Founded in 2010, Phantoms in the Front Yard (PITFY) is a Vancouver-based figurative artist collective focused on elevating the human figure’s role as muse in the Canadian contemporary art scene. The exhibition will open Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 12 to 4 pm and will run until September 14, 2019.

This group brings together the work of Vancouver artists Michael Abraham, Jeremy Birnbaum, Paul Morstad, Jonathan Sutton, Andrea hooge and Jay Senetchko, in collaboration with curator Pennylane Shen.

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 hope to bring figurative work back to its rightful place in the front yard of contemporary art.

With a goal of creating art for all, not just academics and industry veterans, the PITFY 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.

Michael Abraham began his studies in life drawing and compositional painting at the Ontario College of Art (1984-88). He has also won numerous awards, including his recent title of Senior Signature Status SFCA, in recognition of Extraordinary Achievement in the field of Visual Fine Arts.

Having studied Classical Animation at Vancouver Film School, Jay Senetchko apprenticed under Gideon Flitt for three years, and Odd Nerdrum for one. Jay Senetchko also teaches film, painting, and drawing at Vancouver Film School and in his private studio. In 2011 he was nominated as a finalist for Canada’s Kingston Prize.

A practicing artist based in Vancouver, Jeremiah Birnbaum studied at the Victoria College of Art (2001-2003) before earning a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2006.  Since graduating Birnbaum has exhibited extensively in both public and private galleries in Vancouver, British Columbia as well as Edmonton, Alberta and Halifax, Nova Scotia.  In 2011 he was nominated as a finalist for Canada’s Kingston Prize.

Paul Morstad was raised in the Western Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. The landscapes, people flora and fauna of these places deeply influence his paintings and films. Having worked previously for the NFB in Montreal for ten years, he currently lives and works in Vancouver, exhibiting at the prestigious Gallery Jones.

Andrea Hooge is often inspired by the nostalgia of vintage magazine and children’s books, and her focus is mainly on creating figurative oil paintings and scratchboards. Andrea’s work has been exhibited in various group shows in Vancouver, and she has had five solo exhibitions, titled “Dolly,” “Scratch,” “Menno Kitty,” “Easter Eggs,” and “Toy Babies” at Hot Art Wet City.

After earning a BFA in Theatre from UBC, Jonathan Sutton worked as an actor, director, writer and producer in theatre and film for over a decade. The visual art practice that was to become his main artistic focus evolved through these media, and he continues to draw on dramatic, literary, and narrative influences. He has exhibited in Vancouver and Toronto, and won awards in both cities.

Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 12 to 4 pm!