“NOW & Then: Charles DuBack Past and Present” runs through Oct. 10 at Mars Hall Gallery, 621 Port Clyde Road/Route 131. A group show featuring the best of this the gallery’s eighth season, “8 in the BAG,” will open Wednesday, Aug. 24. The public is invited to a reception for both shows Friday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

‘NOW & Then’

Charles DuBack’s new show features paintings, the majority of which have never been shown before, both new and early works in various media which demonstrate the artist’s diverse talents. They include collages from the 1950s and ’60s, watercolors, charcoal drawings, silk-screens and oil and acrylic works on canvas.  Taken in its totality, the show delineates the evolution of an artist who has chosen not to follow the traditional and accepted way in art, but instead to strike out on a path entirely of his own and to develop his own style of total abstraction.

Painting becomes abstract because it returns to its own sign structure and questions its own essence, said DuBack. His mature art is art that has no recognizable relationship with visible reality, instead using elements such as shape, color and line to create its own reality.  In this approach, technique and media play a dominant role. This means DuBack is involved with the sheer handling of paint regardless of any ulterior motive or purpose.

“I try to have the process of doing show throughout, and the work still carry the original thought as to the why,” he said.

‘8 in the BAG’

The main gallery will feature a show that celebrates the eighth anniversary of Mars Hall Gallery with the best works of 2011. This group show will feature art and crafts by Elizabeth Allen, Nancy Baker, Leo Brooks, Bill Cook, Alison Hill, Kris Johnson, Dick Kelly, Brian Kliewer, Sharon Larkin, Nat Lewis, Blanche Sefton Lutz, Ken Martin, Edward MacKenzie, Charles Wilder Oakes, Elaine Reed, Marylin Quint-Rose, Andy Rosen, Russell Smith, Carl Sublett and Eleanor Zuccola.

Mars Hall Gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Labor Day through Columbus Day, the gallery will be open Fridays through Sundays or by appointment. For more information on the artists or the shows, call 372-9996 or visit marshallgallery.net.

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