On Friday, July 23, Mars Hall Gallery in Martinsville will celebrate the opening of two new shows, “Sense & Sensibility” and “Contagious Color,” with a reception for both from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Sense & Sensibility,” featuring works by Carl Sublett and Russell Smith, opened on July 14 and will continue until Sunday, Aug. 8. “Contagious Color” is a group show featuring work by Leo Brooks and Kris Johnson. It will open Wednesday, July 21 and run through Sunday, Aug. 15.

Sublett and Smith never met each other during their careers, but the works in their show demonstrate a similar aesthetic sensitivity to stroke and color. In these pieces, each artist worked with a limited color palette, emphasizing the layering of subtle colors.

Sublett once summed up his artistic philosophy by saying the truth is a moment, and every moment seems to be different. He would see what there was to paint and what to say about it: “The particular light that may fall over a scene represents one ‘truth’ on a clear day and another ‘truth’ on a foggy day.” Smith takes a reductive approach to the landscape and adds shapes representing impressions of man’s structures, tools and systems. Vast horizons on water and land are his references to nature; “adding the element of man-made shapes to the landscape represents the contrast between man and nature.”

“Contagious Color” features artists known for their bold use of color. The late Leo Brooks once wrote that he wanted his paintings to jump off the wall with energy the frame cannot contain.

In May, Johnson had her first one-woman show, “Vernissage,” at La Galerie Studio 65 in Castelnau Magnoac, France. Some of that show’s works will hang in this show, first to be seen in the States. Another artist in the group show, Sharon Larkin, had her painting, “Her Earthly History,” chosen for the cover of Mainebiz Book of Lists 2010. The show also includes Elizabeth Allen, Bill Cook, Charles DuBack, Ronald Frontin, Alison Hill, Dick Kelly, Nat Lewis, Blanche Sefton Lutz, Edward Mackenzie, Ken Martin, Otty Merrill, Cam Noel, C.W. Oakes, Marylin Quint-Rose, Elaine Reed, Andy Rosen and Eleanor Zuccola.

Mars Hall Gallery is located at 621 Port Clyde Road/Route 131. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 372-9996 or visit marshallgallery.net.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.