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ReImagining Works

A Collaborative Art Project with Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Art Institute and Regional Artists

An actor re-invents an author's character. A vocalist re-styles a composer's melody. Now artists will re-imagine a classic work of art from The DAI's collection, in newly created artwork for permanent display at each of the Dayton Metro Library's new libraries.

The first ReImagining Works project features the historic E.C. Doren Branch, which is currently under renovation. It is the first of 17 projects for the new libraries; original, commissioned interior and exterior artwork will be sought for these projects. Each commissioned piece will be conceived in response to artwork in The DAI's permanent collection and will be owned by the Dayton Metro Library.

The Dayton Metro Library is currently accepting proposals from regional artists (250 mile radius of Dayton) for the E.C. Doren project. Artists are invited to propose a newly created artwork conceived in response to either  Stacks in Celebration by Charles Sheeler or  Scene in Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt.

The deadline for proposal submission is midnight on June 17, 2014. The first step is to submit an "Intent to Apply."

Read more at the Dayton Metro Library website

Download the E.C. Doren project RFP

DAI to Receive Nearly $2.2 Million from State Capital Budget for Improvements

Posted April 2, 2014

The Dayton Art InstituteOn April 2, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the State Capital Appropriations Bill which included nearly $2.2M for The Dayton Art Institute to help fund an extensive renovation project at the museum.

“The legislative delegation from the Miami Valley region is to be commended for their bipartisan support and advocacy for the funding,” said The DAI’s Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The funding will help create efficiencies that will help make The DAI’s historic building more accessible, ecologically sound and financially sustainable.”

“The capital budget process is highly competitive. We are grateful to the governor and our legislators for making such a significant investment in one of the region’s great cultural assets,” said Bear Monita, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the DAI.

The iconic 1930 building, listed on the National Historical Register, is considered an architectural and artistic gem of the Dayton community.

The building requires work on its HVAC systems; ingress and egress points; and support systems for technology that will make it accessible and relevant to the next generation. Permanent capital improvements will address deferred maintenance, and energy efficiency measures will be completed. These changes will help the museum continue to draw audience that will support economic vitality and a high quality of life in the region.

Read more: Region's art projects to get $9.3 million

Leo Bistro Winter Hours Announced

Posted January 7, 2014

Leo BistroFrom November 22, 2013 through January 5, 2014, Leo Bistro welcomed guest purveyor Ghostlight Coffee of South Park on weekday evenings. “Ghostlight at Night” featured exceptional coffees, espresso drinks, locally sourced snacks and specialty cocktails from The Dayton Cocktail Co. Special events included a Repeal Party and a Belgian Ale tasting.

Beginning Wednesday, January 8, Leo Bistro will be open 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, unless special programming is scheduled in the museum. For the most up-to-date information, check, or call 937-223-4ART (4278). Leo Bistro will remain open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Bottled drinks and a selection of favorite local snacks will be available for purchase at the Guest Services Desk during all hours the museum is open, and a seating area will be available for museum guests just outside The Museum Store or in the General Motors Entrance Rotunda.

Leo Bistro will be available to schedule private events from 4 – 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Please contact Kevin Tunstall (937-512-0162 or or Diane Haskell (937-512-0131 or to book your business meeting, reception, buffet or seated dinner.

The Dayton Art Institute enjoyed hosting Ghostlight Coffee during the 2013 holiday season and encourages everyone to visit Ghostlight’s location on Wayne Avenue. The museum looks forward to welcoming guests to its many exhibitions, social events and educational programs in 2014.

The first of these new events and programs takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8. Warm up your Wednesday night at The DAI, with the debut of the museum’s new  Side By Side docent program at 6 p.m. Rick Hoffman and Janet Estep will join forces to compare two narrative paintings in the museum’s collection: the Master of Marradi’s Judith and Holofernes and Robert Brackman’s Life About Me. Which painting was likely stripped from another object? Which one speaks to a Ukrainian heritage? Learn the back story with this lively discussion in the museum galleries.

Side By Side gallery talks take place on select Wednesday evenings, and they are free to members and included in the price of general admission for non-members. Meet in the museum rotunda at 6 p.m.

Start the evening or continue the fun afterwards by joining Director of Engagement Jane Black in Leo Bistro for a related pairing. In homage to the Master of Marradi’s Judith and Holofernes – Italian wine and beer, or a fine espresso from our “Dada Java” machine. And as a nod to Robert Brackman’s New York City in the 1950s – an assortment of spiced cocktail nuts. This limited menu will be available from 4 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8.

