“Island Finds” by Barbara Prey, 2012, watercolor, 21 by 29 inches. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Prey exhibit to open at Gilley

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A free, public opening reception for an exhibition of Barbara Prey paintings of Maine will be held at the Wendell Gilley Museum on Sunday, July 8, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Barbara Ernst Prey: Earth, Sea, Sky” celebrates the artist’s long engagement with the landscape and people of Maine, where she has been painting for more than 40 years. The exhibition will be on view at the museum from June 30 through Oct. 14.

Works include paintings of Mount Desert Island, some exhibited for the first time. The show is an opportunity to explore the work of a leading contemporary artist known for pushing the traditional boundaries of the watercolor medium, said a press release.

“We are thrilled to have the chance to exhibit Barbara Prey’s Maine paintings alongside the carvings of Wendell Gilley,” said museum Director Sean Charette. “It is a celebration of art and nature — from the stunning vista of mountain, ocean and sky in Prey’s painting “Acadia and Looking Toward Mt. Desert II,” to the mastery of proportion and personality that Wendell Gilley brought to his bird carving through knife and brushstroke.”

Prey’s work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the White House — She is one of two living female artists with work there — the Brooklyn Museum and many other public and private collections internationally. She has completed numerous commissions, including for the White House Christmas card and NASA, and in 2017, she created the largest known watercolor painting at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Prey serves as the sole visual artist on the U.S. president-appointed National Council on the Arts and has a background in the arts that includes degrees from Williams College and Harvard University. She has studios in New York, Massachusetts and Maine.

A portion of proceeds from sales of Barbara Prey’s exhibition will support the museum’s work. Contact Sean Charette at [email protected] or 244-7555.

The Wendell Gilley Museum celebrates the life and work of Wendell Gilley, a pioneer in the field of decorative bird carving who helped others make connections with nature and creativity. The museum sustains his legacy by making Gilley’s work accessible, by providing rich creative programs for all ages and by hosting annual exhibitions that celebrate people, nature and art.

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