Double Honors for Artist Pamela Miller

Traditions run deep at Phillips’ Mill, and two of the most beloved are the Honored Artist and Signature Image for the Mill’s historic Juried Art Exhibition, now in its 94th year. In an unprecedented, exciting, and happy coincidence, independent voting for the two honors this year resulted in the selection of Bucks County landscape painter and portraitist Pamela Miller as the recipient of both.

Earlier this year, Pamela was delighted to learn that her painting "The Party Cat of Phillips' Mill" was selected as the Signature Image for the 94th Annual Juried Art Show. Many significant works have earned the title Signature Image since the honor was established in 2013, and this year’s selection offers a fresh and different perspective. As in years past, this year's Signature Image is being featured prominently on all of the show’s promotional materials, including the Prospectus, now available online, as well as the Mill’s website, the invitation for patron support, and show postcards and posters.

A short while later, she was deeply moved to learn she had also been selected as the Honored Artist for the 94th Annual Juried Art Show. With Pamela's long history of dedication to Phillips’ Mill and its historic art exhibition, it was not surprising to others that she would make history by receiving both recognitions.

The Story Behind the Fun-Loving "Party Cat of Phillips' Mill"

The painting was inspired by a series of chance meetings the artist had with the friendly feline. It was about 10 years ago that Pamela first became acquainted with the affable tabby, who loved to hang out at the Phillips’ Mill during opening receptions and other special events. The cat, affectionately known as “The Party Cat of Phillips’ Mill,” captured the artist’s heart and imagination.

“It was a thrill to be chosen, and this painting tells a great story.”

― Pamela Miller

"The Phillips' Mill Party Cat"
"The Phillips' Mill Party Cat"

“I once followed the cat to see where it would go,” recalls Pamela, describing her inspiration for the painting. “The cat would sit by the side of the road and listen for traffic (to know when it was safe to cross). It would then come strutting into the Mill to get its chin scratched and to socialize. I now realize how much I like telling stories with my work, especially about the people and places I have seen in Bucks County.” 

Born in New York City and raised in Flushing, New York, Pamela came to Pennsylvania 52 years ago as an intern at George School in Newtown. It was there she met her future husband, Dave Miller, who is also an artist. Dave and one of the science teachers at the George School were going to start an organic garden. Although that project never got off the ground, he remained at the School as a member of the grounds crew, a job he remembers fondly. Pamela and Dave were married in 1972 and moved to New Hope in 1977. They have been living in the same house ever since.

Together they own and operate Moon Arbor Studios, also in New Hope, focusing on pottery, woodworking and painting.

Although she began her career as a potter, Miller is best known for her landscapes. In the 1980s, she began to work with pastels, finding joy in the immediacy of that medium. Miller also enjoys painting portraits of children. Her work has been included in many of Phillips’ Mill’s juried art exhibitions over the years and is also exhibited at the Coryell Gallery in Lambertville, New Jersey. Miller was part of the Phillips’ Mill 75th Retrospective Invitational Show in 2005.

“It was a thrill to be part of the 75th Retrospective. Art is a very difficult thing to do,” she acknowledges, “because it can be very haphazard. Yet I have had some nice success.”

Some very nice successes, indeed, among those numerous acceptances and awards in the Annual Juried Show at Phillips’ Mill. She is most delighted about being named this year's Honored Artist.

“It is pretty cool to be honored with artists I have respected for so many years. This is very exciting for me."

Pam’s welcoming, inquisitive and positive attitude has gotten her through some challenging times, and also opened the door to new opportunities and experiences. She loves to teach, to dance, to paint and to share her joy with all around her. Like the “party cat,” she loved to go to the opening of the annual art show. “We laugh and do silly things. Of course, my interest in the Mill has always been about history and artist stories, and how this historical building spawned the New Hope art scene. That is most precious to me.”

About the Artist

Landscape painter and portraitist Pamela M. Miller was born in New York City and raised in Flushing, N.Y. She received a teacher’s certification from Northland College in Wisconsin. Miller has supplemented her painting career with various jobs over the years, including owning a clay mixing business with her sister, driving a school bus and teaching in local schools. She and her husband Dave currently own Moon Arbor Studios in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Pottery, woodworking and painting are the focuses of the duo’s production.

Miller is known for her landscapes with hay rolls, which she wants to capture before they disappear from the Bucks County scene forever. In the 1980s, Miller began to work with pastels, finding joy in the immediacy of that medium. She has developed her own technique of sharpening her sticks and using them like finely pointed brushes. Miller is also a portrait artist for children. She exhibits regularly at the Phillips’ Mill Annual Art Exhibition in New Hope and at the Coryell Gallery in Lambertville, New Jersey. She was part of the Phillips’ Mill 75th Retrospective Invitational Show in 2005.

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus