ARTIST SUBMITTED BIO
Connie Bonfy is a graduate of Emporia State University where she studied drawing/painting and art history. She holds a MA from Wichita State University focused on developing communities through the arts. She continues to study painting and collage, and is known for painting colorful people and their stories in oil—with references to a culture fascinated with image—like peeling back the layers of an onion, she paints colorful people HOW they happen to be.
As a child, Bonfy grew up in an enchanted mid-century modern country club life of privilege, art, music, and accomplishment, glitzed with color—turquoise built-in appliances in a pink-brick home surrounded by walled rose garden—all stylish in appearance when viewed from the outer edge of the upper crust. Forced to confront some of the perilous challenges of privilege as a teen, she quickly learned—all is not how it appears.
By the time she reached her early 20s, Bonfy’s parents made a conscious decision to leave the superficial lifestyle behind, and to the shock of the entire community, began what became their forty-year exploration of how the “other half” lives. Through these varied life experiences, a curious breed of hybrid-humanity featuring both the haves and have-nots combined and expanded within her work. She became driven to artistically explore the deepest motivations of the human soul.
Bonfy also serves as grant writer/project developer for Chamber Music at the Barn, Ballet Wichita, Commerce St Art District, Bartlett Arboretum, Fisch Haus, and Hopper Bees. She recently completed managing a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” project for Maize, KS—Arts AMaize, and in fall 2017 will be co-directing another two-year “Our Town” project, Jump!Star with Symphony in the Flint Hills and Harvester Arts. She is also creator and director for a Knight Foundation/Wichita Community Foundation’s Vibrant-ICT project in downtown Wichita for Chamber Music at The Barn.
Previously, her career in arts management as an executive director has taken her from leading a small rural Kansas arts council; to Santa Fe, NM and the Desert Chorale—a professional chorus; to a metropolitan ballet company—Ballet Wichita; and more recently to Salina Arts and Humanities—a department of the City of Salina. Bonfy is grateful for such a diverse career that also includes serving as the head grant writer for two community colleges in Kansas and the performing arts presenter at one.
In 2013, Al Gore certified Bonfy as a trained member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Kansas Governor Bill Graves also honored Bonfy in 2000 with the Governor’s Arts Award for her lifelong committed work as an advocate for the arts. Connie lives joyfully with Max Stewart and Lily (aka Lillian Russell), a Jack Russell Terrier in Wichita, KS.