One of the aspects of riding bikes I love the most is being able to enjoy my surroundings more. It is hard to appreciate everything that is around you when you are sealed in your own little steel and glass bubble. Hopping on a bike and riding it forces me to become more aware of my surroundings. One of the first things I noticed when I started riding my bike around downtown Dayton years ago was the amount of public art in downtown. I get really excited when I see a new (or new to me) painting available for the public to enjoy. It can be anything from some of the paintings listed below to the 12 inch cat stencil in the Oregon District that has been there for years that can make a ride more enjoyable. Downtown Dayton houses many amazing artists, and through some programs and partnerships, the community is given the opportunity to see the work of these amazing people. All of the art listed below is easily accessible by Link Bike. There is so much more art than I have listed here, these are just a few of my favorites. Jump on a Link Bike soon and go on an art crawl, take some alleys and side streets, and see what you can find.
1.The mural of the African American Woman holding books Morris Howard on Fifth. This mural is part of a program presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership. More information can be found here: http://www.downtowndayton.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=350
2.Ever wonder about the big yellow sculpture situated between Patterson and St Clair street but never enough to do a quick Google search? It is called Fluid Dynamics. It was created for that particular spot by artist Jon Barlow Hudson to represent the artist’s interpretation of the flow of nature.
3. Just out the back of Ghostlight Coffee, see the colorful foxes that cover the wall of the neighboring building. While you are there, stop into Ghostlight for some coffee or espresso and ask them why they no longer have glazed croissants… seriously.
4. Keeping a quiet watch over downtown Dayton is Leo the Lion. Leo has been in his spot outside of the Dayton Art Institute since 1955. Before that, Leo sat outside Steele High School on the corner of Main and Monument Street. Word on the street is there is some pretty great art inside the building as well, so be sure to pop in.
5. K-12 & TEJAS Gallery building at 341 S Jefferson St is a must see! This building serves as the creative gateway to downtown. There is plenty of art on the outside of the building to enjoy, from portraits, to painted quotes and sculpture, be sure to take some time to experience it all.
6. This sculpture can be found off of Williams Street in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood. The sculpture is by the well known local artist Bing Davis.This piece has been standing in Wright Dunbar for some time now, and is a must see. When you are in Wright Dunbar, make sure to check out the mural going up across from the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park.
7.Back in 2012 then Mayor Gary Leitzell organized the painting of the railway wall behind the 2nd Street Market. This wall is a tapestry of amazing street art, and sitting in front is the giant Dayton painted trailer. It is worth checking out.
8. This one is a little trickier to find, but it is worth getting your picture taken at. This Dayton Inspires mural is at the Cannery Lofts, actually in the walkway between the buildings. We love the industrial feel of this painting by the Mural Machine. It can be a little tricky to get a shot with all of the painting and yourself in there, so be creative!
9. The mural along the north bank of the Great Miami River across the river from RiverScape was designed by artist Amy Deal on what used to be a boring gray wall. This 1,000 foot mural celebrates the outdoors with a variety of cyclists, runners, kayakers and wildlife. Enjoy the view from RiverScape, or get closer by taking a ride on the trail on the north side of the river.
10. Of course, we have to mention the Culture Bikes that were designed by local artists in 2016. These 5 bikes represent different cultures that make up the Miami Valley. They are still in operation in the Link fleet. Be on the lookout for these bikes!
11. The mural on the side of Toxic Brewery in the Oregon District has become a fixture of the neighborhood since it was painted. We can’t imagine the Oregon without it. It did come under some heat last year, but residents and visitors petitioned to save this wonderful painting. Stop into Toxic to enjoy a brew and some art!
Some of these we do not know all the information about, so if you have any info on some of this art, let us know.