Opening September 2nd, 6 - 9 PM, the DSA is honored to present Eyewitness: The Impact of Deindustrialization on our World, as seen through the lens of Hope, Despair, and Transition in the Miami Valley.
The Miami Valley is generally defined as the land area surrounding the Great Miami River in southwest Ohio, and includes the Little Miami, Mad, and Stillwater rivers as well. Geographically, it includes Dayton, Springfield, Middletown, Hamilton, and other communities. Like much of the Midwest, the Miami Valley is considered part of the “rust belt,” having suffered economic decline due to deindustrialization. Beginning in the 1970's, the Miami Valley lost 40% of its manufacturing jobs, and, since then, the city of Dayton has lost nearly half of its population. This decline brought with it urban decay: abandoned factories, declining neighborhoods, and economic hardship. Dayton has watched some of its most beautiful neighborhoods deteriorate. It has seen the near abandonment of its downtown. A once-vibrant city center bustling with markets, retail activity, theaters, and pedestrian traffic became a lifeless space. Yet, the Dayton area is recovering. This recovery can be seen in the preservation of historical sites and neighborhoods, in environmental rehabilitation, in the redefinition of its downtown, and in the success of many arts venues. We find ourselves in a state of upward transition: Having reconciled the losses of the past, we look forward to a hopeful future, one that recognizes what once was while embracing what might be. Our symbol of hope is the American bald eagle, now nesting in several locations all along the Miami River. Just as the eagle has come back after near extinction, so we, after a period of decline, embrace our home and look to a new vision for the Dayton area. This gallery exhibition, presented by the Dayton Society of Artists and Tripod Camera Club, seeks to explore the difficult past as well as the transition to a hopeful future for the Miami Valley.
Support for this 2022 FotoFocus Biennial exhibition was provided by FotoFocus.