Two hours after leaving 1821 Gallery, and a flurry of online searches later, I realized I’d just interviewed a pretty important person–see also: celebrity, luminary, pioneer, authority, mainstay–in the Fresno art world. And, perhaps, the art world in general.
His name is Phil Bowers, maybe you’ve heard of him. I hadn’t. Not until I walked into the amazing 1821 Gallery in downtown Fresno and shook his hand. The gallery–opened in 2012 by Bruce Kalkowski, it is a modern, warm space that retains many elements from its previous incarnation as an auto body shop and comes complete with exposed brick walls and skylights–will be home to Bowers’ latest multi-media exhibit until January 17.
The show opens tonight as part of the downtown/Tower District ArtHop held once a month. A self-described “prodigy,” Bowers has had the kind of career necessary to back up such a statement–he had his first professional show at age 15. This latest show is a collection of new works and a few older pieces, including one that Bowers finally finished this year after starting it in 1999.
If you stop by the show, and you should, be sure to check out his “Constellations” installation (it’ll be hard to miss) and keep an eye out for Elvis. And be prepared to examine things very, very closely. Otherwise, you’ll miss out.
1821 Gallery is located at 1821 Calaveras St. The gallery will be open for ArtHop from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 4. Its regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment.