Inverness painter layers symbols, process in Gallery Route One exhibit

03/24/2021

Can you spot the books, the trees, the hands? Mary Mountcastle Eubank, an Inverness painter and a founder of Gallery Route One, will exhibit a series of abstract acrylics painted over the past year and throughout her career in a show titled “Layered in Time” on display at the gallery from April 8 through May 9. “I’m interested in the dialogue between nature and culture,” Ms. Eubank said. “Culture, of course, encompasses all human activities, and then there’s wild nature. How do those two get along with one another? We are all looking at what we have done to the planet, with climate change right up there in the news. To me it’s always been a philosophically interesting interplay.” Ms. Eubank, who grew up in Cleveland and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, moved with her husband and children to Inverness in 1973. In addition to pursuing her own art practice, she became a champion for other local artists, helping to found GRO with 24 other artists, leading a performance art group called Miz-Maze Theatre in the ‘90s, and, for a decade until recently, co-directing a gallery called Sometimes Books. “She’s been out in front of all of the things that a group of us local artists have done, and been like a mentor, someone to whom we looked together for direction,” said Zea Morvitz, an Inverness artist who has partnered with Ms. Eubank on many of the enterprises. Ms. Morvitz noted the abstract nature of Ms. Eubank’s work. “Where a lot of artists use their canvas and their paper like a camera taking a photograph, Mary’s work is not strictly representational,” she said. “What’s there for you to look at is the result of her process of accumulating, layering, scraping away, finding discarded objects and incorporating them into her work. It is not a painting of something: It is the result of her process.” After the pandemic struck, Ms. Eubank moved out of her gallery space in Point Reyes Station, and started to paint from home. Trees and books, and sometimes human hands, are recurring symbols that tie her latest works together. “Through the use of symbols, I’m posing a question rather than arriving at any solution,” she said. “I don’t want to teach or tell people what to think about anything. I don’t think that’s really what art is for. Art is about opening the mind.”