Project Team: A New Dayton Icon

The Dayton Icon was a project selected & launched as part of the 2016 UpDayton Summit. It will be continuing into 2017 thanks to enormous community support.

Imagine giant D-A-Y-T-O-N letters stamped boldly into our urban landscape. The letters will be an essential photo stop for every Dayton visitor and resident. The design, called “Dayton’s Duality,” is an iconic and elegant piece that celebrates our city’s past while also demanding a bright future. It proudly writes our city’s name across its heart.

Dayton Icon Team Contact
Kelly Sexton, Project Leader

Interested in the Dayton Icon Team? Let us know!

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Team Members

Project History
A New Dayton Icon was a project idea pitched in April 2016 at the UpDayton Summit by Kelly Sexton of K12 Gallery & TEJAS. The project set out to bring a new, iconic public sculpture to Dayton, designed and built by the community.  After the votes (200+) were cast, the Dayton Icon became more than just an idea.  

Over the next six months, UpDayton assembled a team to drive the design and creation of this new sculpture.  A Call to Artists was put out to the community, and in October a panel of judges gathered to select the winning design.

“Dayton’s Duality” submitted by Nick Gaskins and the Bing Design team was selected as the winner. With a concept chosen, the project team is ready to get to work finding a great location and bringing A New Dayton Icon to life! 

More About the Design
This design was a collaborative entry created by the staff of Bing Design, a local marketing company. They call it "Dayton's Duality" with each letter consisting of two pieces - a rough steel portion which represents our city's solid and sturdy past, and a shiny steel portion which represents our bright, promising future. All pieces would be upwards of 5 ft. tall, flat, offset slightly, and staggered so the word DAYTON can be read at an angle. Shifting shadows add interest by constantly changing the presentation. They envision the icon mounted on a long, low base could double as a place to sit or creatively pose with the sculpture.
The project team has a number of possible sites in mind but is seeking the input and assistance of community partners to select a final location. The ideal location... 

  • is within Dayton’s urban core
  • is highly visible
  • is accessible and inviting to interaction and photos
  • has a distinctively Dayton backdrop (the downtown skyline, unique buildings or scenery)
  • has significant pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic
  • has a property owner excited to help with construction and maintenance of the sculpture
  • inspires additional financial and in-kind support for the project

Scope & Fundraising
Funding and constructing the Dayton Icon project is a big endeavor that UpDayton & K12 Gallery will not be able to complete alone. The project team is seeking major partners to assist with the fundraising and fabrication of the icon. The project team will first seek an engineering partner to develop the conceptual design into a detailed design and cost estimate. 

UpDayton and K12 Gallery are committed to the project through its completion and will focus on developing creative fundraising and engagement opportunities that drive community support for the project. 

Community Engagement & Project Promotion
In parallel to the design, fundraising and construction process of the icon, the project team has imagined a variety of creative ways to celebrate the design including t-shirts, molded chocolate, and scale models that bring the Dayton Icon to life in small ways.