Since July 2017 Central Coast Sculptor Group’s eclectic on-going series of ‘Phantom Project’ exhibits have redefined what a Pop-up Gallery means.

Typical pop-up venues—food trucks, trunk shows, eateries and or art exhibits—are short-term ephemeral experiences.  But through collaboration with the Sculptor Group’s affiliate, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and the quiet generosity of the Copeland family, a popular downtown Pop-up Gallery has featured 14 all-media exhibits since 2017, showcasing art by over 200 regional artists.

“Phantom Project 17” Gallery shots. Photos by Leslie Hannon

Locals and out-of-area guests visited month after month to enjoy over 800 unique designs in various art media, including creations in assemblage, clay, collage, drawing, encaustic art, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture & wood. Nearby businesses appreciated additional foot traffic attracted by the upscale contemporary art space in the last 19 months, too.

All that will change when the current “Phantom Project 17” and the Pop-up Gallery close its art adventure Saturday, February 16.

“Phantom Project 17” Gallery shots. Photos by Leslie Hannon

In July 2017 when Copeland Properties offered its vacant retail space to the Central Coast Sculptor Group and San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, everyone knew the Pop-up agreement was a temporary arrangement until other business plans fell into place. Last week, SLOMA & Central Coast Sculptor Group leaders discovered that the 959 Higuera Gallery would close February 16.

“Phantom Project 17” Gallery shots. Photos by Leslie HannonThe current “Phantom Project 17” exhibit is free and open to the public 1-9pm, Thursday-Saturday, February 14-16 at 959 Higuera, San Luis Obispo, CA. Jurors Lois Charles, Christine Cortese and George Jercich selected over 70 upscale contemporary artworks for sale by 54 regional artists.

Mike Hannon’s “Kickboxers” Photo by Leslie Hannon

CCSG facilitator Carl Berney had nothing but praise for the Copeland’s generosity. “We started with a one or two month expectation, and we’ve been really grateful to use this space to share local art with our community. It’s been a great ride. Our members and Phantom artists have appreciated everything that the Museum did to make this series of Phantom exhibits happen. ARTS Obispo’s Art After Dark events brought us hundreds of guests, too.”

Karen Kile, SLOMA’s Executive Director agreed. In March 2018, she wrote in SLOMA’s newsletter “It’s been wonderful working with Copeland Properties. Their wisdom in letting SLOMA’s artist groups keep that premier retail space alive and vibrant with art exhibitions is a win-win for the community and the artists.” She added, “My thanks to the Sculptors, for putting a lot of energy into organizing the shows. SLOMA’s Pop-up space has been an additional gallery opportunity for artists throughout the County, and beyond, since July 2017.

“Phantom Project Pop-up Gallery” Photo by Don Lampson

CCSG member and Phantom curator Leslie Hannon affirmed the Sculptor Group’s positive experience. “It really took a village to make these exhibits happen month after month. Our volunteer docents met guests from all over California and the world. Some San Luis residents were surprised and happy to discover the quality of art created in this very neighborhood. My husband (artist) Mike and I are grateful to everyone who supported this effort, and to CCSG members’ determination to do Phantom shows each month, when we’d get a green light that the space was still available to us.”

Stop by before February 16 to discover how a one-month opportunity grew to a dynamic showcase of local art.

Window signage of CCSG’s graphic ”Phantom Project.” Photo by Joseph Amanzio

For more Central Coast Sculptors Group details, visit centralcoastsculptors.org  and follow CCSG Facebook page. All SLOMA members are welcome to join CCSG, too. For additional information, please contact Carl Berney at Sculpto707@gmail.com