Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Panhandle Slim (Maclay 4th Grade Teachers)

 Have you ever heard of Panhandle Slim? I was walking down our 4th grade hallway and saw these really awesome portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the style of Panhandle Slim. So, you know me...I am always wanting to blog on anything artsy that I see on our campus. I went in and spoke to several of the 4th grade teachers and they allowed me to blog on these. Below in an article that I found on Panhandle Slim. I inserted it in the text for you.

Like father, like son 

Panhandle Slim and his son Tex show art for a good cause.

Several years ago, the first time I heard about a painter named Panhandle Slim, it immediately evoked an image of some artistically inclined drifter riding the rails with an easel and some acrylic paints, who showed up downtown one day with an armload of colorful, primitive portraits and tried to earn some drinking money hawking pictures of pop culture icons and rock stars.
It turns out reality is a little different. Panhandle Slim is actually professional skateboarder-turned-musician-turned-artist Scott Stanton, who's called Savannah home for the last couple years. He doesn't have a long white beard; nor does he paint in a box car.
His paintings, which combine a folk art aesthetic with a certain rock and roll sensibility, feature tributes to everyone from former President Jimmy Carter to Butthole Surfer front man Gibby Haynes, and have become a mainstay on the walls of downtown locales like Hangfire and Moon River.
This week, he and his five year old son Tex will debut a shared exhibition, their second such show together, and the proceeds will benefit the local Ronald McDonald House Charity. We spoke with the elusive Panhandle Slim last week about alter-egos, inspiration and his son's celebrity status.
Where did the whole Panhandle Slim thing begin?
Panhandle Slim: I'm from the Panhandle of Florida. It all began up in Michigan, we lived up there for about 7 years, and I didn't really realize I was from the South until everybody started pointing it out. I had always been painting, but I started with the folk art and had to come up with a name, or thought I should come up with a name. I don't know why. I just started signing them Panhandle Slim.
What drew you to doing the folk-art-pop-culture-portraiture?
Panhandle Slim: Kind of a mix between Howard Finster and Wesley Willis. I really liked art, but I couldn't afford it, so I just thought I'd try it myself. I got ideas from Howard Finster and then it morphed into my own style over the years. I was doing mostly pop culture people, and mostly music, because I would just paint the people I was listening to at the moment, and of course lyrics came out or good quotes that they would say.
What prompted the benefit side of this upcoming show?
Panhandle Slim: We've done a couple shows at Hangfire. Last year we did one. I really wanted to do a show for a women's charity. Last year someone came along and said "what about autism?" So we did that, and it wasn't really local or anything. So this year, we're doing it for the local Ronald McDonald House. It's not the typical art show where it's quiet and stuffy. We make an event of it. Kids are there. With Tex's art, they sold really good last year, and I wanted it to go to a good cause.
How much help do you give Tex with those paintings?
Panhandle Slim: It's all his. He directs me on everything. I make sure it's all his colors and stuff. He does the drawing and then I paint it in and put the shellac coating over it - all the stuff he probably shouldn't be messing with at the moment. He's got quite an imagination. I wish I could come up with that stuff. He makes a lot of little books, almost little zine type things. He draws a story in there, and then once he's finished drawing, he narrates the story for me and I write out real quick. A lot of the paintings come from that.
Are you worried he's going to surpass you, and everyone will like his stuff better and you won't be able to get any more shows in Savannah?
Panhandle Slim: That's what some people have said. The only worry about him surpassing me is that he won't need me to help him anymore.
You could manage him until he's 18 - maybe become the Joe Jackson of the Savannah art scene?
Panhandle Slim: I do have fears about that; that I'm just the business dad who's pushing his son to do something. I try not to push him. It's all what he wants to do, and hopefully, if that's what he wants to keep doing than that's what he'll do. He looks like he's got something in his mind going artistically. People have mentioned that: "It's not gonna be much fun when he starts selling more than you." He has too. We were downtown, several months after the last show, at a store on Broughton getting something for my wife. Tex was talking to the lady, and she said, "what's your name?" And Tex, said "Tex," and she looked starstruck and said "I have one of your paintings." That was pretty funny. He was four then.
 These are close ups of the faces of MLK. You can see the detail in each one of them. From the bulletin board photos you can't make out the detail, so I wanted to show you these up close and personal.

 I am impressed with the art. I think 4th grade did a fantastic job on creating these in honor of MLK and learning about Panhandle Slim at the same time. Kudos to those teachers; Mrs. Hicks, Ms. Angerer and Mrs. Wright.

 The above is and original of Panhandle Slim. You can find more art work like this in the links below:

Art Walk Gainesville
Friday, July 27, at 7:00 p.m.
At the Hippodrome Art Gallery

The Hippodrome Art Gallery will be featuring art by Panhandle Slim for your stroll around downtown on Friday, July 27, for Artwalk Gainesville from 7 to 10 p.m. Join us for art & wine!
Local, self-taught artist Panhandle Slim incorporates the slant of the folk aesthetic within his artist expression: flat, cartoon-like, simple, quick and honest. While the physical materials comprising the structure of his work may hail from trash bins and alleyways, the visual language he provides pulls from music, literature, art, film and politics. Typical of Panhandle Slim’s work is a painted head-shot image of a chosen personality accompanied by a quote expressed from that particular individual. “I use other people’s statements, ideas and quotes to make my art.” Within this dialogue, some offerings are mean for humor, some life affirmations, and some are pointed and political. Panhandle Slim’s own intentions are left neutral as to why and what he has chosen to provide the viewer, as if he is only holding a mirror of our society for us to peer into.

Panhandle Slim - Folk Art
Panhandle Slim doesn’t necessarily classify himself as a folk artist — he just says he likes to “paint ART for FOLK.” The professional skateboarder - turned musician - turned artist is quickly becoming a Savannah institution: his artwork is ubiquitous in the downtown. His flat-planed pop culture creations are infused with equal parts sensitive insight and tongue-in-cheek wit. Slim’s paintings have depicted everyone from former President Jimmy Carter to Amy Winehouse to Batman. He says he’s influenced by “a mix between Howard Finster and Wesley Willis.”
Slim started making art after going to a gallery and being unable to afford the art he liked. “So I just thought I’d try it myself.” He began painting the musicians whose music he was listening to most, pulling quotes and inspiration from their songs. He mainly paints on found objects (boards, used signs, scraps, and occasionally thrifted paintings), saying, “Painting on materials/surfaces that I find is rewarding. I take someone’s trash, put some paint on it and then someone else sees newfound beauty in it and it goes back in someone’s house."

Huge Shout Out to the Maclay Lower School 4th grade teachers for letting me share this art on MLK Day, 2019! Much Appreciated =)

Thought this song was fitting since Panhandle Slim is from Savannah! 
Take a listen -

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