The Grist - June 2024

June 3, 2024

Summer Traditions at the Mill

Plein art painting. Live theater. Festive parties. An easy, breezy summer vibe has returned to the Mill. Yet, at the same time, the Art Show Committee is fast approaching its peak busy season, getting everything all lined up for a very special 95th-anniversary show.

Artists are encouraged to visit our website on June 15, when this year’s prospectus will be posted.

Juried Art Show

ON VIEW: September 21– October 27, 2024
SUBMISSIONS: July 28 – August 25, 2024

Artists from across the region eagerly await the opportunity to submit their work to the prestigious Juried Art Show at Phillips’ Mill every summer. They know the show attracts serious art collectors looking to expand their personal collections, and provides the chance to increase exposure to all art lovers.

Support the Tradition

Invitations to become a sponsor should have been received in the mail. If you didn’t receive one, but would like to support the show, visit the website for details.


Thank you to all who support our historic juried art show. We encourage you to join them!

Become a Supporter

Visual Arts

Plein Air Painting with Christopher Monteiro

Every Other Thursday at 9:30 am
June 13 – August 22

Plein air painting returns to Phillips’ Mill this summer with seasoned artist Christopher Monteiro, who will lead artists of all skill levels in many media on the beautiful grounds at the Mill. Christopher will provide demos and individual guidance throughout each session.

Over the past few years, Christopher has been teaching classes locally in oil, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, and pen and ink. See his work at

Participants should bring their own supplies, including an easel, a chair and water. Drop-ins are welcome the day of the event; pay when you arrive.

Student Artist Spotlight on Maggie Livezey

With high school graduation right around the corner, Solebury School senior Maggie Livezey is focused on her art and future as an incoming freshman in the highly selective dual-degree program at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she plans to major in international affairs and painting, respectively. She is one of several local high school seniors heading to art school in the fall whose work was featured in the Youth Art Exhibition at Phillips’ Mill.

Maggie is also putting the finishing touches on a mural at the school, a fitting way to leave her mark in a community that has meant so much to her.

Congratulations to Maggie and all of our Youth Art Exhibition artists who are continuing to pursue their passion for art in college:

Molli Semel
Ithaca College, Film and Creative Writing

Anna Valmore
Skidmore College, Art History

Annabelle Schu
Tyler School of Art, Architecture

Bethany Conover
Penn West University, Illustration

Sarah Sheriff
Endicott College, Interior Design

Gwen Sackett
Bucks County Community College, Digital Art

Giselle Monge
The University of the Arts

Miles Szwarc
Savannah College of Art & Design

Logan Peterson
Rochester Institute of Technology, Animation

Alex Elias
School of Visual Arts


Tyler Nelson
Pratt Institute

Maggie Livezey
Brown University & Rhode Island School of Design

Sam DiNino
Pratt Institute

Arshia Chakrabarti
Cornell University, Art History

Paul Li
Rhode Island School of Design, Architecture

ArtTalk with Miriam Carpenter

Wednesday, June 19, 7 pm

A lovely feather is on display. You consider it, admiring its beauty, yet wonder why it was put on display. Then it dawns on you that it’s not actually a feather. It’s a piece of wood. How did contemporary artist Miriam Carpenter manage to carve the errant curve of the stray barbs so delicately in a rugged material like wood?

Carpenter says her work looks closely at objects often overlooked, “unveiling the hidden complexities around us.” Her love for wood is paramount, but she also works with marble and metal. She works with such a high level of precision that her pieces appear easy and simple, breathtakingly so.

7th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition

Submissions Open June 15th

Calling all aspiring playwrights!  Submissions open for the 7th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition on June 15th.

The competition was established to give talented playwrights (within a 100-mile radius of the Phillips’ Mill) the chance to bring their new work to the stage. Every year, a jury selects six short plays to be read on stage, followed by a talkback with the audience.

We’ll be updating the website with more information soon! Check back on June 15th.

“The Half of It”

July 18-20, 7:30 pm
July 21, 3 pm

Written by Domenick Scudera, MFA | Directed by Griffin Horn | Casting and dramaturge by Griffin Horn

The Premiere Showcase is the nascent production of an original, fully developed, never-before-performed play produced on the Mill stage by an up-and-coming playwright. This year’s play, “The Half of It,” by Domenick Scudera, MFA, was inspired by the life and work of Bert Savoy, a vaudeville drag artist who was active in the 1910s and early 1920s.

“I first became interested in Savoy’s life when I was doing research for a class that I teach on the history of drag performance at Ursinus College. I conducted more extensive research on Savoy during a sabbatical from the college in the summer and fall of 2022,” explains Scudera.

The play looks at the life and career of Savoy, who was openly gay during a fairly permissive time in New York City. Drag performers are now under such scrutiny. “I was interested in putting this out there in the world now, nearly 100 years later, to start a dialogue,” Scudera explains.

Look for our full interview with Domenick and Griffin in next month’s Grist.

Spring Musical Delighted Sold-Out Audience

The musical comedy cabaret “The Mill’s Guide to the Best Vacation EVER!” was a knockout! The Phillips’ Mill Players, Michael Weisser, Tim Wade, Cecily Laidman, Nancy Vander Zwan, Betty Benton, Valerie Eastburn, Tim Philpot, Leslie Crilley, Rita Roley, John Roley, Fran Young, Pamela Manly, Helene Mathern, Fran Ferrone, Laura Scotti, and Patrick Fowles, played to robust and sold-out audiences.

Band members Barry Middleberg, Mike Seifried, Jamie Murphy and George Bond and music director Mike Dettra accompanied the singers with expertly executed music. The show was directed by Fran Young, choreographed by Betty Benton, and produced by Valerie Eastburn. João Neves worked the board with our new and improved sound and lighting systems courtesy of our very generous donors. We thank all who made this production a success!

Poetry Slam Smashed It

Nineteen local poets read their work on May 30 when the Phillips’ Mill Community Association hosted its seventh literary salon, sponsored by the Mill’s drama program. A full house of attendees heard poets—including some who have won prestigious literary awards and prizes—read selections from their work. Salon organizer John McDonnell notes, “This was a wonderful opportunity to display the wealth of literary talent we have in our area. Our literary salons are becoming more popular with each event. It’s great to see the support for the arts locally.” See more photos of the event here.

For more information about future literary salons, visit our events calendar.

Events Calendar

Member News

Phillips’ Mill 95th Birthday Bash

Saturday, July 27, 2024

Happy 95th birthday, Phillips’ Mill Community Association! Join your friends at the Mill’s celebration, featuring lively music from the Back Porch Jugband,  pizza from Nomad, really fun games and, back by popular demand, the wild and wacky Rubber Duck Water Race.

Watch for an invitation with details in your email. This event is open FIRST to members and their guests.

Reminder: All are welcome to join the Mill. Become a member and join us at our Birthday Bash.

Become a Member

Steve Conroy

Self-Portraits Captivated Visitors at Photo Committee Show

The 2024 “Not Your Run of the Mill Photo Committee Show” included a “Backwall” display of self-portraits with commentary on how each image reflected the photographer’s style.

(L) Dutch Bagley, (R) Linda McManus

The fifteen interpretations ranged from the literal to the metaphorical: the subjects themselves might loom large in The frame or might be ephemeral reflections and shadows. An imaginative self-portrait by John Stritzinger even presented the subject in multiple poses, apparently fleeing toward the horizon. Cameras, doorways, mirrors, trees, and other objects took on symbolic meaning in these meditations on the self and the art of photography.

Our photo of the month (see below), by Photo Committee member Peter Hewitt, is part of the Spring 2024 Photozine's main feature,"My Style," in which photographers present examples of their work and explain how the images exemplify their own aesthetic style. The result is a dazzling showcase of subject matter from landscapes to macro, portraits to surreal inventions, and architecture to birds—rendered in as many different approaches as there are photographers, from stark monochrome to lush color, realistic street images to finely wrought composites. Visual inspiration, indeed!

Read Photozine

Photo of the Month
“Smoke-Filled Schoolyard” taken at Bois de Laurence in Haiti by Photo Committee member Peter Hewitt

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus