ArtsGala silent auction to feature works by Wright State fine art students

Wright State fine arts students and ArtsGala contest winners Haley Slone, left, and Rachel Unger will be featured artists in this year’s silent auction during ArtsGala on April 1 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Creative Arts Center.

Each year, two pieces of student artwork are selected by the ArtsGala host committee to be the signature items in the silent auction.

The silent auction is one of the many ways that ArtsGala puts the spotlight on the amazing work of Wright State University fine arts students while raising funds for scholarships that allow them to continue learning and creating.

This year, patrons can participate in the auction at ArtsGala, which will be held in the Wright State Creative Arts Center on Saturday, April 1, beginning at 7 p.m., or online at

ArtsGala tickets are available at

One of the premier arts events in the Dayton region, ArtsGala showcases the talent of students in Wright State’s art, dance, motion pictures, music and theatre programs. Since its inception, ArtsGala has raised more than $3 million for student scholarships in the fine and performing arts.

The featured student artists in the silent auction are Bachelor of Fine Arts majors Rachel Unger and Haley Slone.

“Fever Dream,” by Wright State fine arts student Rachel Unger, is one of the featured items at the ArtsGala silent auction.

Unger’s piece, “Fever Dream,” is a silkscreen monoprint in which she endeavored to showcase the beauty of the unexpected through abstraction.

“As I composed this piece, I wanted each layer to flow organically and involuntarily like a fever dream,” she said. “As each color layer was added, I had no expectations, I let the process take control. I feel so honored to have been selected for such a prestigious experience. I consider the impact my piece had on the selection panel and the exposure of my art through the gala promotion and event to be priceless.”

Unger said she wanted to give back because she has been directly impacted by the generosity of the guests at ArtsGala as an ArtsGala scholarship recipient last year.

“The generous contributions from donors allowed me to continue my education without financial burden,” she said. “For that and this additional honor, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the many opportunities this event and our donors have brought me.”

Unger will graduate at the end of the spring semester. Her plans include gallery curation and applying the skills she learned at Wright State in advertising design.

Slone, who also minors in Spanish, describes her featured artwork, “Austice,” as a “kind of lonely piece.”

“Austice,” by Wright State fine arts student Haley Slone, is also featured in the ArtsGala silent auction.

“It’s a night-time scene on campus, showing the Dunbar Library with its glowing interior lights spilling onto the parking lot,” she said. “The fall weather combined with the dark, vacant scene feels bleak and cold, but the world inside the library looks warm and alive. I felt like the library was representational of learning and the business of academia. The brightness of the lights alludes to the brightness of scholars still awake and working to build their brighter futures.”

Slone, a nontraditional student, came to Wright State after a 2019 motorcycle accident ended her nursing career. Encouraged by her husband to do whatever she wanted, she decided that earning her bachelor’s degree was it.

“When I was comparing colleges, I stumbled upon Wright State’s faculty gallery online and decided that I specifically wanted to come here to learn art from these professors,” she said. “I admire their work.”

Slone, who is expected to graduate in 2025, said she currently has no concrete plans for how she will use her B.F.A. degree.

“Sometimes I daydream about getting an alternate teaching license and teaching K–12 art or Spanish,” she said. “My school-aged children tell me I would be a great teacher.

In addition to the featured student artworks, ArtsGala patrons can bid on a variety of other items, including Wright State snow globes, adopt-An-ArtsGala student opportunities, tickets and a Wright State Nutter Center suite with catering at the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks show on May 6, dinner with Wright State President Sue Edwards, tickets to ArtsGala 2024, courtside seats to Wright State basketball home games, gift certificates for dining throughout the Dayton area and much more.

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