“This year’s artistic honoree is Barbara Ernst Prey, one of America’s most gifted watercolorists whose works are rooted in the grand traditions of American landscape painting.

Barbara’s exquisite paintings are created with a consummate skill that belies the difficulty of her medium.

Indeed, if you have ever attempted, as I have, to paint in watercolor, you will quickly find that it is an extremely difficult and unforgiving medium.  Barbara’s flawless technique, however, ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.

Coupled with her creative prowess is her advocacy for the arts.  In this realm, her list of accomplishments is, frankly, astonishing.   She serves, for instance, on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts, she is an artistic ambassador for the State Department’s Arts in Embassies program, has executed commissioned work for NASA on four separate occasions, and was selected by President and Mrs. Bush to paint the official White House Christmas card.

Barbara is the recipient of a host of honors and awards, including the New York State Senate “Women of Distinction Award.”  She lectures on American art, both in the U.S. and abroad, and is a spokesperson for the National Endowment for the Arts.  Her work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, The White House, New-York Historical Society, Farnsworth Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, and The Henry Luce Foundation, to name but a few.

Barbara’s artistic achievements and her advocacy for the arts are truly inspirational and by virtue of her significant contributions to the cultural life of Long Island the Heckscher Museum is honored to present her with the 2011 Celebrate Achievement Award.

            Heckscher Museum Director

Click to view photos of the Heckscher 2011 Celebrate Achievement Award