What a year 2013 was! Not only was it one of the best Phish years on record, but there was some incredible Phish inspired art that set the bar high for future years. This is not just a coincidence – when the band is at the top of their game, it rubs off on the fans and art community. Summer Shakedowns were good (despite the rain) and Dicks and Fall Tour led to some of the most memorable Shakedowns in 3.0, with the highlight of them all being the PhanArt Poster and Pin Exhibition in Atlantic City on November 2nd.
2013 was also a HUGE year in money raised for The Mockingbird Foundation. For the first time since PhanArt.net started in 2009, PhanArt and Friends have raised over $5,000! $5,106.30 to be exact. I set a goal in 2010 of raising $5,000 a year – the maximum grant that The Mockingbird Foundation gives, and each year we crept towards the goal, this year being the first year we reached that goal! Overall, we have raised over $14,000 and that is mainly from small donations from artists, based on sales of their art. Music fans supporting artists supporting charity supporting music education – this is a fantastic cycle that I’m glad so many have become a part of.
There was a great deal of 30th anniversary art, a plethora of pins, and seemingly everything has the Fishman Donuts on them now. Seriously, they are making carpeting. Wallpaper isnt too far away. A full body tattoo couldn’t be more than five years off. Posters, shirts, stickers, clothing – fans got creative and made great art, leading to fans buying that art and keeping the community thriving and on tour.
Following the pattern I have used for past ‘Best of PhanArt’, I have 13 for 2013 in my best of this year, including honorable mentions, which I am highlighting today. There has simply been too much great art this year and I would be neglecting some great art if I didnt give artists their proper due.
This list was compiled based on feedback received through the site, on tour, and through Facebook and Twitter. Fans were asked in the past month what was some of the best Phish related (non-official) art of 2013 and they responded. I took all suggestions into account and looked at the list and came up with the top 13, as well as the honorable mentions, which are highlighted today.
Remember, the Phanart made in 2013 was amazing and the following is just some of the best. If you think something was overlooked, share what was missed below in the comments section below.
Before we get to the art, a reminder on the mission of PhanArt:
PhanArt’s mission is to compile and preserve art created by Phish fans for the Phish community and, in the course of such work, to also benefit The Mockingbird Foundation, which raises funds for music education for children.
I am always here to support the artists and broaden their audience. Art is neglected in society. I see it neglected in schools – art and music are the first to be cut when something has to go. So with that in mind, consider this:
Ben Whitesell Steampunk - Ben follows up his #1 print of 2012 with this gorgeous print focused on Mike’s bass. Ben has done official prints for Widespread Panic and Keller Williams in the past year, a sign of great things to come from.
Pheanuts shirts/stickers – Ok, disclaimer – this was sold by PhanArt all summer and fall, but the response to this art by Andrew Cariboni puts it on the list. Seriously, the response was overwhelming at times. Thanks to all who picked up a shirt or sticker. The gang’s all there. Look for this shirt to make a return to the PhanArt Store sometime this spring.
Virginia is for Lizards shirts - Maybe So Maybe Lot sold out of this shirt during the Hampton run this past fall, and donated $1 for every shirt sold to The Mockingbird Foundation. After printing some more, he ended up donating $196 from the sale of his shirts. Its not the donations that get him on the list, its the simplicity of the design and use of the iconic Virginia state motto, ‘Virginia is for lovers’. But it’s for the Lizards too.
Fishman scarves - Well, putting the Donuts on everything eventually would lead to some practical, formal applications of the universal design. Last year, it was ties by stuPINdous Creations. This year, it’s scarves from the great mind of Adrian Sharpe at stuPINdous. Warm, super long and quite stylish, these were a huge hit and sold out quickly for good reason.
Mark Serlo’s SPAC poster - I loved this one from the moment I saw it at the Mothership Art Collective’s Summer in Saratoga show during the SPAC run. Simple, small and working the dates and venue into the racing antelope – Mark covered all the bases in one great poster.
Ewok Fishman shirt – I ran into Eli wearing one of these outside the Sea Dog Brewery in Bangor the afternoon of the tour opener, and my jaw dropped. This one was a hit from the get-go – combine Star Wars geekery and a now iconic Phish design, and you have a fantastic shirt. Nub Nub.
Phish Shades - These were seen all over the summer, because Alexandra was selling them at literally every show this tour, even the Toronto rain-date! With a dozen or so different designs and plenty of fans needing sunglasses, these were practical and unique, and a great find on lot.
Hampton Death Star by Terra-Pins – This one sold out on pre-sale, to give you some idea of how popular it was among the pin community. A great pin from Chuck Hoffman and Terra-pins, it gives the term ‘The Mothership’ a whole new perspective, and ties sci-fi geekery to Phish with ease.
That’s all for Part 1. Stay tuned this week for Parts 2 and 3!