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Barbara Ernst Prey: Soliloquy Meditations on the Environment

Port Clyde -

PORT CLYDE – Blue Water Fine Arts is pleased to present Barbara Ernst Prey: Soliloquy, Meditations on the Environment from 10am to 5pm daily, on July 24-August 15th. Join Barbara for an opening reception from 6-8pm on Friday, July 30th.
Gallery Location: Main Street, Route 131, Port Clyde.

Prey, an internationally renowned artist, is considered one of the most significant painters of our time having created powerful, compelling views of her surroundings for over thirty years. This exhibit explores the importance and urgency of maintaining our environment and showcases a stunning collection of 40 poignant watercolors and dry-brush watercolors- soliloquies –as well as early works for The New Yorker Magazine and The New York Times and paintings exhibited in her recent Paris retrospective. The paintings fill the former 100 year old Village Inn, and take to a new level her virtuosic ability to observe, study, and capture her environment. A 200 page book, Barbara Ernst Prey: An American View, with critical essay by Sarah Cash, Corcoran Gallery of Art Curator is available.

As one of the key figures of 21st century landscape painting, Prey was appointed by the President of the of the United States to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Barbara Prey’s nomination continues our tradition of having prominent visual artists as members of the National Council on the Arts,” said former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. “We welcome her participation and counsel.” Members are chosen for their established record of distinguished service and achievement in the arts. Previous members include noted artists Leonard Bernstein, Marian Anderson, John Steinbeck, Richard Diebenkorn and Isaac Stern. With work in the White House’s permanent collection, her appointment to the National Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a long list of important private and public collections, her place as a significant American artist is secure.

In this exhibit Prey’s monumental paintings take a new direction as she explores the islands off the coast of Maine settled by her ancestors in the 1700s. In each soliloquy there is an awareness of the islands and life on the islands as a model of sustainability—meditations on the environment. “My commissions with NASA have given me a cosmic appreciation of the world and the necessity and importance of being responsible for what we have.” These experimental and imaginative paintings examine the external beauty of islands and the bare bones of island life. Net Mender addresses issues of environmental and socio-economic importance. The young apprentice mending the groundfishing fleet’s nets represents the next generation of fishermen and the problems they face -overfishing, fishing with minimal environmental damage and providing work for the next generation.

Corcoran Curator Cash describes Prey’s deeply personal new series: “Among the foremost artists at work in the United States today, Barbara Ernst Prey has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for nearly forty years. It is a powerful sense of human presence-despite the absence of the figure-infused with a compelling aura of place and history that characterizes this group of Prey’s exquisitely rendered, light-filled watercolors. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places. Looking as well as seeing, she searches out new vistas, compositions, and ideas in the landscapes and environments that are her home. Recently, some of her work has exhibited more abstract tendencies. There are lone, large-scale boats set against stark backgrounds of deep blue water, not bounded by foreground or sky; buoy workshops (Fresh Paint) whose exteriors read like color field paintings; and minimal, nearly abstract seascapes devoid of the familiar boats. Lone figures enliven more narrative works (The Mender II), yet those images share with the other recent paintings a minimal sensibility and nearly mystical feeling.”

Prey was invited with ‘four of the top players in the American Art world’ including the curators of The Whitney, Guggenheim, New Museum and Walker Museum to participate in the panel “Women at the Helm of American Art.” She was honored in January by Raynham Hall Museum for her accomplishments and contribution to American Art. Her Paris retrospective was selected by The Wall Street Journal as their European Paris museum choice. Maison Cote Ouest stated, “In Paris, not to be missed are the watercolors of Barbara Ernst Prey.” The New York Times writes “Like all of us, artists are aware of what is going on in the world, and in some cases there is a sense that these pictures of pristine nature are also about the end of it – notably in Barbara Ernst Prey’s paintings.”

Prey’s NASA commissioned painting of the x-43, the fastest aircraft in the world is included in NASA’s traveling exhibit NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration which celebrates NASA’s 50th anniversary. Organized by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Air and Space Museum the exhibit travels to twelve museums and will conclude at the Air and Space Museum in 2012. NASA commissioned Prey to paint four paintings for their collection including: the Shuttle Discovery: Return to Flight, The Columbia Tribute, to commemorate the anniversary of the Columbia tragedy which was unveiled at the National Air and Space Museum anniversary Tribute Dinner in Washington and is on exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center; The International Space Station, and the x-43. Dr. H. Lester Cooke, former National Gallery of Art Curator who guided the NASA Arts Program comments, “future generations will realize that we have not only the scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age but artists worthy to keep them company.”

Barbara is an artistic ambassador for her country, chosen in 2004-2010 to participate in the United States Arts in Embassies Program. She was the only living American painter in a recent exhibit at the U.S. Embassy in Paris with prominent American masters Homer, Ryder and Sargent. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain requested a special exhibit of her paintings at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Prey was invited by both the Ambassadors to Paris and Spain to lecture about her work to the cultural leaders of France and Spain for the opening of their art collections. Additional artwork is on exhibit in many U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide including: Prague, Seoul, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, Bogata, Mexico City, Athens, Cairo and Rangoon. Prey was honored by the New York State Senate with the prestigious “Women of Distinction Award”. She joins previous honorees Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Women of Distinction program was created in 1998 as a tribute to outstanding New York women.

As one of the leading artists of her generation, her paintings are included in some of the most important public and private collections in the country including The White House, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, The Taiwan Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Reader’s Digest Collection. The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. invited Prey to lecture on “The Watercolors of Winslow Homer” for the Museum’s Homer exhibit and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for their John Singer Sargent exhibit which testifies to the central position her work plays in the continuing history of American Art. The President and First Lady invited Prey to paint the official White House Christmas card and her artwork is included in the White House permanent collection. Prey’s artwork is on exhibits with major American artists most recently in Paris where her paintings are exhibited at the U.S. Embassy with John Singer Sargent, the American Impressionists, and Winslow Homer and at a recent exhibit at The Heckscher Museum with William Merritt Chase. Her work is owned by private collectors including President and Mrs. George W. Bush, The White House; President and Mrs. George Bush, Mrs. Henry Luce III, Nobel Laureate Dr. and Mrs. James Watson, Ambassador and Mrs. Craig Stapleton, Prince and Princess Johannes Lobkowicz, songwriter Jimmy Webb and Orlando Bloom.

For more information and press photos: Caroline Baljon (516) 316-7477, (207)-372-8087
P.O. Box 338, Port Clyde, Maine 04855
email:inquiries@bluewaterfinearts.com website:www.bluewaterfinearts.com; www.barbaraprey.com

For More Information:

Contact Name: Caroline Baljon

Telephone Number: (207)372-8087

Website: http://bluewaterfinearts.com

Email: inquiries@bluewaterfinearts.com