Dayton Artist Homer Hacker Passes Away

Posted December 21, 2013

Homer HackerEveryone at The Dayton Art Institute was saddened to learn of the passing of noted Dayton artist and DAI art school alumnus Homer Hacker on Friday, December 20. The museum extends its sympathies to his family.

Homer Hacker was a Dayton treasure. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1935, having concurrently spent six years on scholarship at The Dayton Art Institute studying with John King, Edward Burroughs and Martha Schauer. He went on to Ohio University, graduating cum laude in journalism, economics and English literature.

Hacker spent 22 years at the Dayton Daily News, much of that time working as Art Director and Chief Photographer. In 1961 he moved on to another Dayton Institution, Top Value Enterprises, where he worked as Director of Creative Services and Special Events.

During this time, Hacker began painting in watercolor and soon was teaching and exhibiting – a passion he pursued for another 40 years. He was a co-founder of Art Center Dayton in the 1940s; helped establish Kettering’s Rosewood Gallery in the 1970s; was a charter member of the Ohio Watercolor Society in the 1980s; and during this time had more than 30 one-man shows in museums and galleries across the nation. He received the Montgomery County Cultural District’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008; and was honored with the prestigious Elizabeth Callan medal in 2009 at the American Watercolor Society International Exhibition.

In 2012, The Dayton Art Institute and Dayton Visual Arts Center collaborated to present an exhibition of his work at the museum, held in conjunction with the Norman Rockwell exhibition, American Chronicles.

Image: Nova Scotia, Homer Hacker, transparent watercolor

Leo Bistro Partners with Ghostlight Coffee
for the Holidays

Posted November 14, 2013

Ghostlight CoffeeLeo Bistro will partner with historic South Park’s Ghostlight Coffee during the holiday season, to offer “Ghostlight at Night” on weekday evenings at the Bistro. Ghostlight at Night will feature hand-poured, artisan-roasted coffees by Ghostlight Coffee and hand-crafted signature cocktails by the Dayton Cocktail Co., as well as a small-plate menu of sharable snacks. Ghostlight at Night hours will be Tuesday – Friday, 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., beginning Friday, November 22 and continuing through January 3.

[ Read More ]

Leo Bistro Announces Annual Vacation

Posted September 16, 2013

Leo BistroLeo Bistro, the restaurant at The Dayton Art Institute, will go on hiatus for the week leading up to The DAI’s biggest event – the 42nd Annual Oktoberfest on September 27 – 29. Leo will take a vacation and be closed for business, September 23 – October 1, while the museum grounds and surrounding streets are being fenced; set up with temporary electrical power; and blocked by stages, tents and crowds of fun seekers. When Leo Bistro reopens on October 2, it will be fully powered by Elite Catering, and there will be a new, innovative menu that demonstrates what happens when food meets art.

[ Read More ]

The State of the Arts

Posted May 24, 2013

What do the arts contribute to our communities? A lot! Check out this geat infographic from Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Ohio's creative industries contributed $23.6 billion to Ohio's economy in 2012 - and much more!

Download graphic as a PDF

The State of the Arts

Former DAI Director Bruce Evans Passes Away

Posted May 17, 2013

Bruce EvansEveryone at The Dayton Art Institute was saddened to hear of the passing of former DAI Director Bruce Evans earlier this week.

Bruce (pictured here at Oktoberfest in the early 1980s) joined the museum as a curator in 1965. He was appointed Director in 1974 and served in that capacity until 1991, when he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as Director of the Mint Museum of Art. During his career, he chaired numerous committees and was elected president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Our condolences go out to his family.

Read Bruce Evans' Obituary

Leo Bistro Opens February 22

Posted February 20, 2013

Leo BistroThe Dayton Art Institute's new Leo Bistro restaurant will open to the public on Friday, February 22. Leo Bistro will be open during regular museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. For additional information or reservations by phone, call 937-512-0146.

Expanded Museum Hours Announced

Posted January 31, 2013

The Dayton Art InstituteThe Dayton Art Institute has announced plans to expand its hours, reopening on Tuesdays and adding evening hours.

“We’ve heard many requests for expanded hours and more evening hours, to better accommodate busy schedules,” says Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “Beginning Tuesday, February 19, we are making it easier for you to enjoy your Dayton Art Institute. The museum will reopen on Tuesdays and add additional evening hours during the week.”

[ Read More ]

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan Named Curator

Posted September 16, 2012

Aimee Marcereau DeGalanThe Dayton Art Institute has announced the appointment of Aimee Marcereau DeGalan as the museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions.

“After a year-long national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Marcereau DeGalan as The DAI’s new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions,” says Dayton Art Institute Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “Many exciting new things are happening at the museum this fall, and Aimee’s addition is a key component in shaping our vision of the DAI as a vibrant destination in Dayton.”

