WILLIAMSTOWN -- New works by internationally acclaimed landscape painter Barbara Ernst Prey titled, "New Works: Meditations on the Environment" will be on view at the Prey Gallery on Spring Street from July 27 through Sept. 1.
The exhibit features a compelling collection of some 40 watercolors, dry-brush and oil paintings of the Berkshires and beyond. An opening reception with the artist, who is considered one of the key figures of 21st century landscape painting, will be held Saturday, July 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend the event, which is free.
"Barbara Prey [is] one of America's most gifted watercolorists her flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium," said Michael Schantz, director of the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, N.Y.
Prey has painted powerful views of her surroundings, including Williamstown and the Berkshires, for forty years. She takes the watercolor medium, which has a distinguished role in the history of American art, to innovative, yet traditionally based places. Profoundly influenced by Winslow Homer (1836--1910), one of the core figures of 19th century American art, in "New Works: Meditations on the Environment," Prey continues her exploration of the New England landscape, seeking out new vistas and compositions, and reflecting on our complex relationship with the environment.
"We look and we learn and we incorporate, and then we put our own mark, world view and experience into the work," Prey said. "Watercolor develops on its own ... you have an idea, but the beauty is in the process."
Prey was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as the only visual artist on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Members are elected for their established record of distinguished service or achievement in the arts.
As an artistic Ambassador, Prey's artwork is displayed in more than 100 embassies and consulates worldwide, through the U.S. Art in Embassies program. She was recently honored by the U.S. State Department when her painting "The Collection" was selected as the cover image for all invitations sent out by every U.S. embassy and ambassador for their 2013 Independence Day celebrations.
Prey's work is in the White House's permanent collection as well as a long list of important private, public, national and international collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, The Henry Luce Foundation, the Kennedy Space Center and the Bush Presidential Library, among many others. Private collectors of her work include President and Mrs. George Bush and Dr. and Mrs. James Watson.
The New-York-born Prey is a graduate of Williams College with a master's degree from Harvard, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation. She maintains studios in Williamstown; Tenant's Harbor, Maine; and Oyster Bay, N.Y. She is an adjunct faculty at Williams College.
The gallery, located at 71 Spring St., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment.
For more information: 413-884-6184, barbaraprey.com.