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New mural complete at Levitt Pavilion Dayton

By Madeline Hart, Levitt Pavilion Dayton

The mural designed by local artist Brent Beck is complete at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton. The architectural design of the Levitt was an inspiration, along with including the commissioned poem by Sierra Leone. The Contemporary Dayton led the call for artists, and a committee of Levitt Dayton staff, board trustees and local stakeholders reviewed submissions for the mural to bring public art to the Levitt with the intent to share the poem with the community. A selfie wall facing Main Street contains a hidden gem and the venue’s mission, “Building Community Through Music.”

“The mural design is inspired by the clean angular geometry of the architecture and a dynamic sense of rhythm and spirit found in music, poetry, and the community,” said Beck. “The compositions are intended to complement the architecture, not to obscure it. The elements are meant to represent the sun rays filtering through the skyline bringing joy and life to a once forgotten corner of Dayton. The Levitt color palette has been utilized to represent the pavilion’s beautiful natural setting among the lawn, sky, and sunshine which is so wonderfully brought to life in Sierra’s [Leone] poem.”

Leone’s poem is featured in full within the mural so that anyone can read it as they attend concerts or walk through the park. She was commissioned in April 2019 to begin work on a poem about the Levitt Pavilion Dayton. Throughout 2019 Leone attended concerts, stopped by during sound checks, and chatted with concertgoers to fully capture the essence of the Levitt Dayton experience.

“Creative place making requires a mindset of endurance,” she said. “I was honored to be commissioned and appreciated the artistic journey. Putting voice to lived experiences is priceless. Thank you, Levitt Pavilion, for being a reflection for who we are and who we are becoming.”

As a poet, healer, teaching artist and entrepreneur, Leone captivates audiences with her unassuming ingenuity, profound insight and comedic sense of "knowing." A Governor’s Award winner, she is a writer and the president and artistic director of OFP Theatre Company. For more than a decade, Ohio has benefited from Leone’s vision of creative urban arts as a powerful artistic medium to bring communities together across racial, cultural, ideological and economic divides. She jokes about being one of few Poets with an M.B.A. Leone’s work with youth arts organizations, schools and community organizations has been ongoing through her company’s educational arm, Signature Educational Solutions. She is continuing girls’ empowerment work through her outlet, I Am Moon Power, and she has written and performed commissioned work for many local and national organizations.

Atalie Gagnet, a native Dayton, Ohio, artist, brought Beck’s design to life. She began her mural and logo signage business in 2003. After graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gagnet’s career in art led her to Brooklyn, New York, where she was a studio manager for a prominent artist, executed his work and managed projects. From there, she worked with the exhibition construction crew at the Guggenheim Museum. Gagnet has had the privilege of sharing her painting skills locally and internationally managing and installing outdoor murals up to 7,000 square-feet for Architectural Digest for Art Basel Miami, Graniti, Sicily, Rockford, Illinois, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.

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