Phantoms in the Front Yard Collective Projects
Founded in 2010, Phantoms in the Front Yard (PITFY) is a Vancouver-based figurative artist collective focused on figurative work in the Canadian contemporary art.
The group brings together the work of Vancouver artists Michael Abraham, Jeremy Birnbaum, Andrea Hooge, Paul Morstad, Jonathan Sutton and Jay Senetchko; as well as satellite members Bruce Pashak and Caroline Weaver. Pennylane Shen curates the group.
Inspired by an offhand comment by a group member about his dog Phantom’s whereabouts, the name captures the essence of the group’s purpose: to address the fact that Modernist and Postmodern schools of thought virtually ignore the importance of figurative work, effectively banishing it to the back yard. With each exhibition, the Phantoms help bring figurative work back to the front yard of contemporary art.
With a goal of creating art for all, not just academics and industry veterans, the collective opens its doors to members from a broad range of career stages. This diversity provides a variety of perspectives and an exciting opportunity for each member. Emerging artists gain insight from experience, and established ones are invigorated with new ideas.
PITFY exhibitions feature works by collective members and two invited guests who have the potential to join the collective full-time. This model adds a dynamic element to group relations, with every participant assigned specific duties to help make the show a success.
PITFY exhibitions occur annually in alternative venues independent of gallery or institutional settings. This format allows complete freedom to determine which work will be shown and how. Contrary to group shows curated to reflect a unifying theme, PITFY exhibitions are unified in the artistic process itself. Group members take turns choosing each show’s theme, which other members are free to interpret in their own manner. Subject matter is developed collaboratively in group meetings, resulting in work that is often outside of, and sometimes even contrary to, each member’s normal subject matter and process. This inspires experimentation and new possibilities, often resulting in work that is very diverse in nature, yet unified on a common theme.
PITFY exhibitions are made possible in part by generous sponsorship from