Learn about the lives and inspirations of our local artists
When Delia McHugh asked her art teacher at Central Bucks West if she could borrow some oil pastels to finish up a piece, she was just “playing around” with a new medium. When Delia returned to school a few days later, her teacher was astonished by the self-portrait she created.
Rick Goodwin recalls the exact moment he decided to write his first full-length play. The retired magazine publisher from Bucks County, Pa., was sitting in a hotel room in Evanston, Illinois, a small town just north of Chicago and home to Goodwin’s alma mater, Northwestern University. It was seven years ago. He was 59 years old. The play that had been floating around in his head was still there, in his head. “I said to myself, ‘You better get started,’” he relays.
Luiz Vilela works primary in oil, but is proficient in watercolor, charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper. Many of his paintings include landscapes and river scenes of Bucks County, Pa. He is also drawn to popular locations on Cape Cod, the English countryside, and his native country of Brazil for inspiration.
Patricia Allingham Carlson's watercolor and mixed media paintings are of real and imagined people and places.
Maria Dreyer was just as surprised as she was honored to be accepted in this year’s Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition. “I did not see it coming,” says Maria, who classifies herself as a composite photographer.
Born and raised in Clinton Township, New Jersey, Sullivan knew she would be an artist when she was five years old, the year her grandmother surrounded her with paint and repeated simple but encouraging words: “Don’t be shy with the paint,” a refrain that stuck.
For as long as she can remember, Annika Crawford has communicated through her art. “Even before I could write, I was drawing,” says the George School senior whose work, “Alton” won “Best in Show” in this year’s Youth Art Exhibition.
Award-winning photographer Bob Krist loves to tell a good story, and one of his favorites is about the time he met Bob Gilka, Director of Photography at National Geographic. Back then, Bob was an aspiring photojournalist and would-be world wanderer, who could only dream of securing an assignment from the prestigious travel magazine. But he had also just been named “Photojournalist of the Year” by a New Jersey newspaper, and that gave him the courage to approach Gilka about a job.
Just in time for the holidays, we are spotlighting Robert Papp, whose mesmerizing oil painting, “The Christmas Tree Farmer,” was featured in this year’s Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show. The Bucks County fine artist had been getting his Christmas tree from the same nursery for many years, and was always struck by the owner’s sense of pride.
Sculptor Jennifer Rubin Garey is fascinated not only with the female form, but in how women are represented (and underrepresented) in art — both as artists and as subjects.
When Frank Arcuri began painting “Capriccio,” it had been nearly 25 years since he had submitted any artwork to the Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show. In that time, the fine artist who is currently represented by the Patricia Hutton Galleries in Doylestown, Pa., has earned much acclaim for his masterful still life paintings.
Contemporary painter and sculptor Léni Paquet-Morante looks to the landscape for inspiration and finds beauty and intrigue in its intricate structures as well as its sweeping vistas. More and more, she is drawn to the water, particularly shallow water—creeks, puddles, wetlands—mesmerized by its layers and movement.
Amanda’s paintings often feature beautiful natural settings, captured and interpreted in bright, bold colors, in places that have special meaning to her, like the fields surrounding her family’s farm in Ottsville, Pa. And, of course, the Phillips Mill itself, a setting she has drawn and painted often.
Dottie Sommer wrote many original plays produced on our stage in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Thanks to Eleanor Miller for providing copies of her drawings and to Patrick Fowles for curating them.
“If you want to restore your faith in humanity, hike the Appalachian trail,” says Francisco Silva, whose painting of the Phillips’ Mill was selected to be the art show’s Signature Image for 2021.
The Phillips' Mill Community Association supports programming in the visual and performing arts, and hosts social and educational events. It is the broadest-ranging venue for artistic expression in Bucks County.
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