As a young adult Harley W. Bartlett studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. As a professional artist, his representational style lends itself well to both mural and easel painting. He has exhibited widely throughout southern New England, including exhibitions at the Providence Art Club, the Bert Gallery in Providence, and in Massachusetts at the Francesa Anderson Gallery in Concord and the Granary Gallery of West Tisbury. Bartlett’s work is included in both private and corporate collections, and he was featured in American Artist magazine in 1992.
Bartlett’s easel paintings follow in the tradition of the late 19th and early 20th century American coastal landscape and figurative painters. His interest in maritime painting was fostered by his early involvement in racing Bluejays and Thistles on Long Island Sound and catboating on Narragansett Bay, thus marine and coastal views are a natural subject. His interest in depicting people at work on the water came from his early years of sailing and quahogging on the bay.
As a freelance artist since 1986, he has painted murals for Evergreene Painting Studios, including the Lost City Project, Bophuthatswana, Republic of South Africa. Bartlett has also painted several murals designed by Richard Haas, including the Kansas City Federal Courthouse and the Federal Regulatory Building in Washington, DC. Bartlett has contributed to numerous restoration projects for state capital and historical buildings in Michigan, Iowa, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.
In 1995, Bartlett co-founded Thomas Street Studios Ltd., and is currently the sole proprietor of the mural and decorative painting studio in Cranston, RI. His murals may be found in many homes in New England and many commercial establishments (e.g. Restaurants, Hotels) throughout the United States. Locally, he also restored the artwork of many churches and most recently provided the new design and artwork to St. Rocco’s Church in Johnston, RI. In 2003 he designed and painted two 8′ x 30′ murals for the Masonic Temple in East Providence, RI that depict the building of Solomon’s Temple. His painted clouds grace the ceilings of state capitals in Rhode Island and Iowa and theaters in Ohio and the New Art Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Through his company he directs a team of fine artists, all of whom bring with them years of training and experience in many areas of specialty painting and restoration.