“Mama BB” by Rachel Portesi.
Courtesy photo
“Mama BB” by Rachel Portesi.

An ‘unexpected collaboration’ yields exhibit of selected works at Main Street Arts

SAXTONS RIVER — Main Street Arts presents “Model, Muse, Assistant, Artist,” a group exhibition curated by photographer Rachel Portesi, to celebrate the individual work of the artists who have also worked in her studio as assistants and models.

The exhibition features a selection of work by artists (1)Hannah Colantuono, Amaia Echanis, Rachel Portesi, Rachel Racco, Isabel Rodriguez, and Willa Sheehan.

The show opening and artist reception will be held on Saturday, March 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the MSA gallery at 35 Main Street.

“Throughout history, artists have formed close relationships with their models and studio assistants,” Portesi wrote in her artist statement. She has been both artist and model, and from her recent perspective as artist, she “can see most clearly the special importance of the relationship constructed between artist, assistant, model, muse.”

From this “unexpected collaboration,” she says, models surprised her as they “became conduits for self-reflection, leading to a kind of time travel between both my youth and that of my own mother's. […] I was able to 'see' cross-generationally while simultaneously noticing [the models] for themselves.”

In this relationship, the lines are blurred between Portesi's work and that of her models, and she attributes the success of her recent work in large part to them. “I'm delighted for this opportunity to exhibit together. Their creativity has fed mine and I think it shows on the walls of this gallery.”

The show will be on view through April 29. Gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., or whenever the building is open.

More information about the exhibit is available at mainstreetarts.org.

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