Superheroes visit the Dayton Art Institute

Kristina Thomas, Features Writer
September 11, 2012
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Top Stories

Today superheroes are everywhere. Right now, it is the theme of an exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI). This special exhibition, You Are My Superhero, is on view until Sept. 23. You Are My Superhero is presented with support from patron sponsor Premier Health Partners, supporting sponsor Triec Technologies, LLC and was created by the museum’s Associate Director, Jane A. Black.

According to Black, You Are My Superhero exhibition has approximately 220 objects that explore how Superheroes are a big part of American culture. The exhibition includes the most popular figures from the 1940’s to today.

“It shows how they have changed over the years to reflect society and explains the associated artistic processes, like comic book production and film animation,” Black said. “Some of the most notable comic artists who are represented are Carmine Infantino, Vincent Giarrano, Myron Waldman, Stan Lee, Jerry Leiber and Joe Shuster, who created Superman. They are joined by contemporary artists who use superhero imagery in their work, Mark Newport and Mike Peters.”

A number of related programs, workshops and special events are planned as part of the superhero summer. These include costume and comic workshops, artist lectures and family programs. For a complete list of related programs, visit www.daytonartinstitute.org/superhero/programs.

Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors 60 and over, students 18 and over with ID, active military and groups of 10 or more and $6 for youth ages 7-17. Admission is free for museum members and children 6 and under. Anyone wearing a superhero costume to the museum will receive $2 off admission prices. A $1 Historic Preservation Fee is added to all ticket sale transactions.

The idea behind this exhibition is the result of teamwork, concentration and the awareness of the local community. “Our marketing director/pop culture guru (and Wright State grad) Alexis Larsen mentioned that superheroes would be everywhere this summer, with all the big movies coming out,” Black said. “I had seen the wonderful work of Mark Newport in Washington, D.C. two years ago, and Erich Reith, who is part of our preparatory department, remembered the fantastic animation art collection owned by friends of the museum, Dr. Lawrence and Holley Thompson. And, of course, everybody in Dayton knows our own superhero, Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist Mike Peters.”

She further explained what makes this exhibition different is its broad appeal. The exhibit has a wide audience. Black explained DAI has had many first time visitors who have expressed excitement and plan on visiting again.

“I like the fact that it’s found an audience with people who aren’t naturally drawn to superheroes. I am also happy that we were able to tie it to contemporary art practices and to involve local artists,”  Black said.

The exhibit leaves soon so see it while you can. One of the upcoming events is OKTOBERFEST, Sept. 21-23. This community event includes an array of artisans, unique international foods, ample domestic, international and craft beers, kid-friendly art activities, live music and much more; also there will be a spring collection commemorating the 100th anniverisy of the Miami Valley flood of 1913. Some of the material will be from the Wright State Archive(which can be found in Dunbar Library).

For more information about the Dayton Art Institute, go to www.daytonartinstitute.org or call the museum at 937-223-5277.

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