About the Artist

Amy Bartlett Wright smilingAmy has worked for thirty five years as a professional artist, as a muralist and natural science illustrator. She specializes in portraying animals in their environments in large and small scale that create a sense of space and dimension. She enjoys exploring the woods and shores of Rhode Island where she lives and works.  Amy received a BA in Scientific Illustration from University of Maryland in 1980. While at UM, she worked as an illustration intern at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian in the Departments of Botany and Entomology.  She furthered her studies in painting and drawing at Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a Certificate in Scientific and Technical Illustration in 1990 and is now part of the RISD Continuing Education Faculty.

Artist's Statement

When I am outside, I feel calm and connected to something beyond myself.  Nature has been my place of comfort and inspiration as it is for many of us. I explore this relationship in my art, as I have for much of my life.  As a young person, I explored the fields, woods and streams of my grandmother's farm in Talbot County, Maryland.  I found fossils and arrowheads along the Choptank River and noticed birds, insects and native plants that live among us.  These were the moments that shaped my passion to show the outdoors and its beauty.

I often venture with my paints to the woods, marshes and shorelines when the light is good. I find plein air painting to be essential training for realistic landscape painting at any scale. Outside, where breezes blow and the light constantly changes, I work more quickly and decisively than in the studio. What I am looking for is a gesture, the essence of the place. And through expecting more with less, I press myself to construct a painting with simplicity and brevity. While I try to maintain that freshness I achieve in plein air painting, my studio work yields deeper, more developed finished paintings in a combination of realism and expression.

I began my career as a scientific illustrator in 1980 and have illustrated over sixty-five books. I have used my skills as an illustrator to paint large format murals for zoos, aquariums, nature centers and museums and public arts commissions. My paintings act as background scenery or as exhibits themselves, in their accurate portrayal of animals in habitat.

I am a member of Society of Animal Artists, Oil Painters of America and Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. I had my first solo show in 2013 at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Grassland Conservation Center in Pomfret, Connecticut.

Honors and Awards

2014 Thanksgiving Card Artist, Amica Insurance Company, (see video about the artist)
2104 Honorable Mention, Providence Art Club Open Painting
2011 Award of Merit, Raritan Valley Community College Tree of Knowledge Mural
2010 Teacher of Excellence, Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education
2008 Top Twenty Artists, Federal Duck Stamp Contest National Tour
2007 Award of Merit, for Best of 2007 Projects in New York City
2006 Keynote Speaker, RISD/CE graduation ceremony
2002 Merit Award for Illustration, Soil and Water Conservation Society
1994 Award of Excellence in Education and Illustration, Young Entomologists Society

Significant Commissioned Public Works

2015 The Dunes Club, A Summer Evening mural for the Ocean Grill in Narragansett, RI
2015 Matunuck Oyster Bar,  Map Mural & Underwater Ceiling Mural, Matunuck, RI
2014 National Park Service, Tallgrass Prairie Visitors Center, Strong City, KS
2013 Coastway Community Bank, Three Waves, 4-story exterior mural, Providence, RI (see PDF about the project)
2012 Audubon Center of Connecticut, Grassland Conservation mural (11' x 10'), Fairfield, CT
2012 Sachuest Point Visitors Center,  Habitat Murals, USFWS, Habitat Zones, Middletown, RI
2011 Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Fish Flying Balloons, Providence, RI
2011 Raritan Valley Community College, Tree of Knowledge mural (12' x 24'), Branchburg, NJ
2010 Buttonwood Park Zoo, Aquatic Environmental Center murals, New Bedford, MA
2009 Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History: On The Water, Washington, DC
2009 National Museum of American Illustration, restoration of James Wall Finn mural, Newport, RI
2008 Roger Williams Park Zoo, mural and illustrations for new butterfly exhibits, Providence, RI
2007 Staten Island Zoo, murals and artwork for new herpetology exhibits, Staten Island, NY
2007 Farmstead Plan for Borough President’s Office, Staten Island, NY
2006 East Greenwich Library, Medieval Castle mural (5' x 27') East Greenwich, RI
2005 Save The Bay, mural of Narragansett Bay, Our Living Bay (10' x 30'), Providence, RI
2005 Amherst College Natural History Museum, Amherst, MA
2005 Virginia Polytechnic University, Stream Cross Section Poster, Blacksburg, VA
2005 Norman Bird Sanctuary, Four landscape paintings for welcome kiosk, Middletown, RI
2004 Town of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Two painted graphics (30,000 square feet)
2003 Roger Williams Park Zoo, Thirteen images on permanent exhibit, Providence, RI
2002 US Fish and Wildlife Service, Trustom Pond mural, Otter Point, South Kingstown, RI
2001 Museum of Science, Wood River mural (9' x 30') Boston, MA
2001-2000 Buttonwood Park Zoological Society, Bears’ Den Café mural (11' x 100') New Bedford, MA
1999-2000 Town of New Bedford for Buttonwood Park Zoo, four permanent murals, New Bedford, MA
2000 U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Sachuest Point mural (11' x 27') Middletown, RI
1996 New England Aquarium, Ponds: The Earth’s Eyes, Boston, MA


