For the first time in three years, the Phillips’ Mill Youth Art Exhibition, showcasing the artwork of area high school students, is on display at the Mill. While the show was successfully transitioned to an online platform during the pandemic, there is no substitute for seeing the show in person, especially for the students and their families and teachers. The show is professionally executed, providing the young artists with the unique experience of exhibiting their work to a wide audience in a prestigious, historic venue.
It’s just as exciting for visitors, visibly in awe that such beautiful and sophisticated work was created by high school students.
Since the show was established in 2014, it has grown from a handful of participating high schools to more than 20 each year. Art teachers from 22 schools curated the 2023 show, selecting work in the following areas: Painting, Works on Paper, 3-D Works, Photography, and Non-Photography Digital Arts.
"What is most amazing about the Phillips' Mill Youth Art Exhibition is the unbelievable high-caliber of talent, craftsmanship, ideas, and depth of work from kids from all over the area," says Allison Levin, a fine arts instructor at Central Bucks West, who has had several students in the show over the years, including this year's Best of Show winner, Delia McHugh.
"Delia is the first of my students to win Best In Show," Mrs. Levin continues. "Yet, for the kids, it's more than just trying to win an award. It's about the experience of preparing your artwork, framing it, matting it, coming up with a unique title, deciding if you are going to sell your work and, if so, then pricing it at a level you feel it is worth your while to sell it."
For Delia, she not only sold her work, the first she ever submitted to the exhibition, but she was also approached about a commissioned piece. She was honored to be recognized with other talented award winners during a special reception for students, teachers, family and friends on Saturday, January 28. Sponsors were treated to a preview event on Friday, January 27, an annual tradition, so if you missed it this year, you can certainly participate next year. It’s a wonderful program to support!
The show, which opened to the public on Sunday, January 29, can be viewed at the Mill on weekends from 12 to 4 pm, through February 19.