Bucks County Herald

Jurors select photographs for annual Phillips Mill show



“Purification 1,” by Vita Forlenza, a retired Bensalem School District teacher, is one of the entries selected for the exhibition.

For three weeks in June, the 124 photos chosen to be showcased as part of the 25th annual Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition represent every theme, idea and concept imaginable. Held June 4 to 25, the exhibition, themed “Photography as Art” and “Photographer as Artist,” features a vast array of images that jurors selected from a pool of 462 framed submissions.

In all, 114 photographers entered their work and 78 were chosen to be showcased in the exhibition.

Claudia Davis, the show’s co-chair, said the show saw a significant number of submissions from newcomers – many that had never entered a show.

As jurors Sandra Dillon, a Bucks County native, and Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition founder Spencer Saunders reviewed the submissions on jurying day, an image stood out to Bucks County photographer and fellow juror Paula Chamlee.

“This manipulation works,” Chamlee said. “It has a reason for being like that.

“If you are going to manipulate, why not delete something?” Dillon asked.

Saunders was struck by the photos’ elements. “Once you get up close, you start reading the detail,” Saunders said during his analysis.

Vita Forlenza, of Langhorne, whose image “Purification 1” was accepted into the show, said it’s an honor for her work to be exhibited among “really amazing” photographs in such a prestigious show. Forlenza’s travel photographs have appeared in five shows.

This year’s submission was taken in a himba village in southwest Africa. Using limited natural light and no flash, Forlenza captured an African woman undergoing a twice-daily purification.

“Water is so scarce, they never bathe,” she said of the process, which involves using minerals to cleanse the body.

A retired Bensalem School District teacher, Forlenza said she travels with her best friend, in part for picturesque views and cultural aspects.

“We’re interested in the people as well as the beauty of the landscape,” Forlenza said.

The exhibition, co-chaired by Claudia Davis and Rose Kimber, will be held at the Phillips’ Mill Community Association, 2619 River Road in New Hope. For information visit phillipsmill.org.

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