Al Phillips Memorial Fund

The family of Al Phillips, in partnership with local artists and institutions in the Silver Spring and Gaithersburg area, will honor the memory of Al Phillips by awarding scholarships to local art students who are pursuing further training and education in creative arts. 

Al Phillips spent his life encouraging and supporting young people to be unafraid to think outside the box and be bold, creative, conscious and imaginative.  His work, spanning nearly 50 years as a professional illustrator and inventor, continues to be a role model for young artists globally.   

Donations can be made to the scholarship fund through the website:  or via check or cash to Al’s daughter, Kendra Phillips.  You can reach Kendra at [email redacted]
Details and applications for the scholarships will be forthcoming.  Institutions who will be engaged in awarding the scholarships include:

·       Wilson Health Care Center, Activities Department - Asbury Methodist Village:

·       Plaza Art Store (Silver Spring, MD):

·       Pyramid Atlantic Art Center

A little information about Al....

Allan Phillips (Al) was known by all for his gentle personality, infectious spirit, creative energy, deep spirituality, curiosity and zest for life, love for music and dance, humor, and love for family. 

Born in 1933, Al Phillips grew up in rural Indiana and taught himself to draw and paint at a very early age.  He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Greek (1955) and a Master’s Degree in painting, graphics and print making (1962).   

Al loved telling stories of his time in the U.S. Army during the Korean war.  He pitched baseball during the war and toured around Germany and Europe boosting the morale of the troops with his pitching skills.  He loved sports and was an avid basketball fan from the time of his youth until the time of his death. 

He was a newspaper illustrator and inventor who created art for almost 50 years.  Throughout Al’s career, he was recognized as one of the best editorial illustrators in the United States, winning five awards, over the years, from The Society of Newspaper Designers. 

In the mid 1970’s, until his retirement in the late 1990’s, Al worked as an illustrator for three print newspapers, one of which had a readership of 300,000 people – the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun Times and the Charlotte Observer. Everything he created while working at these newspapers had a headline and usually an accompanying article.

Prior to working as an illustrator, Al utilized his art skills working as an activities therapist at the Illinois Department of Mental Health.  His whole life he drew whenever and whatever he could.  Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999, Al continued to draw and paint as he was able and invented an art toy called ArtBlocks.  The purpose of ArtBlocks was to encourage non-artists to make art.  Artblocks, 6 blocks of wood with geometric shapes, has been sold at museums and nice gift stores. 

Al is survived by his youngest daughter and his daughter-in-law in Silver Spring, MD – Kendra Phillips and Julie Chitty and his oldest daughter and son-in-law in Chicago, IL - Margaret (Meg) and Dan Ramir.  Al was especially proud of his amazing grandchildren from Chicago, IL - Rachel Ramirez and Matthew Ramir.  He deeply loved his dogs – Ziggy, Spunky and Bailee.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Kendra Phillips 
Silver Spring, MD
Kendra Phillips