Camden Yacht Club’s Sunset Seminar speaker will be Greg Mort, who will speak on “Mars: The Canal Cover-up,” on Wednesday, July 20. The public is invited to this free event, 7 p.m. at the yacht club on Bay View Street.

American artist Greg Mort, a resident of Port Clyde, is widely recognized as a leading influence in contemporary art. His paintings are included in many prominent collections including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Delaware Art Museum, Academy Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth, the Bradywine River Museum and many more.

At age 13 Mort’s perspective on the universe was altered forever when he first viewed the heavens through a neighbor’s crude telescope. Thus began a life-long passion for astronomy, space travel and the night sky. Mort’s vocation and avocation continue to intersect as he portrays mankind’s intimate ties with the cosmos. A commissioned NASA artist since 1983 he also served on the Board of Visitors at the McDonald Observatory, creating large-scale murals recording the historic construction of their Hobby-Eberly Telescope. He is a frequent speaker on the collaboration of art and science and presently serves on the Executive Board of the Lowell Observatory and the Night Sky Conservation Foundation.

Mort’s childhood space dreams first became a reality in 1983 when he was recruited by NASA for its American Artist and the Space Shuttle program. In this first of many NASA commissions he portrayed Sally Ride’s historic STS 7 shuttle flight in a series of watercolors that are now on display at Cape Canaveral. His eloquent visions of the night sky have been featured worldwide in the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition “The Artist and the Space Shuttle,” as well as in numerous magazines and books including Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.”  He recently completed a painting to honor Astronaut Barbara Morgan, who flew on shuttle mission STS 118 as the first teacher in space. In 2008 Mort’s painting “ZERO – G Apples” was included on the first art exhibition in space aboard the International Space Station.

Port Clyde is home and studio to Mort and his family for part of the year with clear night skies yielding unequaled astronomical viewing and artistic inspiration. Mort winters in Ashton, Md., a historic Quaker village in the shadow of the nation’s capital where noted powerbrokers have gained an appreciation of Mort’s art. Today he counts among his collectors former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, the Bush family, American and foreign diplomats, as well as scholars and scientists from around the globe. Recently Ann Druyan, wife of the late Dr. Carl Sagan, commissioned him to paint Dr. Sagan’s portrait. This painting has been acquired by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center’s permanent collection.