Anne Meredith Barry
One of the many things that fascinates me about making paintings is that I'm dealing with the juxtaposition of opposites – concerns that are formal, conceptual, technical, aesthetic, thoroughly pre-planned, intuitive and haphazard – so that I must constantly adjust my ways of thinking and doing.Excerpt from artist statement in Anne Meredith Barry: Newfoundland Work exhibition publication, organized by Memorial University Art Gallery, 1991.
Anne Meredith Barry (1932-2003) was an award-winning printmaker and painter known for her landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador.
She was born at Toronto and in 1954 graduated from the Ontario College of Art. A career success came in 1969, when she was included in the prestigious City of Montreal Art Exhibition.
Barry visited Newfoundland for the first time in 1971, after accepting a residency with the Outport Arts Foundation, a provincial organization that helped small communities establish arts programs. She spent the summer working and teaching children at Hibb's Cove, Conception Bay. Deeply inspired by the province's rugged beauty, Barry regularly returned to Newfoundland from her home in Toronto to paint, make prints, and teach workshops at St. Michael's Printshop and Memorial University's Extension Service.
In 1986, Barry and her husband, John, moved to the island permanently. They bought and refurbished a printshop building in the small community of St. Michael's, on the Avalon Peninsula's Southern Shore. In the coming years, Barry contributed substantially to the arts community and produced a large body of distinguished work. Her art has been extensively exhibited in solo and group shows, and has toured nationally and internationally.
Of particular note was the solo exhibition Down North: A Coastal Journey, curated by the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador (now The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery) in 1995. The collection of paintings, prints, and mixed media works was based upon Barry's 1993 voyage aboard the coastal vessel Northern Ranger, which took her from Lewisporte, on Newfoundland's northeast coast, to Nain, in northern Labrador. Down North toured nationally until 1999. That same year, Barry's art also appeared in Taiwan's Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, as part of the exhibition True North: The Landscape Tradition in Contemporary Canadian Art.
Barry received many awards and honours for her work. She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1995, received an honorary doctorate from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1998, and was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in January 2003 for her support of the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador.
She died on 23 January 2003 from complications associated with pancreatic cancer.
On 11 May 2007, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery launched a major retrospective of Barry's work, entitled Anne Meredith Barry: Natural Energies. It consisted of 90 pieces, including large-scale paintings, prints, artist's books, and sculptural objects. It ran until 30 September 2007.
Barry's work can be found in private and public collections, including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery's Permanent Collection, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, the Artists for Kids Trust, and the Governor General of Canada's Collection.
Updated July, 2013
Updated July, 2013