New exhibits at The Co focus on Dayton, New York and cities around the world

Meet Teju Cole

The Co’s largest gallery features the work of Boston-based writer/photographer Teju Cole, Harvard creative writing professor and former New York Times Magazine photography critic. He is also the author of the novel “Open City”, the short story “Every Day Is for the Thief” and the collection of essays “Known and Strange Things”.

This show, titled “Blind Spot”, is a poetic travel diary, capturing Cole’s travels around the world. The 34 photographs on display alongside Cole’s personal reflections on each image. His prose can describe the place or trigger a memory.

When Cole came to town for the exhibition’s opening weekend, the gallery partnered with the University of Dayton to host a photography masterclass with 40 photography students from Central State University, from Sinclair Community College, Stivers School for the Arts, UD and Wright State. University.

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The soft-spoken Cole immediately put the students at ease by telling them that the “teacher” of a master class is actually the student. “If we talk about your work today, it’s already an achievement,” he assured them before discussing with each of them about their work.

Cole was impressed, as was his audience, when Stivers junior Sanaa Averette expressed her belief that we often don’t appreciate the beauty of those closest to us. For this reason, she focuses on photographing her own family members in beautiful settings to help others appreciate them as well.

“A serious photographer encourages us to slow down and see what’s going on inside the photo,” Cole told the students.



A portrait of Dayton

Visitors to The Co’s in-between galleries often recognize local people and places in Amy Lynn Powell’s new exhibition ‘Only Let the People Who Love You Photograph You’

It could be UD students on graduation day, Century Bar or Price Store signage, or outrageous Rubi Girls clowning around. It can be a baby sleeping on his father’s chest or children licking ice cream cones on a hot summer day.

Although Powell is best known as a photographer, for this exhibition she worked as a curator. After sifting through tens of thousands of Instagram photos tagged “Dayton, OH,” she selected and printed about 200. Taken together, they offer a fascinating portrait of a city that could, in some ways, represent “any which city”, but which is in fact our city.

Powell says she is deeply fascinated by the images people proudly make and share and is not naive in thinking some people might not be happy with what she has done.

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“At the end of the day, it’s a community project,” says Powell. “I did everything I could to reach people, not only to let them know what I was doing, but also to invite them to see and celebrate their image at the gallery. Some people did not respond. Some people didn’t want to be involved and I respected that. But most people were excited and happy to have their photos selected. People want to be seen. »

She says the purpose of the exhibition is to bring people into the art space who would normally feel out of place.

“Dayton is magical to me and the people here matter. When I first moved to Dayton 10 years ago, I noticed right away that the city had low self-esteem. seemed to apologize when I told them I was new to the area and didn’t understand why.

Powell’s own work has appeared nationally in Time magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian.

Intimate New York

When we think of New York, we are likely to think of a high-energy, pulsating city that is always on the move. But videographer James “Jamie” Nares slowed things down with “Street,” a captivating hour-long video originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Originally produced in 2011, the film was screened nightly on the Met’s south-facing wall. Nares, a British artist living and working in New York, mounted a tripod on his car and drove through the city streets. After taking 16 hours of continuous footage, it then slowed down the scenes considerably.

“You see these little glimpses into people’s lives and how they interact with each other,” noted Trevor Montei, a Wright State photography student who was watching the film at The Co. last weekend. .

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What: “Only let people who love you photograph youby Amy Lynn Powell; “Blind Spot” by Teju Cole and “Street” by James Nares.

Where: The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth Street in the Dayton Arcade

When: Until December 24. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and first Fridays until 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

For more information: See or call 937-224.3822

To note: These Co. exhibits are part of the FotoFocus 2022 biennial which will showcase photography in over 100 spaces across our region during the month of October.


  • You can watch Teju Cole’s artist speech on The Co’s website:
  • A free artist talk, “Amy Lynn Powell in Conversation with Stacy Kranitz,” will be presented at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 4 at the Gallery. Or watch live online at the gallery’s website.
  • A virtual artist talk with James Nares will be presented live at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 2.
  • Cole’s exhibit comes with the “Blind Spot” post, available from The Co’s gift shop. It retails for $40.

Julia P. Cluff