Bonfoey: Behind the Scenes

The Bonfoey Team includes curators, marketing and sales staff, preparators, framers, gilders, and other master craftspersons. TOP ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Richard G. Moore, Olga Merela, Marcia Hall, Diane Shaffstein, Richard Watzulik. MIDDLE ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Kim Peculis, Jeff Lorince, Craig Summa, Jim Bessner. BOTTOM ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Myrna Lee, Emily Rowlett, Jeffrey Brady, Susan Danko, Kathryn Rush

With a year as trying as 2020 under our belt, we’ve been taking some time to reflect on our accomplishments—all of which wouldn’t have been possible without our team of professionals working behind the scenes.

Richard Moore, president and owner of the Bonfoey Gallery, has been in the leadership role for over fifty years. His experience extends across the fields of art, appraisal, and framing, but perhaps Richard’s most notable contribution to the Cleveland arts community is his guidance of Bonfoey’s into the established institution that it is today.

Much of Bonfoey’s long-standing presence as both a gallery and framing shop also can be attributed to our loyal staff, who have supported Richard and the company for nearly half a century.

Craig Summa, a master gilder, has worked at Bonfoey’s for over 45 years. He and Jim Bessner, our finisher of 32 years, make up our renowned finishing department. Their abilities to create custom finishes and restore antique frames are unmatched in the industry. Richard Watzulik is our master carver and custom framer. He has been with the gallery for seventeen years and is responsible for hand carving, cutting, and joining our custom frames.

Kim Peculis is our production supervisor whose expert mat cutting and fabric work have enhanced our framing department for seventeen years as well. Jeff Lorince, an expert preparator, ensures that our frames and art are safely prepared for delivery to our clients. Jeff has wrapped everything from posters to Picassos over his 27 years at the gallery. A new addition to the framing team, Kathryn Rush, is responsible for fitting art into the completed frames, and we are grateful to have her talents contribute to our framing department.

We also have two installers on staff who travel daily to hang art in residential and corporate spaces. Jeffrey Brady has worked for Bonfoey’s for three years and has traveled across the country to install a wide variety of artwork. Jeffrey came to us with over ten years of installation experience and has transitioned seamlessly into the role of installer and art handler for the gallery. We have recently welcomed Susan Danko, an artist represented by Bonfoey’s, as another member of our installation team.

At the front of the gallery, Myrna Lee works as our bookkeeper, keeping us on track and balanced. Myrna has been here for one year and is a blessing to have at the gallery. I also recently joined the gallery as media manager and gallery assistant. I’m working to strengthen our digital resources and digital presence so we can continue to showcase our artists’ work to the community and the world.

Lastly, the Bonfoey management team is made up of three talented women whose years of dedication and experience make Bonfoey’s what it is today. Olga Merela started working for the company sweeping floors at the age of fourteen. Now, Olga is the general manager, as well as an art consultant for the gallery. Marcia Hall has worked at Bonfoey for 47 years. As our gallery director and an art consultant, Marcia reviews artist’s works, curates exhibitions, and provides art consultation to residential and corporate clients. Diane Schaffstein is our head appraiser. During her 34 years at Bonfoey’s, Diane has completed countless appraisals and also served in her additional roles of gallery director and art consultant.

At Bonfoey’s, we take great pride in our women-run management team. In support of Women’s History Month, we will be opening Nevertheless, She Created on March 5. As a women-managed company, Bonfoey’s recognizes the importance of acknowledging the talented female artists in our community. Our show will feature the work of Ryn Clarke, Kristen Cliffel, Lane Cooper, Liz Maugans, Dana Oldfather, Jennifer Omaitz, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Pamela Pastoric, and Susan Squires.

With the support of the Bonfoey team and our artists, we have started 2021 on a high note. It is important to us that we take some time to acknowledge the many people instrumental in this success.