Haynes Galleries opened its summer season with an exhibit,”Celebrating the Portrait as Timeless Art,” a diverse collection of works by contemporary realists.

The exhibit will be on display through July 26 at the gallery, 91 Main St. in Thomaston.

The portraiture in the show is described in a press release as “expressive, thoughtful, and engaging as any landscape or still life.” They are stand-alone pieces of fine art that can be interpreted and admired, regardless of the viewer’s relationship to the subject. Viewers will likely leave the gallery feeling they have formed a new connection.

Some of the artists participating in the exhibit include Gregory Mortenson,Victoria Novak and TJ Cunningham.

Mortenson gives his subjects a breathtaking sense of presence. He paints in a traditional style, yet his portraits are modern and inviting. His work is a study in contrasts – at once timeless and timely, refined and gritty, exalting and melancholy, the press release said.

Novak’s oil paintings were described as having a “tight, polished style, reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance works that fostered her love of art.”

Cunningham’s portraits are technically strong and emotionally insightful, making the viewer feel as though he knows the subject personally. A recent finalist at the International Portrait Competition, he observes his subjects, revealing the grace in every scene.

Another artist, Nancy Depew, combines her love for painting figures and nature.Her subjects are beautifully rendered.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by appointment. For more information, go to haynesgalleries.com.