Phillips' Mill has clearly come of age as a photographers' haunt with its 17th Annual Photographic Exhibition. The display eclipses, for now, the renown of this old former grist mill as the favorite gathering place of Pennsylvania impressionist painters a century ago.

Nearly 1,000 photo entries competed for 140 display spaces. And though the show has beefed up its quality over the years and includes photos from as far away as Texas and Georgia, the aim obviously still is to focus on work from within a 50-mile radius of New Hope. Thus, with an almost equal representation of Pennsylvania and New Jersey talent and a sidebar show by area high school students, local interest, and attendance, runs high.

This show, which is quite diverse, has entered a new era of exploration with digital photography; 75 percent of its 93 participating artists use computer-generated images.

Laurinda Stockwell of Lebanon, N.J., won best-in-show for three photos she composed, most notable her poignant Bird Dreaming. Other multiple images by Mickie Rosen of Elkins Park, Robert L. Cassway of Wyncote, M.R. Cabreza of Easton, and Linda Mann of Albrightsville also did well. Come and enjoy.

Landmark show at Moore

Two things are striking about the latest "5 Into 1" annual sculpture exhibit at Moore College of Art and Design saluting '09 graduates of the city's major art schools.

First, the event has reached its 10-year milestone as a show organized by the Philadelphia Sculptors group and hosted by Moore. Second, to emphasize Moore's assertion that its newest major, in curatorial studies, is the only undergraduate program of its kind in the nation, responsibility for putting together this year's show was given to Jennifer Willett of Maryland, '09, the program's first graduate, instead of the sculptors' group, which remains a cohost.

The 10 sculptors Willett chose represent current graduates at each of the five featured area art schools - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Temple's Tyler School of Art, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts, and Moore.

Visitors will find representation of reality at the pulse point of the show in at least some of the work, yet none of it is the settled, nerdy kind.

For prime examples of pieces with a new, probing feel to them, look no further than Moore's own two students. Note, for example, Katie Brown's rather spine-chilling installation Timor Mortis and Samantha Lynch's figure group Individual Rhetoric in which there's no "finish." Yet Lynch knows how to effectively sustain the surface tautness of bare, unlikely materials, such as exotic/domestic wood veneers.


Pleasurable paintings

Priscilla Bohlen, Main Line painter and a former Manhattan design professional, shows still lifes, interiors, and garden, beach and boating scenes in watercolor and acrylic in an uneven show, "Drawn to Paint" at St. Asaph Gallery, that includes some very good work.

Bohlen obviously takes pleasure in her subjects and in the watercolor medium, so there's always that sense of living and enjoyment about her art.

Montco 'Spring Annual'

Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists members rose to the occasion, sending in their best work after asking Woodmere Art Museum director Michael W. Schantz to judge their "Spring Annual." So it is not surprising that the 10 prizes he awarded are generally well deserved.