Panhandle Slim holds first art show following tragic studio fire

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — All around Savannah, you can find the faces of those who have fought battles, blazed pathways, and overcame the odds to become some of society’s most influential leaders. 

“It’s easily recognizable, especially driving through the city and you can look up and see one of his pieces,” said local artist Qadree Jackson.

“I have a couple of things in my classroom at school that he’s done, and a couple at home,” said Rosalind Brady.

Renowned artist Scott Stanton, better know as Panhandle Slim, is the heart and soul behind these paintings. But on December 30th, as he prepared to return from an art show in Pensacola, Florida, he got a call that would change everything.

“I got a call saying my garage was on fire, like okay, well, I’m coming home. But yeah, I got home and it was burned down and I just, started doing what I do,” said Stanton.

Lost in the fire were many pieces of his art, his supplies, and a lifetimes worth of momentos, but without a shadow of doubt Stanton knew exactly what must be done next.

“Went and started from scratch. Got some paint supplies, brushes, whatever I needed, realizing everything is gone, but I just kept painting, and that’s what I’m doing and now I’ll move forward, get a new studio and rebuild,” Stanton explained.

He spent the days following his studio fire painting as much as he could, and just 9 days after losing nearly everything, Panhandle held his first art show following the tragedy.

He was met with overwhelming support, selling out of nearly everything in record time.

“It felt amazing, like always. I’m always amazed and thankful for all the support I’ve gotten for a long time and it’s just confirming more how important this community is, and how much I care for them and how much they care for me,” Stanton explained.

Both a testament to his work, and the sense of community he has created over the years.

“Panhandle, Scott, I think has become a spokesman and I think he’s reminded us all of the power of art to help people understand and interpret the world. And, he’s just quite frankly a cool guy,” said Tom Kohler, a friend of Stanton’s.

“I think art can definitely bring a community together. This was a tragedy that he lost his art studio, his garage in the fire, but today I believe he sold just about every piece he brought out there, and I think that says a lot about the community,” described Jackson.

The legend that is Panhandle Slim will continue to live on. More art will be made, more emotions will be felt, and more smiles will be put on the faces of people all across the hostess city and beyond.

“Tomorrow’s, tomorrow’s a new day. New stuff will be collected,” Stanton remarked.

While he has not made a GoFundMe to restore what he lost, he does have a Venmo @PanhandleSlim, PayPal, and Cashapp $scottcstanton for donations.

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