Bonfoey Gallery Hosts Intriguing 'Thump... Dump, Clump, Lump... Bump!' Exhibition

click to enlarge Clockwise from top right: Andy Curlowe, Amber Kempthorn, Eric Neff and Amy Kligman
Clockwise from top right: Andy Curlowe, Amber Kempthorn, Eric Neff and Amy Kligman
Thump... Dump, Clump, Lump... Bump! Perhaps never has there been a more intriguingly titled exhibition in Cleveland’s art history. This exhibition at Bonfoey Gallery features four artists selected by one of the gallery’s represented artists and former Bonfoey associate Dana Oldfather. Oldfather’s relationship with the gallery goes back nearly 20 years.

“We felt that having a young established artist curate a show for us would bring a fresh perspective,” says Gallery Director Marcia Hall. “Dana Oldfather has an outsider’s view with an insider’s understanding of the gallery. It’s been exciting for us to watch Dana grow as an artist! We are beyond thrilled with her selections for Thump… Dump, Clump, Lump… Bump!

The exhibition’s title refers to Maurice Sendak’s Night Kitchen, a childhood favorite of show curator and former Bonfoey associate Dana Oldfather. Although the book didn’t inspire the artists or their work directly, it guided Oldfather during her first curatorial effort.

“I admit that when I read this book as a child I thought Micky was a troublesome boy,” Oldfather remembers. “He was defiant and adventurous; he did impossible things his own crazy way; he talked back. He didn't let strange noises in the night scare him under the covers; he told them who's boss. He took matters into his own hands. Being the good little girl that I was, afraid of most anything and everything, especially the night, this made me nervous and uneasy.”

Now a mother, Oldfather has a new perspective on this childhood favorite. She continues, “As an artist and a mother reading this story to my son, I can see the strength in this lesson – the comedy in the story – and the poetry in the cadence of its delivery. Oddly timed like a dream itself, this children's classic is an allegory for the creative self – for the parts of us that are dreamers, thrill seekers, jokers, wanderers, makers; all of us striving to push back against a dark and uncertain night.”

Thump... Dump, Clump, Lump... Bump! opens with a free, public reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 7, and remains on view through Nov. 19. The show includes new work by Andy Curlowe, Amber Kempthorn, Amy Kligman and Erik Neff. Although Bonfoey had only previously exhibited work by Curlowe and Neff, the gallery will now be representing the work of all four artists.

Originally from Schenectady, NY, Andy Curlowe studied painting and drawing at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Curlowe studied painting and drawing at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly Massachusetts. Soon after graduation, he and his wife Laura moved to Cleveland. His work deals with natural and human interactions by juxtaposing organic and geometric forms. In Thump, Curlowe exhibits works on canvas produced with acrylic and pencil.

Amber Kempthorn earned her Bachelors of Arts from Hiram College. After post-baccalaureate studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Kempthorn earned her MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2008. Kempthorn’s drawings explore the “tangible point where memory and imagination converge.” Her unique creative process starts with spray paint on paper, and continues with a combination of mixed media materials – including graphite, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, ink, gouache and collage. An adjunct faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Art, her work can also be seen at the school’s 2016 Faculty Show in its Reinberger Gallery.

Amy Kligman received her BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design. Influenced by her upbringing in the American Midwest, her work explores physical and metaphorical “middle.” Her recent works expand her creative process beyond painting towards tangible material, including layered site-specific wall works and installation, but her work in Thump is all acrylic paintings on canvas.

Erik Neff might be the most educated artist in the show. Neff holds a BS and MS from the Ohio State University, as well as a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and his MFA from Bard College. In addition to Bonfoey Gallery, Neff’s work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York City and Chicago. Locally, his work has been exhibited at venues such as MOCA Cleveland and SPACES. For this exhibition, Neff will present both abstract paintings on canvas and pastels on paper.

Can’t make the opening? The show can be viewed during regular gallery hours through Nov. 19. Bonfoey’s winter gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed Sundays).

(Bonfoey Gallery) 1710 Euclid Ave., 216-621-0178,

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