premiere at New Museum, MCA San Diego, MOCA Cleveland, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, The Bass, DePaul Art Museum, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, five 21c Museum locations and many other institutions. Click here for full tour information

About Princess

Princess is a performance art collaboration between Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill that uses music as the backbone of a multi-disciplinary practice. Princess explores queerness and the concept of masculinity. Simultaneously gay, straight, queer, masculine and feminine, Princess embodies the fluidity and coherence between the seemingly contradictory. Princess was formed in 2004 in the Chicago DIY Performance space Texas Ballroom. The duo released a self-titled LP and performed until 2006 when they went on to pursue other paths, reuniting for this project in 2017.

About the Artists

Alexis Gideon has performed and exhibited throughout the world, including at Moderna Museet Stockholm, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Vdrome, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Time Zones Festival Italia. He has toured internationally and opened for Dan Deacon and tUnE-yArDs.

Michael O’Neill has collaborated with JD Samson of Le Tigre and, with her, formed the acclaimed art/performance band MEN. MEN toured extensively around the world including festival appearances at Coachella (USA) and Sidney Mardi Gras (AUS), at museums such as SF MoMA (USA) and Museo Rufino Tamayo (MX), and with Gossip, Peaches and CSS. Michael has also performed in a long list of queer and indie-pop bands including The Ladybug Transistor, Air Waves, The Ballet and The Aislers Set.

About Jetpack

Jetpack is a full-service web design agency nestled in the heart of downtown Dayton, Ohio. Started by two web professionals, Eric Ditmer and Tony Wartinger, they are a small, nimble, and capable team with over 20 years of experience. They’ve worked at various agencies in the Ohio region and have created a studio dedicated to crafting quality work that is unique to each client’s needs.

The Creative Life: A Dayton Arts Collaborative Symposium

Opening Night Talk

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Modern College of Design
1725 East David Road
Kettering, Ohio 45440

6:00-7:00 p.m.

A Conversation with Sharon Louden and Steven Matijcio

A guided conversation between Steven Matijicio, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, and Sharon Louden, artist, educator, activist and author of “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life.”


Panel Discussions

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Dayton Metro Library
215 East Third Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402

1-2:30 p.m.

Why Does Creative Culture Matter?

Featuring a diverse cross-section of professionals from the Southern Ohio region, hear diverse perspectives from developers, community change agents, and more.
• Calcagro Cullen, Executive Director, Wave Pool Arts Center
• Amanda Golden, Co-Founder and Principal, Designing Local
• Kate Bonansinga, Director, School of Art, University of Cincinnati
• Tess Little and Willis Bing Davis, Co-Founders, REACH


3-4:30 p.m.

The Creative Life: Challenges and Rewards

Regional artists share their successes and life experiences in their journey in the creative sector.
• Ashley Jonas, Co-Founder Blue House Gallery, Lecturer University of Dayton
• Nick Arnold, Galleries Coordinator, University of Dayton
• Migiwa Orimo, interdisciplinary Artist
• Rodney Veal, choreographer and interdisciplinary artist

In the Spirit of Re-Discovery

Opening Presentation, The 26th Annual R.E.A.C.H. Across Dayton Conference

Friday, February 22 | 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Smith Auditorium, Sinclair Community College

free & open to all

online registration coming soon

Ongoing Events & Artist Opportunities

Annual Artist Town Hall Meeting

Held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, The Contemporary Dayton invites artists to learn about opportunities for the coming year from representatives from local and regional visual arts organizations. Includes time for networking and group discussion of issues and needs.


Art Lunch

1st & 3rd Thursday of the month

Noon-1 p.m.

Bring a brown bag lunch; network with other artists; bring a piece of art to “show and tell”; take part in critiques and lively discussion of area art events.

For up-to-date info, join Art Lunch, Public Group, Facebook.



The Contemporary Dayton is proud to be hosting the only Art-o-mat in Ohio! As part of our mission to provide art for the community and a community for artists Art-o-mat fits The Contemporary Dayton perfectly!

Guidelines for Artists To Participate:

Art-o-mat® submissions from artists are welcome at any time. Since our project is ongoing, we are always interested in new work. We fully respect the rights of artistic freedom and enjoy working with artists of all levels. However, Art-o-mat machines are not as forgiving when it comes to size/structure. Strict adherence to our guidelines is necessary as any deviation from the specifications below will cause vending difficulty, logistical problems and unnecessary expense. Our selections are made based on effort, craftsmanship and originality. With that said, a key factor in our review process is how the final piece will be viewed in the hands of someone who may have never bought art before. Once accepted, where your artwork is placed is based on the needs of each venue. There are 120 Art-o-mat locations throughout the world. For each work sold you will receive $2.50. If all goes well, prepare to be asked for more. If you are only able to keep us in stock periodically, that is ok. But, consider your involvement as a long term relationship and send work when you can. We want Art-o-mat to be part of your ongoing art production/promotion. Here’s how you get started:

Documentation Done for You
The Contemporary Dayton can also document your work for you for a very reasonable fee! Drop off your work on a designated day and receive your high-res images, ready to upload to the site, about a week later.