[ Read More ]

DAI Invites Community to Watch Olympics on the Auditorium's Big Screen

Posted July 31, 2012

Olympics PartyFollowing the success of its Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party last Friday, The Dayton Art Institute is inviting the community to watch Olympics coverage on the big screen in its NCR Renaissance Auditorium on select weekdays.

“The opening ceremonies looked amazing in high-definition on the auditorium’s big screen,” says DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “We are giving more people the opportunity to experience the Olympic Games on the big screen.”

Olympics coverage will be shown in the auditorium from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, August 1
  • Thursday, August 2
  • Friday, August 3
  • Wednesday, August 8
  • Thursday, August 9
  • Friday, August 10.

All viewings are free and open to the public.

Please note that no outside food or beverages may be brought into the museum. The museum’s Café, located on the lower level adjacent to the General Motors Entrance Rotunda, will be open for lunch. Beverages with screw-top lids may be taken into the auditorium, but no food is allowed in this space.

The recent DAI Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party was part of its new Prime Time Party Rental Series, which will also feature a Superhero Costume Ball on August 17 and a James Bond Martini Bash on October 26.

DAI to Participate in Blue Star Museums Program

Posted June 26, 2012

Blue Star MuseumsThe Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has announced that it will take part in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America, to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day 2012.

“Our military personnel and their families have given – and continue to give – so much to protect our country,” said DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “This program is an important way for us to say ‘thank you’ and give something back to them.”

During the program, DAI will offer free museum general admission to all active duty military personnel and their families, as well as discounted admission to the special exhibition You Are My Superhero, which opens July 22. In addition, DAI will offer active duty military personnel and their families a $10 discount on the purchase of a new museum membership or a membership renewal.

“The Dayton Art Institute is a significant cultural asset in our community. They are opening their doors and supporting our servicemembers and their families. I’d like to thank them for participating in this program and encourage our military community to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Congressman Mike Turner.

In 2012, more than 1,800 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 70 children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,800 museums this summer,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community.”

“As we enter the third consecutive year of the Blue Star Museums program, we are happy provide an opportunity for our nation’s service members and their families to connect with our national treasures,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,800 museums across the United States, military families have an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museums directly. Leadership support for Blue Star Museums has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. A complete list of participating museums is available at The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.

For more information about The Dayton Art Institute’s participation in Blue Star Museums, please visit or call the museum at 937-223-5277. Be sure to also visit The Dayton Art Institute on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for additional information and offers.

Blue Star Museums is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

DAI Announces Plans for New Community Gathering Space

Posted June 12, 2012 DAI to create gathering space

WNKU interviews Executive Director Michael Roediger

Gathering Space RenderingThe Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has announced plans for a summer renovation project that will combine its Café and Museum Store into a new community gathering space.

“We will create a new community gathering place where visitors experience an open floor plan that unites The Café and The Museum Store, and offers extended and more consistent hours,” says DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “This new space will be all about serving visitors and making them feel welcome at DAI, by providing a fuller museum experience. Guests will enjoy coffee, wine, food, shopping and more, to inspire them to return on a regular basis.”

The plan calls for combining the existing Museum Store, Fifth Third Private Dining Room and Café spaces into a new open area, easily accessible from the museum’s General Motors Entrance Rotunda. This new space will allow The Café to remain open independent of the museum, with greater visibility and opportunities for wine tastings and food events. The new configuration will also mean greater visibility and increased traffic for The Museum Store.

The combined space will allow visitors to relax and recharge while dining and shopping. Wi-Fi, made possible by a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant the museum received in 2011, will be available in the new space, as well as throughout the museum galleries. Roediger sees the new space appealing not only to regular museum visitors, but also to young professionals, students, artists and downtown residents.

“Of the census tracts that make up the city of Dayton, the downtown tract grew by more than 17 percent in the last decade,” notes DAI Associate Director Jane A. Black. “People live downtown and want great entertainment close to home. That increase in downtown population is something we believe DAI must work to capitalize on, by being both an art museum and an entertainment center.”

The project, designed by Mitolo Studio, Inc. of Dayton, will cost an estimated $250,000. A private benefactor has agreed to fund $200,000 of the project.

Construction will begin when the current special exhibition Changing Landscapes closes on June 17, with the new space slated to open for the beginning of Oktoberfest on September 21. The Café and The Museum Store will be temporarily relocated downstairs, off the special exhibition galleries, during construction.

Dayton Art Institute & Zoot Theatre Company Announce Partnership

Posted April 23, 2012

The Zoot Theatre Company
The Zoot Theatre Company's recent
production of The Pearl.
NCR Renaissance Auditorium
NCR Renaissance Auditorium

The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) and Dayton’s Zoot Theatre Company have announced a partnership that will make The Zoot Theatre Company a resident company in the museum’s NCR Renaissance Auditorium.

“The Zoot Theatre Company is a visual art medium whose mission fits beautifully with our vision of making our campus a destination for guests to come for a variety of enriching visual arts experiences,” says The Dayton Art Institute’s Executive Director Michael Roediger.

The new partnership will offer Zoot the ability to host a full, main-stage production season in a central, recognizable location. It will also allow the theatre company to expand its programming, especially in the area of education and workshops. Currently, Zoot must travel to a participant’s location in order to conduct mask or puppetry workshops, which have become increasing popular. With the new partnership, they will be able to host workshops at DAI.

“For Zoot and DAI, this is an obvious partnership, as both organizations specialize in visual arts, with the only difference being that Zoot’s gallery is the stage,” says The Zoot Theatre Company’s Executive Director Michael Sticka. “By becoming the resident company in the NCR Renaissance Auditorium, Zoot is now able to scale up our productions, including producing shows that are able to run two or three consecutive weeks, thus giving more theatre-goers a chance to see our stunning work.”

Through this partnership, DAI and Zoot see opportunities to collaborate on productions, education workshops, exhibits specifically tied to performances, performances specifically tied to exhibits, and festivals.

“The benefits for both organizations include expanded audiences, joint marketing and membership opportunities, and greater educational opportunities for children,” says Roediger. “We really see this as a new model for cooperation between two arts organizations.”

“This past year, we were fortunate enough to be the resident company in the Schuster Center’s Mathile Theatre, as a part of Victoria Theatre Association’s Impact Program, thanks to Ken Nuefeld and the Victoria Theatre Association’s support and generosity,” says Sticka. “With the mission of the Impact Program being to assist developing arts organizations until they ‘outgrow’ the program, I would consider this a huge testament to the success of the Impact Program.”


To learn more about The Zoot Theatre Company, visit Be sure to also look for both organizations on Facebook and Twitter.

The Dayton Art Institute is committed to enriching lives and serving the community by creating meaningful experiences with art.

The Zoot Theatre Company aims to stimulate the creative spirit through the collaboration of all forms of artistic expression including professional acting, masks, and puppetry by bringing theatrical arts to a variety of peoples in regional and educational venues.

DAI Receives $45,000 Gift from The Dayton Foundation for Roof Repairs

Posted February 29, 2012

The Dayton Art InstituteThe Dayton Art Institute (DAI) will be able to make an important step in completing needed building repairs, thanks to the generosity of The Dayton Foundation. DAI announced today that The Dayton Foundation pledged a gift of $45,000 to the museum for critical roof repairs.

“We are very thankful to The Dayton Foundation for making this commitment to The Dayton Art Institute,” Executive Director Michael R. Roediger said. “This gift is a positive first step in getting the facilities in the condition required to safeguard our permanent collection and to move forward with new, innovative programs and exhibitions being planned for DAI.”

The Dayton Foundation requested that DAI consider its long-term strategic needs and prepare a letter of intent that would help the new leadership team of Roediger and Associate Director Jane A. Black begin with a solid foundation.

“DAI is planning to take action in a manner that is respectful of upcoming events, while moving forward quickly with repairs that protect our incredible collection and return items to the galleries that have been taken off view,” Black said.

Roediger noted that The Dayton Art Institute also has requests out to other benefactors for repairs to plaster damage that was done in some galleries due to roof leaks. The museum is also investigating what actions are necessary to rectify a leak in a lower gallery area due to drainage issues in the Italian Cloister.

“While this is an important step, there are many other needs still to be met,” Roediger added. “Like any historic structure, our museum facility has many ongoing maintenance needs, including repairs and upgrades to the parking lot, front steps and doors, just to name a few. We have also received a $75,000 challenge grant from the Berry Family Foundation to help with repairs, and the Rip and Denise Hale Family have made a gift that will help restore the Italian Cloister.”

Individuals and organizations interested in making a gift toward repair and maintenance needs at the museum may contact DAI’s Development Department, at 937-223-5277, ext. 239. Donations may also be made online, at


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TUESDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
THURSDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
FRIDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
SATURDAY 10 a.m. - 5 p.m
SUNDAY Noon - 5 p.m.
DECEMBER 24 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
DECEMBER 25 Closed
DECEMBER 31 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
JANUARY 1 Closed
Leo Bistro will be closed Dec. 24-25 & Jan. 1
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