Dana Oldfather and Carbon Fiber

The Bonfoey Gallery is lucky to have great and talented artists like Dana Oldfather, who not only has worked with the gallery for selling her art, but has been a part of the Bonfoey team as Gallery Assistant in the past.


This week, Dana came in with new and unique work in the two series: Colored Egg for GZ and Lemonhead. Her focus is on how we see “bad guys” and that even people who have been incarcerated or imprisoned still deserve treats and sweets like colored eggs or candy. “GZ” is a reference to General Zod from Superman, who is the bad guy and Lemonheads are a type of candy. Her color scheme includes pastel colors and bright yellows which draw in the eye and create amazing depth and shape.



Dana Oldfather, Colored Egg for GZ 1, mixed media, 12 x 12 inches

The medium adds an even more complex and fascinating level to both series. A concern of Dana’s includes finding mediums that are long lasting and easy to maintain. As so many works fade or deteriorate over time, she wants to make sure her art is worth years of visual enjoyment. When addressing this issue of longevity to her husband, he offered a creative solution: carbon fiber.

© Keith Berr Productions, Inc.1420 East 31st Street Cleveland Ohio 44114 216.566.7950 www.keithberr.com All Rights Reserved

Dana Oldfather, Lemonhead 1, mixed media, 24 x 24 inches




As described in the video above, carbon fiber is extremely durable and is normally used in cars and planes. It is extremely lightweight and has a beautiful woven texture. To use it for art, Dana has the carbon fiber covered in resin and then uses layers of acrylic paint to create a way for the paint to bond to the slick, glossy surface. She then adds oil paint on top of that to create more texture and depth. In the end, Dana Oldfather has developed an entirely new medium that the art world has never seen before.

If you want to see these pieces in person, come visit The Bonfoey Gallery at 1710 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 621-0178 http://www.bonfoey.com. You can also look at these pieces online here





A New Voice, A New Beginning

My name is Mary Crotty and I am the new Gallery Assistant and Social Media Manager for the Bonfoey Gallery. I have only worked for a week so far, but am excited for the opportunity.

The Bonfoey Gallery is a warm and welcoming place with amazing employees. Everyone is passionate about their work and true professionals. I feel I am in very good hands which is good because I know I will have a lot of questions along the way.

This blog will be transforming into not only news about the gallery, but an inside perspective of what it’s like to work for such a unique institution. The Bonfoey Gallery handles so much: framing, selling, buying, appraising… just ask and someone here can probably help you in some way. That’s the main selling point of Bonfoey: come for the people. You too will feel like you’re talking to experts who not only care about your business, but care about you.

Check Out the Write-Up in Cleveland Magazine About Bonfoey Gallery’s Exhibition Opening this Friday, December 6

Cleveland Magazine


Issue Date: December 2013

Time Frame

Bonfoey Gallery celebrates more than a century of showcasing local artists’ work.
Rebecca Meiser

One hundred twenty years ago, Bonfoey Gallery opened in downtown Cleveland as one of the nation’s premier framing galleries, attracting clients such as John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford. Cleveland artists, looking to have their own works framed, sauntered into the space, resulting in Bonfoey’s second life as a burgeoning exhibit hall. From Dec. 6 to Jan. 4, the Euclid Avenue gallery will host 120 Years of Art in Cleveland, an exhibit highlighting many of the local artists it has represented, such as Clara Deike and Frank Oriti. Shown together, the works reveal the history of Cleveland in pictorial form. “We’ve always been a proponent of Cleveland,” says gallery owner and president Richard Moore. “We’re excited to celebrate both our histories.” Here are six must-see pieces.




Around the Bend — Cuyahoga River

A prodigious painter of 1920s industrial landscapes, Carl Graetner would take his easel, canvas and oil paints, and walk around the steel mills, the Flats and the Cuyahoga River looking for scenes that struck him. Around the Bend — Cuyahoga River is one of his most famous works. “The painting is characteristic of the Cuyahoga River,” says Moore. “He was able to capture that moment and scene better than anyone ever did before.”



Still Life with Masks

Clara Deike painted during a time when women weren’t accepted as artists. “She was a real pioneer,” says Moore. She took a playful cubist style, experimenting with colors and geometrics, without regard for critics’ comments. “That was her forte,” he says. “She was able to amalgamate colors and lines together in a way that pleased her own eye.”



Potted Cacti

Many of Viktor Schreckengost’s paintings reflect his precise, mathematical training, gleaned from his time as an industrial designer. He is known for his detailed city views, but Schreckengost also dabbled in more animated subjects, such as Potted Cacti, a painting from a series of still lifes he created while visiting Mexico. “Viktor was one of Cleveland’s best artists of the last 100 years as far as divergence of subject matter goes,” says Moore.



Untitled silk-screen print

Although Seven Hills resident Julian Stanczak is known as one of the founders of the op art movement, a style characterized by bright, 3-D geometric patterns, his work was largely ignored until 10 years ago. “For 30 years he went along, and there was nothing spectacular as to his notoriety,” Moore says. “And then all of a sudden, for some reason I can’t explain, he just took off. … I’m happy for him.”



