Popeye Presents Dana Depew’s First Solo Show in Cleveland in Over 3 Years


Opening Reception Friday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Closing Reception Friday, Nov. 20 from 5 to 9 p.m.

In October and November, Popeye presents new work by Cleveland’s own Dana L. Depew at Survival Kit at 78th Street Studios. We are proud to host Dana’s first solo show in Cleveland in over three years. Additionally, we’re thrilled to have Dana’s exhibition as our first solo show as Popeye Gallery at 78th Street Studios. On behalf of Dana, we invite you to experience new and recent three-dimensional sculptural work, two-dimensional prints and video-based works produced primarily (and often exclusively) from reclaimed and found objects.

The exhibition’s provocative title, Assholes and Elbows, refers to a phrase his father used in regards to getting down to work.”Assholes and Elbows” refers to working hard at a task. It originated in farm work. If a group of field hands is busy and bent over picking crops, then a supervisor looking out over the group would see nothing but “assholes and elbows.”

“I grew up on a farm in Medina with eight siblings,” reflects Depew. “There were always daily chores and tasks we each had to do. My father would always say ‘Get out there and do your chores and all I want to see is assholes and elbows.'”

Dana’s work ethic has been evident throughout his multi-faceted career (artist, curator, gallery owner). He works in a variety of media. Rather than working in one particular medium, Dana continues to experiment and challenge himself in new ways. His work includes drawing, painting, installation, neon and LED lighting, found object assemblage, video-based work and much more.

(left to right) E11even2 co-founders Rich Cihlar, Christina Sadowski and Billy Naniger
(left to right) E11even2 co-founders Rich Cihlar, Christina Sadowski and Billy Naniger

His work can be seen all over town and points beyond – including Melt Bar and Grilled and the historic Big Fun toy store on Coventry in Cleveland Heights. If you’ve been to 78th Street Studios recently, you’ve seen Dana’s colorful lights in the parking lot. He also recently designed a new neon sign for our friends and neighbors on the first floor, E11even 2.

His exhibition draws inspiration from obscure pop cultural references, as well as the aesthetics and personality of the gallery and building itself. The show includes both new work and highlights from various group shows. Adding an additional element of fun, Assholes and Elbows includes some engaging, interactive elements that allow you to participate and join in the fun.


“Assholes & Elbows will consist of a collection of works produced from found and reclaimed objects,” explains Depew. “The materials will be transformed into sensory works utilizing light, sound, and video.”

The multi-talented artist concentrated in sculpture at Kent State University. After graduation, he opened Asterisk Gallery, widely considered one of the most catalyzing elements in Tremont’s revitalization. After Asterisk’s successful run, Dana decided to focus his energy on his own art making. Recent exhibitions include Everything All At Once (regional group exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, 2013), Pioneer Driven Mad (with Matthew Dibble at Bruno Casiano Gallery, 2015) and Wish List (Gallery Project in Toledo and Ann Arbor, MI, 2015). He has also continued to curate shows, including 19 (Hotcards World Headquarters (2014) and Asterisk on Broadway (part of Downtown Lorain’s FireFish Festival last month)

We’ve previously exhibited his work in shows we’ve curated, including Controversy (Zaller Gallery, now Gallery One Sixty, 2011). The Gold Show (former Key Bank building on Waterloo Rd., 2012) and GOLD (Sandusky Cultural Center, 2012)

As usual, Survival Kit co-founder Brian Straw will present live music following the reception at 9 p.m. October’s performers include Charles Hill Jr. along with Alexandra and the Pretty Little Things.

Assholes and Elbows will close with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. during November’s Third Friday open studios event. Aside from Third Fridays, the exhibition can be viewed by appointment only. All Third Friday events are free and open to the public.

Moving forward, we’re currently in the process of finalizing our exhibition schedule for the next year at Survival Kit. For more information when it is available, please subscribe to this blog and “Like” us on Facebook.

For more information about Popeye Gallery, or to submit artwork for future consideration, please contact Omid at Omid(dot)Tavakoli(at)popeyegallery(dot)com or Josh at Josh(dot)Usmani(at)popeyegallery(dot)com. While our schedule is filling up quickly, we are always looking for new artists.

Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you in the gallery soon.

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