Carrying Forward at Bonfoey

I want to talk about…Art.

I know…surprised, right?

But first I want to take a minute to share with you something I read recently on a scrap of paper found amongst Dan Tranberg’s things that his friend shared with me.

“For me, the thing that seemed to ignite my imagination at an early age was abstract painting.”

“With my work I seek to carry forward the idea of my painting as a space in which to envision that which is not otherwise visible.”

What a different concept to think about. He’s offering us a space to see the world. Just by looking at Dan’s work you are able to appreciate it. Its form and composition are on-point, his colors are luscious and tangible. It doesn’t take an art degree to see the beauty in his work. It’s approachable.

But at the same time its surface is deeper than you would see at first glance. It offers a place for contemplation, a place for you to get lost amidst all the chaos of the world. A place to find an inner peace that envelopes your senses.

I’ve spent the last months deep inside Dan’s work. Staring at it daily, photographing it. Editing it. Mounting and matting it, putting frames around it. Installing it on the wall. It has occupied my thoughts for quite some time. I think that’s what he is talking about when he says he wants it to be a space in which to envision that which is not otherwise visible. His work gives us permission to get lost in it—gives us a space to contemplate life’s larger questions.


I was never lucky enough to know Dan. He came into the gallery on multiple occasions, I went to talks he moderated and saw him at openings, but I never got to meet him. I wish that hadn’t been the case. But his art and writing will continue to influence multitudes. He has touched so many lives with his art, his writing and with being himself. That was so very evident at the artist auction to benefit the scholarship in his name. So many gave so much so that his memory will live on. He will be missed. But not forgotten.

It is with looking back that we now have an easier path to look forward. We want to continue to assist and foster more relationships with new artists. Now we can look to the future. And we needn’t look past 2018 to see that the future is bright. It’s the year we turn 125 years young. It’s the year of the ambitious FRONT International art triennial. It’s time that Cleveland takes aim at the best and the brightest. Let Dan’s words ring true. Let us continue to make art in this city for the world to see. We are not our fathers’ or mothers’ Clevelanders anymore…We wouldn’t have it any other way!

The Bonfoey Gallery

1710 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44115