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Our popular ArtTalk series features online conversations with artists, curators, playwrights and more. Join us the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.*

ArtTalk is hosted by Laura Womack, President of the Phillips' Mill Community Association. Laura hosted her own syndicated show in Virginia before joining WAMU in Washington, D.C., where she also contributed to NPR. Laura became involved in the arts while living in Singapore, where she worked as a docent and developed an interest in textiles. Today, Laura is a weaver and Board President of Phillips’ Mill.
Production Team: Jen McHugh, executive producer; and Dennis Riley and Jean Mihich, content producers.

Dennis Riley, Laura Womack, Jean Mihich, and Jen McHugh
(Photo credit: Sue Ann Rainey)

You can view past shows on the Phillips' Mill YouTube channel, or scroll down to find them right here!

*Please check the website for dates and times, particularly if the Wednesday falls before a holiday.

We at ArtTalk hope to continue to grow and provide our viewers with interesting content. That includes more on-site interviews, studio tours and in person conversations. This growth requires the purchase of audio and recording equipment. Your financial support of ArtTalk can help make this possible. Click on the button below to make a contribution. We appreciate your continued support!

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A Collection of Past Conversations

May 17, 2023

Helena van Emmerik-Finn

Helena van Emmerik-Finn has focused on pastels as her main media for more than forty years, with oil as a second media. She paints light and color and let’s them reveal the landscape or scene in her works. Her emphasis on compositional movement engages the viewer in her subject. She says, “The preliminary drawing process has become very important to me. Once I have established this strong foundation in my work, I intuitively and quickly apply color."

We’ll talk with Helena about her process and why the technical aspects of her art are so important to creating the engaging images in her work. We’ll also explore pastels as a medium, what makes them uniquely challenging and rewarding.

Helena’s family emigrated from Holland a few weeks before she was born and settled in upper Bucks County. She attended the Philadelphia College of Art where she studied graphic design, photography and film-making. Helena is a regular participant in the Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show. After college, Helena traveled extensively, including back-backing and youth-hostelling through Europe, North Africa and India. She now lives in Doylestown, Bucks County, with her husband, Bob.

April 25, 2023

James Dupree

James Dupree’s work is filled with intense color, lots of hues. It grows out of his personal sense of color. James’s art treads the line between politics, culture, and fine art. What lies beyond the viewer’s initial aesthetic impression, are poignant messages on race and class. As a master of his craft, the intentionality behind his work is supported by the intersection of his expression of color, form, and unparalleled technique. Paired with Dupree’s ardent activism as a stronghold within the Philadelphia community for the last forty years, this artist and agitator carefully impacts all which he touches.

Dupree holds a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and has attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He has taught at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, University of Pennsylvania, and Crewe and Alsager College in England.

James Dupree owns and operates two Contemporary Fine Art galleries, in Lambertville and Philadelphia. His work is in the collections of Philadelphia Museum of Art,LA African American Museum, The Schomburg Center in NYC, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and Patti LaBelle.

March 23, 2023

Jill Enfield

Old photographs often have a different quality to them, a personality that pop photographers often try to achieve with filters on their digital devices. Next up on ArtTalk we’ll talk with Jill Enfield about her work as an expert in alternative processes in photography, which is often historical processes of photography.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be artist or apply alternative processes to your digital photography. For her recent work, titled The Way Home, Jill used her iPhone to take images from the Metro North commuter train that she rides a few times a week, traveling along the Hudson River from the Beacon train station to NYC. Jill made positive transparencies from the iPhone images to contact print on to glass for the final pieces.

November 16, 2022

Annelies van Dommelen

In this episode of ArtTalk, improvisational artist Annelies van Dommelen discusses the challenges and rewards of working without a plan.

October 26, 2022

Drama at the Mill

Early records indicate that all the way back in 1921 locals performed Antons Chekhov’s “The Proposal” on the stage at Phillips’ Mill. It’s believed to have been the first play performed at the quaint location in Bucks County, Pa. That was the start of a long tradition of bringing live, community-driven theater to our community. From original musical comedies to cabarets, short plays and impromptu poetry readings, Phillips’ Mill Drama has presented a variety of entertainment while supporting the aspirations of emerging writers, actors, musicians, and other artists.

More than a century later the Drama Committee is still going strong. How exactly has the Drama Committee continued for 100 years? How has it evolved over the years to what it is today and where will it go tomorrow? Valerie Eastburn, Chair of the Mille drama program, and Fran Young, director of the Mill’s EPC readings, will be our guests on the next ArtTalk where we will pull back the curtain and get a peek at what’s next.

September 28, 2022

2022 Honored Artist Luiz Vilela

Luiz Vilela’s work is highly skilled and he paints beautiful pictures, whether they’re a landscape or a portrait. But there’s something more there. People stop in their tracks and gaze at his work, like "Under Paris Skies" in last year’s show at Phillips’ Mill. He was voted onto Art Talk’s People’s Choice show as a result. Luiz likes to paint from life because he says photos often lie. Luiz tells a story that evolves from moment to moment as he’s painting.

That close time spent with his subjects and of course a lot of work on his skills gives Luiz’s work that striking presence. He says he found his “right place” as an artist when he made a master copy of one of the revered Daniel Garber’s works. He learned that each of Garber’s brushstrokes was exactly right. Luiz has learned to put down his brushstrokes and leave them there.

Luiz Vilela studied architecture at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and illustration at Pratt Institute in New York, as well as with Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati. Luiz worked at Golden Books and Random House. He’s an award-winning artist who’s exhibited at Phillips’ Mill for many years.

August 24, 2022

The Next Generation with Alexander Shanks

Alexander Shanks is a classically trained artist in the tradition of his parents, Nelson Shanks and Leona Shanks. He fuses classical methods with contemporary ideas. We’ll talk with him about what that means and how trends in technique affect what we see. Alexander is just back from Italy, where he absorbed inspiration from the classical masters. We’ll find out how he is applying this experience to his work in our modern context.

July 27, 2022

(re)Framing the Bucks County Art Canon

Art museums are often academic institutions, presenting art from a Euro-American canonical perspective. But we know that art is personal. What you see in a piece of art is influenced by what you’ve already seen, what you’ve experienced.

Art institutions that have traditionally displayed art and authoritative analysis for our edification are now asking curators from different backgrounds to design exhibits. And they’re asking visitors what they think about the works on display. Rather than a lesson in art history, it’s a conversation.

Our own Michener Art Museum has recently mounted such a show called (re)Frame: Community Perspectives on the Michener’s Art Collection. Curators with multiple social and environmental viewpoints have selected familiar works and shared their personal interpretations.

But what does this mean for the role of the museum as educator? And how will it affect our experience as art lovers?

Join our conversation about the exhibit with Dr. Laura Igoe, Chief Curator, and Joshua Lessard, Director of Exhibitions, as well as hear from some of the guest curators.


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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus