PORT CLYDE — Barbara Prey Projects celebrates an anniversary exhibition and Barbara Prey’s 40th year of exhibiting in Maine. “Over the Horizon: What’s Next,” running through Sept. 5, is an exhibition of Prey’s new monumental watercolors completed over the pandemic period that push the medium in new directions and size. The opening reception is Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“The natural world provided an anchor during this time – these paintings point to the beauty, joy, wonder that was always there, providing a reset. As Nietzsche wrote, ‘Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance’,” said Prey.

Prey has maintained a studio in Maine for more than 40 years. The artist’s innovative eye for the American landscape has placed her paintings in the private collections of U.S. Presidents and dignitaries, business titans, European Royalty, celebrities including Orlando Bloom and Tom Hanks, as well as the prominent public collections of The National Gallery of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kennedy Space Center and the permanent collection of The White House, where she is one of two living female artists represented, among many other institutions. Prey was recently commissioned by contemporary art museum MASS MoCA to paint the largest watercolor in the world for their new building. PBS referred to the MASS MoCA commissioned artists as “global leaders in contemporary art.” For the past 12 years, Prey has served as the sole visual artist on the U.S. President-appointed National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts. Artists are appointed for their contributions and recognition in American art.

The new paintings in this exhibition expand our horizons during these challenging times and provide a window of meaningful engagement to our natural environs — a call to pause in our technically driven and often isolated world — and a personal connection for Prey. “Trapeze Dance” of a fisherman’s workshop highlights her use of color and light and continues the interior themes of her Presidential-commissioned White House Christmas Card and her MASS MoCA watercolor. “The Pairing,” a painting of two rarely seen handmade wooden fishing dories, is painted in Carver Harbor, Vinalhaven, the harbor named after one of her ancestors (her family were the first settlers of Midcoast Maine) — a connection from her past to present. Also included is “Waterlilies” and six plein-air oil paintings, “Fall Impressions” and “Late Afternoon,” currently featured in a major impressionism exhibition in New York’s Nassau Museum, along with paintings by Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and other iconic artists.

Prey’s original approach to landscape painting has challenged conventional understandings of the genre. She steers her way between realism and abstraction, painterliness and reduction, perception and synthesis. She references art history but transcends and creates a contemporary view with her unmistakable voice exploring the depth of the American landscape. Prey’s work establishes within the trajectory of American Art a 21st Century female lens, eschewing the historical male-tradition. As an artist working often en plein air, environmental issues and climate change are concerns that inform her paintings.

Barbara Prey Projects is located at 855 Main St. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Visit barbarapreyprojects.com for more information.

“Yellow and Blue,” a 2022 watercolor and dry brush on paper by Barbara Prey, begun as the Ukrainians were defending their homeland.

“Red, White and Blue,” a watercolor on paper by Barbara Prey.