“Larry’s work is exemplary, of the caliber of work you would expect to see in a one-man show,” Lora Bottinelli, Ward Museum Executive Director, says.
The Ward Museum will showcase 24 of Barth’s finest works of art in a new one-man exhibit in the LaMay Gallery on Friday, March 11. ‘Larry Barth: Birds, Art & Design’ will give the public a chance to see the progression of Barth’s work and gain meaningful insight into the artist’s mind.
“I was always interested in birds from the beginning, some of the earliest memories I have were of birds,” Barth said. “Like many kids, I dabbled in art, a lot of kids outgrew it but I never did. I worked my way through the various mediums, started with crayons and progressed. My father carved, he had a workshop and when I was 14 I started.”
Barth says the manifestation of interest came from his dad’s shop. Later on, Barth found out about the Ward Foundation, came to a show and the rest is history.
“The Ward Foundation has had a huge impact on what I do and how I do it. I got involved in competitions and I’ve done very well. I’ve won the World Championship 16 times.”
The spring show could not have come at a better time. Barth published his book, ‘Birds, Art & Design,’ in the fall and during the spring event, he will reference his book and sign copies.
“It was in the works for a while, I am excited to get it out there,” Barth said. “The book was a lot of work, the book simply became my current piece.”
Barth says the Ward Foundation has a good collection of his work, about 10 or so pieces, but the pieces they have have never been out at the same time.
“This is an opportunity to put the entire collection out at the same time which is what I’m looking forward to,” Barth said. “Power in numbers—I carve them one at a time, they are displayed one at a time but there’s power in seeing them out together.”
The work to be displayed at the Ward Museum spans from early 1980’s to current. Barth says the biggest difference in the work is the way he presents the birds, besides that, not much has changed.
“People see Larry’s artwork as a visual brand of the Ward Museum, we have a large collection of art at the museum,” Bottinelli said. “His pieces are so strong, we use them on every marketing piece we put out… the image on a billboard, it’s probably Larry’s.”
Bottinelli says Barth has a way of getting anyone in the crowd enthralled, whether they are a professional or an amateur. The executive director says Larry’s progress as an artist has pushed the entire field to its progression and has raised the bar.
One of Barth’s most notable pieces to be displayed at the event is titled ‘Companions.’
“This piece has an Eastern Shore tie in it— a piece that’s based on something I saw in Ocean City in 1976, the first time I was down there,” Barth said. “Twenty-five years later I finally did the piece.”
Companions involves barnacles and rocks from the Ocean City Inlet and is accompanied by a 16-foot-long timeline with sketches and drawings and other aspects to authenticate it.
A free opening reception will be held on March 11 from 5-7 p.m., and the exhibit runs through August 21, 2016. Additional opportunities to meet the artist and engage with the exhibit will be presented during the 2016 Ward World Championship, April 22-24, in Ocean City, Md., as well as at the Museum. Visit www.wardmuseum.org for more information.