The definition of art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. A person’s imagination can come to life in a variety of different styles. A single swipe of paint onto a canvas could be the start of an elegant painting. A photographer snaps a picture of a moment in time. A block of clay is the start of amazing, with the finished product being able to have unlimited possibilities in the end. Art is everywhere around us, whatever or realize it or not. Every year around this time, Dayton’s artists have a two day event that gives them the platform to present their work to the public. The event is the 8th annual Dayton Sideshow.
The Sideshow began with the idea from Laurana Wong. Wong had a vision to organize an evening that brought people together to celebrate the local art being made and the artists that created it. The show as free for the participants to submit their work, the organizers that would set it up, and for the guests that appeared. Wong believed that by having this show take place, it would bring attention to the arts and give everyone a chance to connect to their similar interest.
The event took place on June 24th, 2006 at what is now the Cannery. 60 artists from all around the area had work showcased throughout the evening. Everyone that attended and also volunteered loved what the night brought everyone, except one thing: the heat. “It was horrible (laughter)”, Vice-Chairperson for Dayton Circus Creative Collective Erin Vasconcelos mentioned to me. Vasconcelos was one of the many individuals that helped with the show. “There was no air, so it just made the room feel horrible. It didn’t care, though. We all had an amazing night.”
With the first show being a huge success, the organizers and volunteers continued to make the Sideshow a staple in the Dayton community. With each year passing, the show remained staying true to its core principals-give the local artists in town the spotlight. And with every year, the show has become larger and better than the previous one. The show has in the past few years found a home that can be able to have the space that can hold the massive show-the Yellow Cab Building. The show has also found the perfect time to hold their event-the weekend of the spring Urban Nights.
Sideshow organizer and current Dayton Circus Creative Collective Chairman Jeff Opt also enlisted live music to the event each year. “Music is a form of art. We are lucky to have a great music scene, and it deserves to be celebrated”, Opt says. Due to the fact that the show is now placed at the Yellow Cab, the show can showcase up to 40 bands with having two stages.
This year’s showcase will be drawing attention to well over 60 local visual artists, and over 20 local music acts. Some of the work that folks will expect will absolutely give people more reason to fall in love with the work being done in town. They will be live interactions of many of the artists finished products that will give the people that attend an experience they thought that they would have never expected. Also something new this year came from the minds of a younger generation. Two young children noticed that something was missing from this year’s event and it felt like it needed to be added. “There will be a section for kids!”, Vasconcelos said. The developers of this idea-the children of Opt and Vasconcelos. In the area for children, there will be photos of artwork and a chance for the youth to make some of their own.
For people who don’t have the chance to help out with the Sideshow, there’s many ways to contribute. One thing that the committee is doing this year is by setting up a donation section on the fundraising website, Indiegogo.com. For the next couple of days, everyone is able to give to the show. By donating certain amounts, donators will be given perks, including photography sessions from photographers Gary Mitchell or Jennifer Clarke. To donate, click here.
This weekend will once again be shining bright on the town by putting the focus on the Sideshow. The mind-blowing experiences you will have by seeing the marvelous work of the artists will leave you glad you came. If that doesn’t do it, stay for the music from great bands like Smug Brothers, Nasty Bingo, Tim Pritchard & The Boxcar Suite, WolfCryer among others. Dayton Sideshow is a staple of the community. It’s a weekend where art truly does come alive. Come see for youself.
Dayton Sideshow 8 takes place May 10th and 11th at the Yellow Cab Building on East Fourth Street in downtown Dayton. The event starts at 5, with live music starting at 6.