Joan began formal art study at the age of 11 in the private studio of a graduate of Oberlin College. As a camper for 5 summers at Interlochen Center for the Arts (then National Music Camp), she majored in art and piano. Other summer study included courses at Temple’s Tyler School of Art, Harvard University and Radcliffe College. She was graduated from Denison University with a B.A. In Art History plus Teacher Certification for K through12 in studio art.
In 1967 she married collegemate Al Bonney. Together they raised and educated son Jim and daughter Anne in 14 different cities around the world (from as far West as Lake Ozark, Missouri to as far East as Dhahran, Saudi Arabia). They retired to Traverse City, Michigan, lured by the Great Lakes for their beauty and for life on the water.
Joan’s art career has included many group and one-person shows of her watercolors and pencil drawings, acrylics and oils; teaching drawing to all ages in private galleries; and painting murals from room size to 14’ x 27’. She’s returned to frame-able works in all media, with an occasional mural thrown in.
A family that gives
The Bonney Family Christmas Fund started probably 15 years ago when we all decided we have enough “stuff,” let’s give to a cause that really needs our attention. There are six families, 11 people, who send a check along with a number of chits, one for each person they’re giving “to” with a name of a charity that’s of interest to that person on it. The “treasurer for the year” holds the money. On Christmas Eve, a chit is drawn and that is the charity that receives all of the money. It ends up being a nice donation and everyone is happy. The Color of Water received the donation one year. Nice.
This is one of the shovels used on August 15, 2016, for the groundbreaking of the Dennos Museum Center Expansion in Traverse City, Michigan. I was pleased to be one of 16 area artists asked to provide a ceremonial (i.e. it only needed to move a little light dirt for the photographs) art shovel. We were given a regular “garden variety,” pun intended, shovel from the hardware store and total freedom.
I decided to take a sculptural, organic approach and the feeling of the beauty of our Bay. The piece of driftwood I’ve had for years just because I liked it, never dreaming it would be used this way. With the help of Ace Welding, the foot pads were removed and I had a sea gull pieced in the blade. A little polishing, a little paint and varnish later, I had a contribution to and expansion that will provide more museum, classroom and shop space in our college museum.
The shovels are now on display in the Dennos atrium until a time to be determined.