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BARBARA ERNST PREY: East Meets West July 22-August 31
Blue Water Fine Arts is pleased to present Barbara Ernst Prey: East Meets West from July 22 to August 31, 2013. Prey, an internationally acclaimed artist, is considered one of the most significant painters of our time. In this new series, which showcases a compelling collection of 40 never before seen watercolors, dry-brush and oil paintings, Prey continues her exploration of the Eastern and Western landscape and our complex relationship with the environment. Also included are the artist’s paintings from her year as a Luce Scholar in Asia and the American West. The exhibit fills the 100-year-old former Village Inn and is dedicated to the memory of S. Lane Faison, Prey’s mentor at Williams College and dean of the “Williams Art Mafia.” East Meets West takes to a new level Prey’s virtuosic ability to observe, study, and capture her environment. This July  Prey’s iconic painting The Collection was selected by the U.S. State Department for the cover for all invitations sent out by every U.S. Embassy and U.S. Ambassador worldwide for their Independence Day celebrations.  Prey is currently featured in The Artist’s Role in the Community: Six Perspectives, a film by the National Endowment for the Arts.
As one of the key figures of 21st century landscape painting, Prey was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Members are chosen for their established record of distinguished service and achievement in the arts. Previous members include noted artists Leonard Bernstein, John Steinbeck, Richard Diebenkorn and Isaac Stern. Her painting Lineleader, is currently on exhibit at the National Endowment for the Arts in the office of the Chairman. Her painting Hydrangeas is in the new Bush Presidential Library and Center. With work in the White House’s permanent collection, her appointment to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body to the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a long list of important private, public, national and international collections, her place as a significant American artist is secure.  She is also adjunct faculty at Williams College.
In this exhibit Prey’s monumental paintings take a new direction, continuing the tradition of American landscape painting, engaging with contemporary concerns for the environment and exploring new terrain. “My commissions with NASA, a Fulbright scholarship and my work on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts have given me a global appreciation of the world and the necessity and importance of our responsibility as stewards.”  These experimental and imaginative paintings examine the urgency of open spaces. The Meeting House, an interior of one of the early American meeting houses references light and spirituality in an age of technology. Juxtaposed to that is an early work Confucious Temple painted on site while Prey lived in Asia on a Henry Luce Foundation grant.  East meets west in the exploration of places with deep spiritual meaning. Waterlilies, inspired by waterlilies at The Getty Museum, reflects Prey’s interest and connection to art history and reads like a color field painting; with its minimal sensibility and nearly mystical feeling yet reflecting on the importance of water in our environment and the subject as an art historical reference. Nocturne VI, detail exhibits Prey’s use of the abstract within the subtext of the landscape.
The Heckscher Museum in New York honored Prey with their “Celebrate Achievement Award” for her accomplishments and contributions to American art and culture on a local, national and global level.  Heckscher Museum Director Michael Schantz said, “Barbara Ernst Prey [is] one of America’s most gifted watercolorists…Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.” Sarah Cash, curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, writes, “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. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places.  The New York Times writes, “Prey is going where artists Rauschenberg and Warhol have gone before”.”
Prey was recently honored when NASA commissioned her to paint four paintings for their collection.  The x-43, the fastest aircraft in the world, included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Museum Exhibit NASA|ART: 50 Years  was on exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.  NASA invited her to be the artist spokesperson for the exhibit and she was featured on The CBS Evening News. Her other NASA commissions include: The Columbia Tribute, to commemorate the anniversary of the Columbia tragedy; the International Space Station, which is on exhibit with her painting of the Columbia Tribute at the Kennedy Space Center; and the Shuttle Discovery: Return to Flight. Prey joins an elite group of American artists who have been invited by NASA to document the history of space exploration including Norman Rockwell and Robert Rauschenberg. 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.”
Prey is an artistic ambassador for the United States, chosen to participate since 2004 in the United States Arts in Embassies Program.  At the U.S. Embassy in Paris she was the only living American painter exhibited with prominent American masters Homer, Ryder and Sargent. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain requested a special exhibit of her paintings for the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Her artwork is on exhibit in many U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide including: Prague, Seoul, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, Bogotá, Mexico City, Athens, Cairo and Rangoon. The Arts in Embassies Program presents the works of influential American artists to a broad, international audience. Prey was honored with the Senate’s “Women of Distinction Award”, a tribute to outstanding New York women. She joins previous honorees Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt. She was invited as “one of the top players in today’s American art world” to moderate the panel Women at the Helm of American Art in New York with Museum of Modern Art Curator Laura Hoptman and Guggenheim Curator Nancy Spector.
As one of the leading artists of her generation, her paintings are included in some of the most important public and private collections around the world including The White House, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art Dartmouth College, The Taiwan Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Reader’s Digest Collection. Her work is owned by private collectors including President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Nobel Laureate Dr. and Mrs. James Watson, Ambassador and Mrs. Craig Stapleton, Prince and Princess Johannes Lobkowicz, Orlando Bloom and Tom Hanks. As a spokesperson for American Art, she was invited to lecture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the Winslow Homer exhibit, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the John Singer Sargent exhibit, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid on American Art and at Dartmouth College. She gave the opening lecture for the All-Ivy Intellectual Interchange Series: Arts in America in New York City.
Prey graduated from Williams College where she studied with Lane Faison and has a masters degree from Harvard University where she was able to continue her art history studies.  She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a Henry Luce Foundation grant for her work which enabled her to travel, study and exhibit extensively in Europe and Asia. She is an art blogger for The Huffington Post.
Prey’s artwork has been featured and discussed in numerous books, publications, radio and television programs including The CBS Evening News, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, Newsday, The Boston Globe, CBS Sunday Morning, Larry King Live, PBS, NPR, Paula Zahn Now, CNN News Sunday, AP and Reuters Newswire, The New York Post, The Daily News, The International Art Newspaper, Harvard Magazine, Artforum, ArtNews, Forbes and NBC’s Extra.


Exhibition: July 20-August 31 Opening Reception: Thursday, August 1, from 6-8 PM
Gallery Location: Main Street, Route 131, Port Clyde, Maine  10am-5pm, and by appointment
For press information and photos: Natalie Flammia (207) 372-8087  
PO Box 338, Port Clyde, Maine 04855    
Email: inquiries@bluewaterfinearts.com  www.BlueWaterFineArts.com  and www.BarbaraPrey.com    
Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter @barbaraprey
  The Meeting House, watercolor and drybrush 34” x 42”   Old School   22" x 30"   Artist:  Barbara Prey



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