A name change from Blue Water Fine Arts to Barbara Prey Projects occurs after the 15th year anniversary of the gallery in 2015. The new name aims to redefine the space as a gallery space as well as a space for other cultural projects and events such as concerts, lectures, book signings or fundraisers; the renamed gallery lives up to Barbara Prey’s—a member of the National Endowment for the Arts—engagement for the arts.  It also gives consideration to Barbara Prey as an artist with a broad vision working in a variety of media such as watercolor, oil and ink.

Barbara Prey Projects is a unique space in Port Clyde with an interesting history that reaches back over 100 years.  The house used to be the Village Inn, frequented by N.C. Wyeth and was most recently owned by artist Ken Noland and Paige Rense, when she was editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest

Barbara Prey has been painting in Maine for 40 years and her work is a synthesis of a dialogue with the immediate surroundings and her observations on the same location’s evolution over the course of the years. Prey opens the summer exhibits with the annual Print Show and New Oils, unveiling never before seen oil paintings of the area including her  sought after ‘Village View’ series.  Her annual exhibit ‘In Search of America’ opens July 18-September 5.

Tide Pools by Barbara Prey
Tide Pools by Barbara Prey

Barbara Prey Projects is pleased to open the season with “Barbara Ernst Prey: Prints and New Oils” featuring two distinct series; newly released limited edition prints and recent small-scale oil paintings.

New print releases of Gallantly Streaming (currently on exhibit at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations with prominent placement in the lobby) and Parade Route (on view at the U.S. Embassy in Hong Kong) produced in collaboration with U.L.A.E., which produces prints of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, are included in the exhibit as are prints of her iconic painting Patriot and her NASA commissioned work. A print of Family Portrait (collection The Brooklyn Museum), as well as two of her most sought after pieces Hydrangeas (Collection Bush Presidential Library) and The Collection will be on display in July. The Collection was selected by the U.S. State Department as the invitation image for every U.S. Ambassador and Embassy worldwide July 4th celebration.

Also included in the exhibition is a selection of oil paintings featuring the recent “Village View” series as well as a group of small-scale plein air travel paintings. Those works mark a shift in Prey’s technique, and a return from works on paper into the oil paint medium. For the past four decades, Prey has been known for her incisive, saturated watercolors that operate as a record of the artist’s constant engagement with the multifaceted, ever-changing American landscape. In the past year, the artist has returned to the medium in which she first began her instruction, and created a new series of small-scale works on panel. The size of the panels and nature of the oil medium enabled Prey to experiment with levels of freedom and informality not afforded by watercolor.

The “Village View” series is a synthesis of Prey’s dialogue with her surroundings in Port Clyde, Maine and her observations on the same location’s evolution over the course of 40 years. The exhibition presents a meditation on place. The creation of the “Village View” series presented Prey the opportunity to revisit the pathways, architectural structures, and vistas she had seen for decades and her family had known before her.

The travel paintings distinctively reflect on the artist as a world traveler; in her early formative years, Prey travelled extensively on a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation—the sketch book always on hand. Barbara continues her journeys and has been working on a series of western/mountain paintings that will be exhibited in July; also on view will be recently finished Provence (France) paintings.


Barbara Prey Projects will be open daily from 10am-5pm between July 1 and September 20. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and events, please visit

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Categories:   gallery, Port Clyde, shows