Every April, during National Volunteer Month, nonprofits across the country recognize the significant contributions made by volunteers whose dedication and hard work build communities and keep their programs alive.
At Phillips’ Mill Community Association, an organization run entirely by volunteers for 93 years, we are incredibly grateful to the hardworking, creative and spirited group of individuals who organize our shows and programs. Our Board members are highly engaged, hands-on members of our community as well.
“We’re fortunate to live in a community that has so many people who are so dedicated to the arts that they are willing to give countless hours to put up shows of fine art, photography and theater,” says Laura Womack, President, Phillips’ Mill Community Association. "Join me in celebrating our volunteers, and in welcoming our two newest Board members: Joáo Neves and David Hewitt."
Photography as Art, Photographer as Artist
The annual juried Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition is returning live, on the walls of Phillips’ Mill, this weekend! It will be followed by the Not Your Run of the Mill Photo Show, featuring the brilliant works of the Phillips’ Mill Photo Committee members.
Join us in this month-long celebration of the fine art of photography!
Widely recognized as the premier juried photography show in Bucks County, the exhibition showcases 136 works of fine art photography selected from more than 1,100 submissions. Juror Bob Krist, internationally acclaimed for his photographic work for National Geographic and Smithsonian, was “blown away by the breadth and depth of the work.”
The prestigious exhibition celebrates and promotes the fine art of photography. Award winners will be announced when the show opens. The complete list of the accepted artists is posted here.
The members’ show features the works of the passionate photographers responsible for mounting the juried show and sharing their time and talents throughout the year. Once just a dream, the members’ show became a reality in 2021. You can view last year’s show here.
You can see this year’s show on the walls of the Mill starting on April 24. Don’t miss it!
Stay up to date on Phillips’ Mill Photo by subscribing to the committee's newsletter. Editor Nora Odendahl continues to add extensive photo essays and member news to the publication, which typically comes out twice a year. It truly is a treasure. You can subscribe here.
Support Phillips’ Mill Photo
Phillips' Mill Photo could not continue to produce and present these beautiful shows without the support of our volunteers and community. We welcome your participation on our committee and thank you in advance for your donations of any size.
The Process Is the Challenge
for Photographer Maria Dreyer
Maria Dreyer can’t recall the first time she entered the Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition. She’s been doing it off and on for so many years. Even though her work is often accepted, she is still sometimes surprised.
“I was honestly very surprised with this last one. The show is often juried by very traditional photographers, and my work is not very 'traditional.' I did not see it coming, but I am so honored,” she says.
The Phillips’ Mill Players
Share Their Joy!
The Phillips’ Mill Players are having a great time reconnecting and rehearsing for their 2022 spring musical, “Marriage: What’s Love Got to Do with It.” And that means you are in for a very special production.
"One of the great things about community theater is the way it brings people together. The Phillips' Mill Players are amateur actors who contribute their time, talent and efforts to create wonderful entertainment, and to share the joy that is live theater," says Valerie Eastburn, Chair of the Drama Committee. "This show in particular is so much fun, and sure to brighten your spirits."
BE A MOGUL!
When making your reservation, please note that there is a special Mogul option. For an additional fully tax-deductible donation of $100, you become a Mogul. This means that you and your party will have your choice of the best seats in the house and a shout-out by name at each performance. Thank you for supporting the drama program at the Mill by making a Mogul donation with your registration.
ArtTalk is growing and improving!
We asked for your opinions, and you responded. From our survey responses, we learned that you really enjoy our current content and guests – so we will continue to focus on local artists. The big take-away is that people are increasing their in-person activities and have less time for virtual events. In response, we have decided to adjust our offerings to better serve your needs in the emerging late pandemic environment as follows:
– We will now have one online show a month. Starting in May it will move from Sunday to the 4th Wednesday of each month.
– We are exploring the option of more in-person events to be held at the Mill. The first event is being held in June and will be a small group gathering to focus on watercolor. Check the website for details!
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!
Phillips’ Mill is run by volunteers. That’s been true for 93 years. What an impressive accomplishment!
Although it goes without saying that we appreciate the work of all of our volunteers every day, we are taking this opportunity to say thank you to the following individuals who have donated so much of their time and energy to the Phillips’ Mill Community Association. We will continue to recognize our amazing volunteers in future issues of the Grist.
Nora Odendahl, Photo Committee
Like a number of our volunteers, Nora first became aware of the Mill as an artist submitting work to one of our juried shows. That was back in the 90s, and while she can’t recall exactly which years her work was accepted to the juried Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition, she does remember how exciting it was to see it hung on the walls of the historic Mill.
“I got involved with the Photo Committee in 2019, at a time when Spencer (Saunders) was striving to infuse new excitement into the program, with talks and other ancillary activities related to the exhibition,” she says. “It seemed like the right time to get involved.”
It also turned out to be right before the pandemic. Little did she, or any of us, know how much that would change the way we view artwork and communicate with one another. As digital communications, as well as online submissions and exhibitions, became the norm, Nora became an integral part of that transition. She, along with Samuel Vovsi, created a database of photographers, art centers and photography clubs, and began sending regular emails. Nora also assumed responsibility for editing and publishing the extensive Phillips’ Mill Photo newsletter twice a year, which has been a key way the committee has promoted individual artists’ works and accomplishments. She looks forward to growing and participating in its new members’ show, which follows the juried exhibition.
“They are two completely different shows, which gives us an opportunity to bring the works of more local artists, as well as those from a larger geographic area, to the public in a setting that is very attractive, historic and meaningful.”
Patrick and Mary Fowles, Preservation Committee
Patrick and Mary Fowles are longtime members of the Mill who graciously hosted the Lathrop Circle event last year. They have both been Lathrop Circle members since its inception.
Patrick is the current Vice President of Phillips' Mill Community Association. He is also Chair of the Nominations and Bylaws committees, and a member of the Executive and Membership committees. A member since 1969, he is actively involved in many of the day-to-day operations of the Mill, from sending emails to archiving content. During the 1970s, he was active in the drama program, running the lights and sound for many of the shows. He designed, built and installed the current Mill theatrical lighting and sound systems, as well as digitized all analog and VHS show recordings and created 100-year archival versions of these and more recent CD recordings. If that wasn’t enough, he also painted and installed the Mill signage and rebuilt the stonework on the exposed Mill corner wall several times after truck damage.
“Patrick’s gentlemanly, thoughtful presence on the Board and in our community brings an elevated tone, especially when negotiating different opinions and ideas about how to move our organization forward,” says Laura Womack, President of Phillips' Mill Community Association.
Mary is the past Co-Chair and member of the Square Dance Committee, past Co-Chair of the Youth Drama Committee and past director/producer of several Youth Drama shows and facilitator of the Mill Forum Committee. She has stepped up to organize many of our special events, and is always looking for help in doing so.
Reni Fetterolf, Art Show Committee
Reni joined the Phillips’ Mill Community Association in the mid-1970s, and it wasn’t long before she became fully immersed. She worked on the 50th Retrospective Catalog and soon joined the Art Committee, which she co-chaired several times in the 1980s. In addition, Reni chaired the Membership Committee and served several terms on the Board, including during the ’90s when Phillips’ Mill was working hard to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.
In 2005, she was a member of the 75th Anniversary Art Retrospective Committee. “The 75th Catalog was a lot of work, but also great fun,” she remembers. “Janet Hunt and I were in charge of choosing the artists to be included in the catalog.” In fact, they wrote the foreword to the catalog, a stunning 159-page book, which has since sold out at the Mill.
Reni later served on the committee for a New Year’s Eve dinner dance held to welcome the 21st century. “The Millennium Party was a blast,” she recalls. Another favorite was a special party devoted to Mill members’ favorite paintings. For this event, members were asked to lend their paintings by a Phillips’ Mill artist for a show and kick-off party.
For Reni, being an Art Committee member has been a great learning experience. “Meeting and making interesting friends,” she adds, “has been an excellent bonus.”
Kevin Nalty, Drama Committee
Marketing guru, brand master, playwright, YouTube sensation, comedian, devoted father of four and occasional magician. These are just some of the descriptors that sum up the whole package that is Kevin “Nalts” Nalty. But he is more likely to call himself silly, fun loving and passionate about live theater.
Kevin “fell” into volunteering at Phillips’ Mill several years ago when a tree, belonging to his next-door neighbor and Phillips’ Mill Drama Committee Chair Valerie Eastburn, toppled into his backyard. The two became fast friends, along with their families. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s kids became involved in the Youth Drama program. Not content to simply tag along, he immersed himself in the program, singing, acting and even doing magic tricks during performances.
Over the years, he has also written or co-written a number of the shows, many of which are archived on the Phillips’ Mill website. You can check them out here.
Better yet, you can come to one of the May 2022 performances of “Marriage: What’s Love Got to Do with It” to see the Phillips’ Mill Players perform his and seven other one-act plays.
“Kevin is truly one of the very funniest people I know. Genius kind of funny. On par with Monty Python and Mel Brooks. He always makes me laugh,” says Valerie, who co-wrote some of the shows with him. “I think of him as a Man for All Seasons—always at the ready when it comes to theatrics at the Mill.”
Volunteering: It’s Good for You
Volunteering is a great way to build your skills, boost your self-esteem, increase your network, cultivate a sense of purpose, have fun and make friends. And some studies show that it might help to reduce stress. And who doesn’t need less stress?
Phillips’ Mill is currently seeking volunteers with an interest in and skills for fundraising, technical work, writing and organizing special events. “We always welcome volunteers to join our Art, Photo, Preservation, Youth Art and Drama committees. There are so many opportunities to shine,” adds Laura Womack.
Interested individuals can contact us by clicking on the link below.
“The single most important component of a camera is the 12 inches behind it!” –Ansel Adams