Oyster Bay artist graces walls around the world
Today, Barbara Ernst Prey’s painting, Gallantly Streaming I is on exhibit in the lobby of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Two others, Parade Route and Patriot are hung in the official meeting room. In December, the works were selected for exhibit at the United Nations.
The paintings were created in the days and months after September 11, 2001. Oyster Bay artist Prey worked in her harbor-view studio and created a series of paintings that reflected the countries response to the attacks on the nation. The watercolors featured the American Flag that was flown all over the United States as citizens showed their unity and respect for this republic.
“It is in my private collection, although prints of the painting are available,” Prey said of Gallantly Streaming I, adding that she also created a book of the 9/11 paintings, A Trace in the Mind, which contains an essay by Charles Riley III.
“Many of the paintings have flags in them as that is a reflection of that moment,” she said. “Patriot was on the cover of the book.”
“I am honored that my paintings from my 9/11 series were selected by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for exhibit, including the one that is currently exhibited in the lobby. As a Presidential Appointee to The National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts, I am very involved in supporting the arts in America. It was also an honor to have these paintings selected for exhibit at the United Nations.”
Heckscher Museum director Michael Schantz said that Earnst is one of the most gifted watercolorists.
“Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium,” said Schantz.
Sarah Cash, National Gallery of Art curator, 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 40 years. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places.”
With sensibilities that are truly American, it is no wonder that Prey’s paintings and prints have been exhibited at United States embassies and consulates worldwide, including Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Prague, Minsk, Hong Kong, Prague, Seoul, Baghdad, Athens, Cairo and more. Gallantly Streaming I was previously on view in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid in 2005 as part of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program. Her painting Parade Route Fog is currently on exhibit at the U.S. embassy in Hong Kong.
The U.S. State Department selected Prey’s painting The Collection as the July 4 invitation image for every ambassador and embassy worldwide.
While Prey said she is honored by having her paintings chosen by the government as representative of the best in the country, Oyster Bay and Long Island are equally honored to have her amongst its residents. She illuminates and elevates all that she paints. She engages the American Landscape through a 21st Century lens following in the tradition of Homer Winslow and Edward Hopper.