2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work


Graeme Kennedy
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 699-4887

September 12, 2013

(Portland, Maine) This fall the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) will feature 30 artists selected from nearly 900 applicants for the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work. On view October 3, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the Biennial will feature more than 70 works, ranging in media from painting and drawing to photography and video. The exhibition is the PMA’s eighth consecutive Biennial and the first to include a subtitle.

Selection of the artwork for Piece Work followed a new process this year. The jury process was conducted internally by Jessica May, the PMA’s first Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art. The goal of the exhibition is to explore one very strong, deep thread of contemporary practice that has relevance both regionally and nationally. Many of the artists in Piece Work live in Maine for all or part of the year; for others, the state has been an important part of their biography or artistic practice.

The subtitle Piece Work is derived from the exhibition’s thematic approach. It is meant to evoke the traditional labor-based notion of artisans and factory workers who are paid “by the piece,” but also to conjure the image in visitors’ minds of “one thing after another,” a seemingly endless repetition of making, passing, and making again. For instance, artist Lauren Fensterstock meticulously assembles individually cut blades of paper grass to create a dark ornamental garden in the museum’s gallery; Julie K. Gray arranges thousands of tiny plastic beads to create intricate geometric patterns that resemble cross-stitching; and Sage Lewis uses the laborious process of translation from one media to another-she prints, photocopies, and manipulates photographs of sculptural models before her work arrives at its final state. While the artwork featured in Piece Work spans a broad range of media, the thread that connects the artists is their use of repetition, handcraft, and translation.  This year, the Biennial extends beyond the museum’s main exhibition gallery to envelop the entire campus. Multiple works will be installed in the McLellan House, interacting with the historic architecture. The PMA’s corridors and sculpture garden will also come alive with contemporary art.
Biennials at the Portland Museum of Art have evolved since 1998 and have gained popularity as one of the foremost venues for contemporary art in the state. As a series, Biennial exhibitions create a visual record of Maine’s evolving contemporary art scene and testify to the profound influence that the landscape, traditions, and people of Maine continue to have on living artists. Maine has nurtured artists for centuries, and its influence reaches far beyond its borders.

The 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work will be accompanied by a solo exhibition in the PMA’s Circa series, Amy Stacey Curtis: 9 walks. For this exhibition, the museum will show three existing video works from Curtis’s oeuvre along with six new works, all using the theme of a walk near the artist’s home.

The 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work is made possible by the William E. and Helen E. Thon Endowment Fund, with additional generous support from Roger and Jane Goodell. Corporate sponsorship is provided by Norton Insurance & Financial Services and media sponsorship is provided by The Portland Phoenix.

Circa is a series of exhibitions featuring the work of living artists from Maine and beyond. Circa is generously supported by S. Donald Sussman. Corporate sponsorship is provided by The VIA Agency.
2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work Artist List
30 artists selected
8 artists previously exhibited in PMA Biennials
*Denotes participation in previous Biennials
Kate Beck (Harpswell, ME)
Matt Blackwell (Brooklyn, NY)
*Allison Cooke Brown (Yarmouth, ME) (2005)
JT Bullitt (Milbridge, ME)
*Crystal Cawley (Portland, ME) (2001)
Caleb Charland (South Portland, ME)
*Lauren Fensterstock (Portland, ME) (2005)
Alina Gallo (Portland, ME) Please note: Alina Gallo’s work will be installed at a later date due to health reasons.
Candace Plummer Gaudiani (Menlo Park, CA)
Bryan Graf (Portland, ME)
Julie K. Gray (Saco, ME)
Gary M. Green (Waterville, ME)
*Adriane Herman (2007) and Brian Reeves (Portland, ME)
Alison Hildreth (Portland, ME)
Garrick Imatani (Portland, OR)
*Joe Kievitt (Portland, ME) (2001, 2003, 2007)
Jocelyn Lee (Brooklyn, NY and Cape Elizabeth, ME)
Sage Lewis (Columbus, OH)
Rahul Mitra (Houston, TX)
*Duane Paluska (Woolwich, ME) (2003)
Zach Poff (Brooklyn, NY) + N.B. Aldrich (Penobscot, ME)
Abbie Read (Appleton, ME)
*Justin Richel (Rangeley, ME) (2003, 2007)
*Jason Rogenes (Georgetown, ME) (2001)
Carrie Scanga (South Portland, ME)
Marguerite White (Boston, MA)
Aaron Williams (Queens, NY)
Michael Zachary (Boston, MA)

PMA Information

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special members-only events, Free School Tours, and a commitment to family activities, to PMA Films, curator talks, and exclusive tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

The museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.

Summer Hours (beginning May 30): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours (through May 29): Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $15 for students  Everyone age 21 and under is free, through the generosity of Susie Konkel. Admission is free every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and PMA Store.

Winslow Homer Studio tours are available by reservation. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org. For more information on Your Museum, Reimagined, the PMA’s multiyear project focused on improved access to the museum’s collection, visit portlandmuseum.org/reimagined.


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