In the display window of a Higuera Street shop, a trio of foot-high figures are clustered, peering down. The black glazed ceramic work by Tom Peck is titled What Do You Suppose That Is?
Passersby are asking the same question. The normally vacant space is the temporary home of The Phantom Project, an ephemeral exhibit that will only be up until March 2.
Phantom shows are becoming popular in art-based cities, where the exhibits appear in unused buildings
The Central Coast Sculptors Group of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art organized the show, but all media was welcome, not just 3-D work.
The three jurors who selected the entries and the winners were artist Steven deLuque, New Times writer Glenn Starkey, and Tim Anderson, former curator of SLOMA and Cuesta College gallery. Of 300 entries, they accepted 80.
Dennis Kehoes Untitled II of bronze, steel and encaustic took first place.
Kehoe has been doing cast bronze for a decade, having learned techniques at Cuesta College. Also a printmaker, he is mostly selftaught other than a few classes. An interest in art began in childhood.
I started doing cartoon animals and jets and all those little drawings boys like to do, Kehoe said.
In his early 20s he took up painting, after moving to San Luis Obispo from San Diego in 1979 to attend Cal Poly for a year as an agriculture major.
His winning entry has previously taken Best of Show in bronze for a Sculptors group exhibit at SLOMA, and also for a juried group show at the Morro Bay Art Center.
Kehoes piece is among many entries that have been in other local shows.
Larry Le Branes Combat Stilettos might be impossible to walk in, but theyve traveled a bit, first to FrameWorks Art Eco exhibit two years ago. Formed of glass, metal, leather, bike parts and bullets, they could be a sadomasochists dream. Phantom judges selected it for second place.
Another odd transportation method is of a woman in an oldfashioned bathtub, pointing in the direction she wishes to sail. Straight Ahead, Lena Rushings acrylic on paper, took third place. It was also in her exhibit at Linnaeas a few years ago. Rushing earned double kudos, as her acrylic on canvas, You Cant go Home Again, took honorable mention in Phantom. It was also in a Linnaeas exhibit on art and the written word last year.
Entries range from exquisite small oils to large cut-out amoeba shapes in a triptych, such as Robert Oblons Penumbra, an acrylic on canvas on birch panels, an honorable mention.
Other honorable mentions include Sarah Egerers Manifest Destiny, shown in EcoArt at the Garden last year; Henry Wesselss Flow et al, a cast-bronze fish in a plastic carrying case; Ron Roundys large oil stick on paper, As She Spread Her Wings, and Rusty Lipscombs paper and mixed-media collage Take Your Time.
Visitors are urged to take their time in giving the Phantom show a thorough look before it vanishes.