Åarhus Gallery is pleased to have one of its own, Mark Kelly, as the guest artist for the month of September. For years now, Kelly has been inspiring, amusing and wowing viewers with his unique sensibilities and at times pointed, maybe ominous, observations on the human condition. The partners at Åarhus figured that it was high time they had a partner as a featured artist and it seemed natural for Kelly to be the first.

This show will run from Tuesday, Aug. 30 through Oct. 2, and the public is invited to an opening reception Friday, Sept. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the downtown gallery, 50 Main St.

Kelly will be showing two separate bodies of work. First is a series of gunpowder drawings, which are made by setting up the gunpowder, like sand-drawings, and it on fire.

“What I am trying to do is control these tiny explosions — which is (I realized after starting them) a perfect metaphor for human existence; trying to control the chaos of life after the penultimate explosion,” he said.

The second body of work is a series of fireworks drawings, in which he said he is simply experimenting — laying the works on paper and capturing the results of the explosions.

“With these I am relinquishing the control I strive for in the other works — allowing the chaos to happen, without my imposition,” he said.

The issue Kelly finds himself dealing with in this work is the balance in life between trying to find peace by controlling (to some degree) the chaos; and finding peace by knowing when to let the chaos happen, and appreciating what is there.

Born in Amityville, N.Y., Kelly moved to Boston in 1990, and earned his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1997. Besides showing regularly as a partner at Åarhus Gallery, Kelly’s exhibitions include the 18th Annual Drawing Show at the Boston Center for the Arts/Mills Gallery; the Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education’s 2005 Invitational, Rockland; the “Out of Bounds” altered book show, Rockport; “First Traces” at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport; and “The Crossing of Time and Environment: Micro Installation,” Tainan County, Taiwan. He lives in Belfast with his wife Michelle and their three daughters.

Showing with Kelly will be Åarhusians Annadeene Fowler, Kevin Johnson, Richard Mann, Abbie Read, Wesley Reddick and Willy Reddick.

Åarhus Gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Mondays by chance. For more information and a slideshow of the current exhibit, visit aarhusgallery.com or call 338-0001.

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