WILLIAMSTOWN -- A new gallery on Spring Street will feature the works of renowned watercolor artist Barbara Prey.
"I'm very excited," Prey said Monday. "I think this is a wonderful opportunity for people to see my work together."
The Barbara Prey Gallery's official opening is Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
Prey, who has been practicing the art of watercolor for 40 years, said her gallery at 71 Spring St. will feature a selection of her work spanning her entire career.
"I think people will leave with an incredible understanding of the medium of watercolor, and see what I do is very unique," she said.
Prey's career has included many honors. Following a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, she traveled, studied, worked and exhibited in Europe and Asia. She was also able to study under a master Chinese artist, she said.
"This gave me a great perspective on American art," she said.
In addition, Prey was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008 to serve as the only visual artist on the National Council on the Arts, and was commissioned by NASA to paint four paintings for its collection. One print from the NASA exhibit will be on display in the gallery.
Prey, a Williams College graduate of the Class of 1979 and Harvard Divinity School in 1986, said she was immersed in art starting at a young age. Her mother was a skilled painter and the head of the art department at Pratt Institute in New York City, she said.
"I grew up with this amazing painter and this huge studio," Prey said. "She was my inspiration."
Prey said she has a strong connection with Williamstown that led her to open the new gallery.
"The Berkshires have always been important to me and as a landscape artist, very important to my work," she explained.
Much of her inspiration comes from the natural beauty in the region, she said.
"I do a lot of driving, looking and walking, and I look for painting ideas," she said. "I've done a lot of driving around New England."
By exploring the back roads of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, she's been able to create many pieces, she said.
"I still have all these things in my mind that I want to paint," she added.
Along with landscapes, works from past series on quilts and the sea will also be on display.
"The wonderful thing about the gallery is you can see pieces from different periods," she said.
The gallery will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily, and by appointment, Prey said.
To reach Edward Damon, email