(Asheville, NC) Phil Cheney is an Asheville based artist that has supported local and international festivities for years. Phil has designed festival artwork for posters and t-shirts, performed over a hundred live paintings (each painting took anywhere from 5 to 20 performances to complete), co-created a “Dynamic Art Gallerie” at festivals, designed over 75 CD covers, and painted murals across the southeast. And that is not all; Phil is about to launch the publication of a children’s book tentatively entitled “Party Animals”, which started as a song by the Royal Rascals for a Children’s Album.
Phil Cheney has been painting and drawing as far back as he can remember. He drew for others entertainment with picture stories during class throughout gradeschool and then in high school he became the Art Editor of the student news paper. In College, Phil drew Cartoons for three different publications. Then, afterward, he tried unsuccessfully to become a syndicated cartoonist; his work was just too far in left field to make it work in the mainstream. . . so he switched gears, became a baker and got involved in listening to good music.
At this time, in 1997, he got to know the performance group, Snake Oil Medicine Show. He was immediately drawn to their upbeat quirkiness and in August of that year Phil did his first live painting at Jehosaphest (Snake Oil’s one and only self-promoted music festival). After that, live painting became a regular gig and launched his career in being part of this musical medicine show.
As time went by, the group traveled all across the United States then on to Europe. Then, in 2003, Snake Oil Medicine Show had been invited to perform at a special party, called the Chinese New Year in Negril, Jamaica (CHNY). CHNY is hosted by DeepBlueRipple International, Inc and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Festival Organizer Libre Brousseau, states “While the musicians explored new rhythms on stage with a local Jamaican band The Overtakers, Phil created a stunning image of a Chinese Dragon. I asked Phil if we could use the image for the Chinese New Year event logo the following year and that marked the beginning of a wonderful, synergistic relationship between Phil and CHNY.” Phil Cheney’s art is a perfect fit for the Chinese New Year event and DeepBlueRipple International. His images capture the quality of seeing the world through a child’s eyes – creative, vibrant, playful, and overflowing with energy.
For the past five years Phil has been the artistic director for this humanitarian event that invites participants to “Party in Jamaica for a Good Cause”. Visit http://www.CHNY.org and click on Photos to see Cheney’s designs for Years of the Pig, Cock, Dog, Rat, and hot off the easel 2009 Year of the Ox. Phil’s generous nature and hunger to continually evolve as an artist have led him to locate local Jamaican painters and invite them to paint live with him during the concerts. Now the children of these artists are coming to the events and sharing their talents, a legacy that Phil continues to encourage and facilitate. Proceeds from the Chinese New Year concerts and events in Jamaica support the nonprofit DeepBlueRipple International Inc. – Providing art, music, and play to disadvantaged youth.
Other festivals that Phil has designed artwork for are the Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) and the French Broad River Festival in North Carolina as well as OUR Festival in Western New York State. He also has donated many of his large paintings to support organizations such as the Moog Foundation and the Western North Carolina AIDS Project. Phil states, “I have learned that if you can’t make a contribution in cash to help out your favorite causes, there are still several ways to help, Art is just one of them.”
“I hold firm to my belief in Art Magic. Art, which I define simply as Human Creativity (not to discount the creativity of our fellow Earthlings, the Elephant and the Monkey, to name just two), has a very powerful ability to heal on many levels.”, this statement by Cheney is what has led him to be an avid supporter of the many projects and events that he has truly helped bring to life with his creativity
Phil Cheney’s Art Sites:
Links to organizations Phil Cheney has contributed artwork to: