Some of my Favorite People

I was so excited to get the press release announcing the jurors for this year’s Phillips’ Mill Art Exhibit, because some of them are my favorite people: Mel Leipzig, Kate Somers and Jonathan Shahn (the others might be favorite people as well, except I don’t know them — yet.) Another of my favorite artists is Robert Beck, whose painting “Love’s Notions and Novelties,” at left, was in the 2005 Retrospective Exhibition catalog).

Here’s the press release about the exhibit, opening Sept. 26:

The 80th Annual Phillips’ Mill Art Exhibition Committee has announced the distinguished group of art experts who have been selected to jury this year’s show.  Each of the Art Committee members involved in the Jury selection are well versed in the art world themselves.  They review the potential candidates and unanimously agree on each selection.  The team of selected jurors will have the difficult task of choosing the art to be exhibited in this prestigious annual show and also deciding upon the awards to be presented.  The Phillips’ Mill Art Exhibition is the first and most continuous art event which exhibits the works of Delaware Valley Artists.  This show which accepts only artists living within a 25 mile radius of Phillips’ Mill is an excellent way to see the works of this areas best artists.  This years five jurors will include:

Jurors for Painting and Graphics:

Mel Leipzig has been a renowned New Jersey artist for more than 35 years.  His art education includes Cooper Union in New York City, a bachelor of fine arts from Yale and later a master of fine arts from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.  Leipzig moved from New York to New Jersey in the 1960s to teach at Mercer County Community College, where he has taught painting and art history for the past 36 years.  Leipzig’s paintings  can be found in many collections including Yale University Art Gallery, the New Jersey State Museum, The White House Collection in Washington, DC, and The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.  He has been part of numerous solo exhibitions as well as group shows including the re-opening of the Henoch Gallery in New York City.  Leipzig has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including a Fulbright Grant to study in Paris and in 1996 he was one of the last artists to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 2006 Mel Leipzig was elected to the National Academy.

Nessa Grainger is a painter and collage artist working in mixed media, watercolor and acrylic.  She has studied art at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, Tyler School of Fine Arts and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Grainger has taught art workshops at Sonoma & Livermore, CA, Palm Beach FL, Somerset Art Association NJ, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Lafayette College, Easton, and Pennsylvania & Hudson River Art Workshops, NY.  Her work can be seen at the Zheijiang Museum, Hangzhow, China, Elliot Museum, Stuart Fl,  Museum of Modern Art Library, NY, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, National Museum of American Art Library, Washington, DC and Penn State University, PA.  Her work is also included in many corporate collections.  Grainger has won numerous awards and honors which include New Jersey Watercolor Society Silver medal, Audubon Artists of America Silver Medal, Knickerbacher Artists Silver Medal and Dale Meyers Medal of Honor.  She is a member of the America Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America and the National Association of Women Artists.

Kate Somers is the Curator for the Bernstein Gallery and Bernstein Annex Galleries at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  She received a BA in Art History from George Washington University, Washington, DC and an MA in Art History from Rutgers University.  Somers serves as a consultant to the Borough of Princeton on public art and consultant to the Princeton University Art Museum in Campus Arts.  She has been Curator for art exhibitions at the law firm of Stark & Stark in Lawrenceville, NJ in conjunction with Gary Snyder Fine Art, NY and also for the Photographic Exhibition Program at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, NJ where she also served as consultant for the Foundation’s Art Acquisition committee.  From 2000 to 2006 Somers was Curator for the Sculpture Project and Fine Art Exhibition Program at The Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s corporate headquarters in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Jurors for Sculpture

Elizabeth Miller McCue received her BA from Vassar College and continued her studies at the University of London, the Art Students League in New York and attended the New York Studio School.  In 2000 she designed a sculpture installation for the James A Michener Art Museum, “Haystacks in the Field” inspired by French painter Claude Monet’s famous haystack series.  McCue’s bronze sculpture, “Ball of Leaves” was part of the  art collection of Salomon Inc. in NYC but was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. She has had many solo exhibitions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania which include Summit Original Art Projects, Summit, NJ , The Art Alliance, James A Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA, The Gallery, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, PA and the Ellarslie Mansion, the Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ.  Her work is also a part of major collections which include, The William and Uytendale Scott Memorial Study Collection of Works by Women Artists, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, Project H.O.M.E, Philadelphia, PA, Salomon Inc, London, England, Sculpture at Cherokee, Chestnut Hill, PA.

Jonathan Shahn is a well known sculpture who currently risides in New Jersey and teaches at the Art Students League of New York.  He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, PA, and has studied art at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the Boston Museum School, MA.   Shahn has shown extensively at the New York’s O’Hara Gallery and in group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe including NYC, California, New Jersey, Massachusettes, Germany, Itlay and Japan.  His solo exhibitions include many galleries in New York City as well as galleries in Massechusettes, San  Francisco, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maine, Palermo, Sicily, Augsburg, Germany, Milan and Rome Italy and Salzburg, Austria. His work is part of many pretigious collections including National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, The Art Museum, Princeton University, Musei Baticani, Vatican City, Italy, Snite Museum, Notre Dame University, IN..  A few of his Commissions and Competitions include National Academy Annual Maynard Prize, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial ( Hudson-Bergen Light Rail System)MLK Jr. Station for the NJ Transit, Lodestar Fund Corp Headquarters, NYC and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Roosevelt, NJ.

Artist Registration/Entry forms for the 80th Annual Juried Art Exhibition will be mailed to artists in mid July.  Artists may also go on line to and download a form or call the Mill at 215-862-0582 leaving their name, address and phone number and a form will be mailed to you.

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2 Responses to Some of my Favorite People

  1. Sounds like a great group of jurors which will make a wonderful show. Good luck!1

  2. Dear Ilene, this is novel – knowing jurors in advance. Friends and I attend most Phillips Mill exhibitions, –sometimes thrilled with choices, sometimes wanting to open discussion with jurors…

    Knowing two of your favorite people, Kate and Mel, now I can do that! …Kidding – we know their choices will be stellar.

    We’ll never forget the beauty and power Kate constellated for the Bristol Myers-Squibb Marsh exhibition, with Princeton Artists Alliance.

    Mel has exhibited at D&R Greenway; led a lively panel discussion here: “Sunday Afternoon With the Artists”; I have also relished his memorable wide-ranging lectures on the art of others.

    At Phillips Mill, we can always count on splendid arrangements/(a.k.a.’hanging’, but what a ghastly phrase) by Janet Hunt (of Coryell Gallery at the Porkyard fame.)

    Thank you, Ilene. Carolyn

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