Scotty (detail)

A veteran of the steel mills, Frank Oriti paints gritty portraits of blue-collar friends and relatives. With precision and detail, he superimposes their faces on whitewashed ghost images of the old, worn houses they grew up in. “If you look at their faces, you can see the history of Cleveland,” says Moore.



Gyre Square

A veteran of the steel mills, Frank Oriti paints gritty portraits of blue-collar friends and relatives. With precision and detail, he superimposes their faces on whitewashed ghost images of the old, worn Laurence Channing’s charcoal drawings are marked by striking details of bridges, interstate highways and abandoned industrial areas from the working-class neighborhoods where he grew up. While beautiful, the scenes have a bit of sadness to them, Moore says. “You can really see the ramification and impact of the industrial age,” he says.houses they grew up in. “If you look at their faces, you can see the history of Cleveland,” says Moore.

MORE INFO: bonfoey.com

Congratulations to Bonfoey artist Frank Oriti for his exhibition “Homeland”.

Congratulations to Frank Oriti for his exhibition “Homeland” at the Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Check out his feature in The New York Times and The Sag Harbor Express.


“Summer Help” 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36


“With or Without?” 2011. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 43″ x 49″

Mary Lou Ferbert – Sidewalks – Oct 11 to Nov 19, 2013

FerbertThe Bonfoey Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by acclaimed watercolorist Mary Lou Ferbert in an exhibition titled Sidewalks.  This stunning exhibition will be on view in our street level gallery from October 11 through November 19, 2013.  An opening reception with the artist will be held at the gallery Friday, October 11, from 5-8 pm. An artist talk will be held on Saturday, October 19, at 10 am.

Mary Lou Ferbert was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  Over the past eight decades she has traversed the Rust Belt City’s ubiquitous sidewalks and used the imagery found there to inform her art.  Ferbert is widely known by her past oeuvre: meticulously rendered watercolors of the mechanic components of urban infrastructure, manhole covers or chain link fence, rusted and corroded by time and Cleveland’s harsh winters. The man-made objects, commonly found at the side of the road and overlooked by passersby, appear all the more decayed, partially overgrown with stalks of native wildflower and thistle that shimmer with light and life.  As with these previous paintings, in her newest work, Sidewalk Series, Mary Lou draws our attention to parts of our cityscape that are ignored and often neglected, underfoot and out of mind, but in plain sight to the sensitive observer, walking silently, alone in thought, head low and staring down at ones toes.

Sidewalks, an exhibition of Mary Lou Ferbert’s newest paintings, focuses on the remains of an infrastructure about to be extinct. At one time, most of the sidewalks in and around our boroughs were slabs of sandstone.  These smooth, cool stones – a favorite of children armed with sidewalk chalk and champion puddle splashers alike – hold a fond place in our memory. As the stones were damaged and broken over time they were removed, replaced by the current concrete slabs that line the streets of newer developments today. Unlike concrete, the sandstone sidewalks of yesterday were infused with a subtle, organically formed, color and texture, created from a slow build-up of sediment along the edges of shallow salt water seas found in this area over 300 million years ago. Occurring from water and resembling, if it was possible, a fossilized liquid, it’s no wonder a watercolorist has found importance in this subject.  Over the course of seasonal change Mary Lou Ferbert captured the effects of Cleveland’s abundant precipitation on these surfaces as well. From leaves blown down off the trees, or “halos” of those leaves created by rain, Ferbert makes a time capsule with this body of work.  These paintings celebrate not only the dynamics of geologic and meteorological change in our area but the cycle of life and renewal in urban infrastructure. Ferbert continues to draw our attention to the subtler magnificence of our city with her extraordinary capacity to appreciate and interpret the beauty of the ordinary.

Mary Lou Ferbert earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Duke University.  Years later, she attended the Cleveland Institute Art where she went on to teach.  Ferbert honed her skills, specializing in transparent watercolor, and in 1978 she began painting professionally. Since then, Ferbert has had 6 solo exhibitions at Bonfoey Gallery as well as solo exhibitions in galleries in New York and Tennessee. In 1993 she had a solo museum exhibition at The Butler Institute of Art. She has participated in many group exhibitions in museums across the country such as the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Columbus Museum of Art, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Springfield Art Museum, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Tweed Museum of Art, and the El Paso Museum of Art.  Mary Lou Ferbert exhibited in the Cleveland May show 9 times during her expansive career.  Gallery group shows were many, locally and internationally, as she boasts exhibiting in cities such as Barcelona, Athens, Tokyo and New York. Ferbert was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 55th Annual Butler National Midyear Show, a Special Mention for Painting at the 69th Annual Cleveland Museum of Art May Show and the Bronze Medal of Honor at the American Watercolor Society 120th Annual International Exhibition. Her work can be found in numerous public and corporate collections such as The Butler Institute of Art, The El Paso Museum of Art, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Zimmerli Art Museum, American Numismatic Society, Baker & Hostetler, The Cleveland Browns, The Federal Reserve Bank, and many others.

For more information about the MARY LOU FERBERT – SIDEWALKS, or upcoming exhibitions, please contact The Bonfoey Gallery, 216.621.0178, or visit the company web site at www.bonfoey.com