“Surface Storm II” by Bill Oakes.

“Bill Oakes: Art, Imagination, Vision,” featuring abstract works by prolific artist Bill Oakes, will open in July at Haley Art Gallery, with an opening reception from 3 to 6 p.m. July 9.

The gallery will host an artist talk by Sharon Oakes (Oakes’ widow) from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 20.

The exhibit will remain on view through Sept. 10.

A portion of gallery profits will be donated to The Dance Hall, Kittery, seacoast’s premier venue for intimate, diverse music and dance.

Oakes’ abstract art was, for the most part, inspired during a 1990 trip to Mexico. Moved by the light, textures, colors, peeling posters and rusting cars, he turned from realism to abstraction. He felt abstract art encouraged the viewer to use their imagination and “see in new ways.” His greatest joy was watching someone make a discovery.

Oakes grew up in Maine and started painting as a child. Following his graduation from Brunswick High School, he attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. Moving to Washington, D.C., to join the Navy, he was assigned to the Navy Combat Art Gallery as the first artist on active duty providing visual reporting since 1954. His over 180 paintings and drawings of returning Vietnam vets at the Bethesda Naval hospital, sailors at the Navy diving school and the recommissioning of the Battleship New Jersey remain in the U.S. Navy Fine Arts Collection.

Oakes held a master’s degree in critical and creative thinking from UMass, Boston, and taught at the New England School of Art and Design and the Art Institute of Boston. His illustrations appeared in books and numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post (as a Watergate trials courtroom artist), The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Look, National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Time, Sail and Yankee magazines. He created and self-published several art instruction manuals and produced three children’s books with one of his art students.

Oakes passed in 2005, but his art continues to inspire and be exhibited.

Haley Art Gallery is at 178 Haley Road, Kittery. Visit the gallery and its gift shop, with social impact gift items from around the world, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Contact Haley Art Gallery at 617-584-2580 or haleygallery@comcast.net for more information, or go to haleyartgallery.com.