Grist Wheel Icon

Join the Conversation with Phillips' Mill ArtTalk

Our popular ArtTalk series features online conversations with artists, curators, playwrights and more. Join us the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. It is, however, best to check the website for scheduling information as dates sometimes change due to artists’ availability

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.

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.

Save the Date for these Upcoming ArtTalks

May 15 - Jenny Schaeffer
June 19 - Miriam Carpenter
July 17 - Al Gury
September 18 - Honored Artist from the Phillips' Mill Juried Art Show
October 16 - Freda Williams

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!

Donate to ArtTalk

A Collection of Past Conversations

August 23, 2023

Martha Wirkijowski

What if Edward Hopper was a Goth who read manga? Martha Wirkijowski paints nightscapes that Hopper might have painted if he’d had those references. She often depicts buildings at night, from the perspective of an observant outsider. There’s an expectancy to her paintings, an awareness. And like Hopper, Martha has a keen sense of color. But her color goes to eleven. It’s neon. Her website says she paints luminous nightscapes. That’s true, if mild. They glow with phosphorescent green, hot pink, burnt orange and magic hour blue. There’s color in her shadows, color in her whites.

Martha’s subjects are often street scenes, usually Lambertville, NJ. Lambertville’s famous Halloween extravaganza appears in Martha’s oeuvre frequently and fondly. Even when her subject isn’t that spooky holiday her nightscapes have a Gorey-esque quality, with weblike interlacing of tree branches and animated shadows. She has other subjects too, landscapes and cats.

We’ll talk with Martha about her thoroughly modern aesthetic, how she pulls off those neon colors in her nightscapes and about how much manga she does or doesn’t read.

Martha Wirkijowski graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustrations. She’s the creator of two graphic novels, Unlucky Sacred Heart Suburb Book One and Sacred Heart Suburb Book One, She’s exhibited broadly, including at Phillip’s Mill Juried Art Show, in Philadelphia Galleries, Brooklyn, and more.

View more at

July 19, 2023

Mark Sfirri

Baseball bats that branch or crook sideways… tables with legs and “bent knees” that seem to dance… candlesticks apparently made of mismatched wooden discs stacked precariously that risk the security of the flaming torches they’re meant to hold… these are some of the works created by sculptor Mark Sfirri. His wooden turnings have an insouciance that belies the precision that characterizes his work. His pieces are humorous and engaging.

Some of the best art can result from explorations of a very simple concept. Mark Sfirri has fruitfully explored multi-axis wood turning on a lathe. The technique is challenging and requires careful planning and yet Mark’s results appear effortless.

Mark Sfirri has a BFA and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. His work is in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, the Museum of Arts & Design in NY, Yale University Art Gallery, the LA County Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Musee de Bugey-Valromey, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the Michener Art Museum, among many others. He’s written several articles on Wharton Esherick and lectured and demonstrated on wood turning internationally.

June 21, 2023

Leon Rainbow

As a kid in California during the 80’s Leon Rainbow saw the impact other kids were having as they created a new art form through graffiti. The colors and the movement were cool. He decided that’s what he wanted to do. Now Leon is a resident of Trenton, where he not only is a graffiti artist but also teaches and sometimes juries art.

Leon says his art is a channel for deeper expression. He applies fine art composition and principles to his work which allows him to react and visually educate on social issues and current events. He uses styles that his young audience can relate to and designs his visual media with a powerful spiritual message. Leon believes that his approach allows him to reach a wide variety of people:

“Anyone who looks at my art sees something beautiful – it might just be color, shape or form – or they can tune into the narrative. My goal is to make art that resonates on several levels.”
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.


Sign up to receive new and updates from the Mill.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.
Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus