Not many groups of people in the city are more prepared to hear words of doom than this group of artists. It fits their art as much has it fits their psyche’s.
Of all of the art spaces in the city there may not be one as in touch with their own mortality and the possibility of change in the worst way. For this group of artists at Phantom Hand, change came last week essentially in the form of an eviction notice. Sam Heimer explains…
So the run is at an end. A few weeks after getting an extension that merited much celebration, a stroke of bad luck and fate comes through and wipes it all away. Although it seems any news to this group is a reason to celebrate, so the smiles were out and it was a sight to see. Almost all of the artists showing had piled in, in part I’m sure after hearing the
news. But there was much to celebrate as the past few months for them have been a wild ride. “Phantom Hand was the best thing ever in Philadelphia and no one will ever get to experience a better place. Complete with mental water slides and emotional ball pits, every show they ever had was the best thing I ever saw,” said Jeff Daniels, who was showing some new Jason Voorhees art. “Imagine a brightly lit white walled room with a bunch of the friendliest weirdos in the city all having a drink and chatting about the funny stuff on the walls. The themes of the shows were always great, like the mythology and gods show. I didn’t see any boring still life’s of bowls of fruit at phantom hand. Nope.”
Well it would seem the great run is at an end. Although Arts on South is trying to find them a new space so they can finish their extension, head honcho Sam Heimer is skeptical about the amount of work it would take to move the art. But others who are willing to put the work in are not so down. Doom and gloom, aside there was new art on the walls and plenty of people to talk to, ( I recommend Robb Leef if you want to exercise your noodle).
The new show was a spring cleaning show. So everybody brought out a few things and filled the room with their more colorful version of cheer. There was probably a little too much beer to go around but in the end it worked in my favor as I was the lucky guy who got to do the group picture of all these characters, missing a few heavy weights but quite a group nonetheless. And also like just Phantom Hand, its filled with originals. Hopefully everything works out for this cast of characters. Most
seem to be finding a way to stay alive through odd commissions and long hours. But one thing is for certain that they certainly would rather be showing their art on South Street. The book is not closed yet but the string of luck may have come up short. Either way its been a crazy few months for the ones who worked there and the contributing artists. It was a true community that hopefully will spawn another chapter. This may be the end but there’s a chance that is just the beginning of something much larger.