National Geographic Society
Harvard University Press including two titles for E.O. Wilson
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Virginia Polytechnic University
Houghton Mifflin Company
John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
The MacDonald & Woodward Publishing Company
Carolina Biological Supply
National Pest Control Association
Western Publishing Company
Ortho Books
Rodale Press
National Wildlife
New York Times
Chicago Tribune
Advertising Age
The Artists’ Magazine

Corporate Clients

Guinness: Three painting commission for 2006 Calories Campaign
Gorham Silver Company: Nature’s Gallery porcelain series
Chevron Oil Company
Dow Chemical Company
ICI Americas
Safer, Inc.

Juried Exhibitions

2015-2005 Rhode Island School of Design Faculty Exhibit, Woods Gerry Gallery, Providence, RI
2015 International Salon Competition 2015, The Gallery at Round Top, TX
2014 Birds of a Feather, Katherine Lovell Studio & Gallery, Tiverton, RI
2014 Open Painting Exhibition, Providence Art Club, Providence, RI
2014 27th International Exhibition on Animals in Art, LSU, LA
2014- 2008 Artists for Save The Bay, Providence, RI
2013 In Cold Blood, Brush Art Gallery & Studios, Lowell, MA
2013 Society of Animal Artists Annual Exhibition
2012 Solo Show, Audubon Center of Connecticut, Pomfret, CT
2011 The Providence & D.C. Offices of RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
2011 Paint the Parks on National Tour
2011- 2008 Paint America Top 100 Paintings
2011 Best Oil Painters of America
2011 Impressions of New England, Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, VT
2011 Highfield Hall, Birds in the Hall, Falmouth, MA
2011 24th International Exhibition on Animals in Art, LSU, LA
2011- 2005 Rhode Island School of Design, Woods Gerry Gallery, Faculty Exhibit, Providence, RI
2010 Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, Storrs, CT
2010 Scenes of Rhode Island, State Office Building, Three Waves at Second Beach, Providence, RI
2010-2008 Rhode Island Artists for Save The Bay, Providence, RI
2009 Faculty Art Exhibit, Stonehill College, Easton, MA
2009 Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA, with GNSI/NE
2008 Providence Art Club, Open Painting, Providence, RI
2008 Art of the Animal Kingdom XIV, Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, VT
2008, 2007 Society of Animal Artists, Small Works, Big Impressions, Wildlife Experience Museum, Parker, CO
2008, 2007 Oxford Fine Arts Invitational, Oxford, MD
2008 University of New England, Portland, ME
2007 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
2007 Blithewold Mansion, From Observation to Illustration, Bristol, RI
2006 Society of Animal Artists, Art and the Animal, Bennington, VT
2006 University of Wisconsin, The Ebling Library, Madison, WI
2006 Waterfowl Festival, Easton, MD
2006 Rhode Island Audubon Society, GNSI New England, Bristol, RI
2005 Rhode Island Museum of Natural History, From Observation to Illustration, Providence, RI
2004 Virginia Marine Science Museum, Norfolk, VA
2004 Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic, CT
2003 Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO
2002 University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Lawrence, KS
2002 RI Museum of Natural History, From Observation to Illustration, Providence, RI
2001 Wendell Gilley Museum, Bar Harbor, ME
2001 Rhode Island State Office Building, Scientific Illustration, Providence, RI
1999 Bruce Museum, Flowers and their Pollinators, Greenwich, CT
1998 Sonoran Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ
1996 National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC

Teaching Experience

2006 to present Advisor, Natural Science Illustration Certificate Program, Rhode Island School of Design, Continuing Education
1998 to present Instructor, Rhode Island School of Design, Continuing Education
2015 and 2011 Guest Artist, JM Walsh High School for the Arts, Pawtucket, RI.
2011-2008 Adjunct Professor, Stonehill College Visual and Performing Arts, North Easton, MA
2011 Guest Artist, J.M. Walsh High School for the Arts, Pawtucket, RI thru RISCA
2010 Artist in Residence, The Gordon School, East Providence, RI
2009, 2007 Instructor, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
2003 Instructor, University of DenverDenver, CO


1990 Rhode Island School of Design, Certificate in Scientific and Technical Illustration
1980 University of Maryland, BA in Scientific Illustration, cum laude. Double major in art and science (fulfilled all requirements for BA and BS)
1978 Internship at Smithsonian Institution Botanical and Entomological Departments, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC