The African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG) was started in 1992 by three local artists; Curtis Barnes Sr., Willis “Bing” Davis, and Ronnie Williams. These three aspiring artist envisioned a place where all emerging African American artists could come together and share their passion, ideas, and creativity for the Arts. In the late 80’s and the early 90’s, showcasing the work of artists, especially African American artists, were under-recognized by contemporary galleries and museums through out the world. Mr. Barnes, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Williams felt that is was vital to create an organization that would keep the dreams and passion for the arts alive.
Our emphasis have been placed on visual exploration featuring contemporary art, traditional fine art, paintings, crafts, photography, sculptures, and other types of visual art.
We represent and support the creative diversity of the African American community and its relationship with contemporary society.
For over a decade, The African American Visual Artists Guild has been recognized locally as a venue that encourages innovative, thoughtful visual presentations while nurturing emerging talent. Since its inception, AAVAG has been a leading proponent of prominent African American Artists such as “Bing” Davis, Tyrone Geter and Mason Archie and other prosperous and talented artist from the Dayton and surrounding areas. Almost all of the artists in the organization have won numerous of awards locally and nationally. In 2008, Mr. Curtis Barnes Sr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Arts Council and Mr. Willis “Bing” Davis received the Irma Lazarus Award, which is the Governor’s Award for the Ohio Arts Council.
The African American Visual Artists Guild stands on the premise that fine art should be available to the novice as well as the seasoned collector. The ‘Guild prides itself on its continuous involvement in the community by offering an extensive source of educational enrichment courses and activities such as: workshops, open studio, presentations, seminars, lectures, demonstrations and technical assistance to inspiring artists. These services are available because of its unique partnership with the Willis “Bing” Davis Studio and the EbonNia Gallery.