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Residency program

Global Connections

In 2018 the DSA and the Dayton Sister City Committee began discussion of bringing an artist-in-residence to the US from Monrovia, Liberia, one of Dayton's six sister cities. After the plane tickets were approved for purchase, the Front Street Building Co. graciously agreed to provide a studio space for the artist to work.

Patrick Gono was selected after a call for artists was placed to Monrovia and he lived and worked in Dayton for most of the month of July in 2019 and exhibited his work in the High Street's Gallery Project Space.

Patrick Gono

Patrick is a self-taught artist, being inspired early in his childhood by cartoon characters namely from the Marvel and Disney corporations. His passion for art got him in trouble to the point of failing sixth grade, but that would not hold him back for long and he received a double promotion in his eighth year of school. As he grew, he found inspiration in nature and artists that came before him such as Renoir and Rossetti. He won the Value of Biodiversity art competition held at the US Embassy in Monrovia in 2011. Gono now lives in Monrovia creating hyper-realistic pieces and desires to make a name for Liberia and its people through his art. Gono says, “Being selected for the artist-in-residence for the DSCC and the DSA is like the final picture of my dream of bringing light to show the colors of peace we need to shine and prosper, to show the power and bond of art, and to help others discover their true potential.” When asked about how he felt about the opportunity to be the artist-in-residence he answered, “This is truly a dream come true…As I am the bridge between two cities now, my aim is to make sure my pillars and cables and concrete are solid so as to ensure a lifelong connection between Dayton and Monrovia.”

Peace and Unity

In the mural, I have represented the US and Liberia by portraying them as native women and celebrate the native cultures from each of our respective countries. I was inspired to create this imagery after visiting Sunwatch Indian Village during my time in Dayton. The Native American woman is not from a specific tribe but represents Native American tribes in general. She wears a feather, which is important. Receiving a feather was a great honor and symbolizes trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, and freedom. The Native Liberian woman wears a headdress that also has cultural significance. Along with the chalk on her face, the headdress would be worn during happy occasions and festivals. She too is not from a specific area but represents all Liberians.

The sun rises in the background which represents new beginnings and the renewed relationship that Dayton has with Monrovia through our Sister City Relationship. Included in the background is the tallest pole from Sunwatch and the sun shines on the mural in the morning from the east, over all of Dayton, and Monrovia as well, uniting us all under one sun. The birds in the sky are eagles and represent power and strength.

Both of our countries’ flags are red, white and blue, and those bands of color towards the bottom of the mural celebrate our similarities and connections. The symbols in the bottom left corner hold specific meaning. The crossed lines in the middle is a symbol from Liberia which means unity. The broken arrow is a Native American symbol and represents the peace pipe or peace in general.

I leave this mural to the City of Dayton in commemoration of my time as an artist-in-residence for them as well as the Dayton Society of Artists. It is also left in gratitude to Front Street, who lent me a studio to work in, and offered their wall as my canvas.

~Patrick Gono


Crossing Boundaries Opening. Featuring: Patrick Gono

Monrovia Night

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                       |  48 High Street, Dayton, OH 45403  |  937.228.4532
Gallery Hours: Fridays & Saturdays: 12-5pm during exhibits & First Fridays: 6-9pm. Also by appointment.  

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