Inspired by the magic of the San Juan Islands, Lawrence Frank Bahrych painted large natural landscapes of vibrant color and evocative imagery while living on Shaw Island with his family. He carried images of the islands with him to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he continued to paint intriguing, symbolic landscapes, such as “Rain,” which was one of his favorite works. He described it as “oddly warm, as rain so often is” in the Pacific Northwest. One of his favorite subjects was the Madrona, which features in many of his paintings as an otherworldly being, a guardian figure for the islands.
He graduated from the Academy with honors in 1994 and from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art with a M.F.A. in 1998. His work was in numerous shows on the east coast. He taught art and English in Asia until 2004 when he disappeared from a steep mountain trail in Dharamsala, India. His family has searched for many years without finding him. He was 44.