Portia Munson’s House and Studio

Byrdcliffe’s Artist in Residency (A.i.R) group was invited to visit the home/studio of husband and wife, Jared Handelsman and Portia Munson. After a pizza party in their garden, residents were given a tour of their sprawling, sumptuous garden, tree-house retreat, converted barn studio, and exotic house. A.i.R learned of the couples shared interest and inspiration for their land. Each gave an impromptu talk on how their work was influenced by their immediate surroundings.

Jared showed bodies of works where he worked exclusively at night. In his photograms and videos, he captures nature using the illumination of flashlights, car headlights, and moonlight. He takes the photo paper outdoors and relying on these sources, exposes the cast shadows of nature. The phenomena of the shadow play create infinite, stunning prints.

Portia Munson explores multiple mediums such as installation, painting, print and sculpture. Her impulse to use new, recycled, unwanted, or discarded things defines her process and work. From her garden, she finds flowers and animals that she uses for Mandalas. These works informs the actions of the day – the blooming of the flowers or the death of a bird. Additionally, the collections of synthetic objects seemingly grow in her studio. They share the same careful, thoughtful nature of the Mandalas.

Also attending, the Head of Byrdcliffe’s Exhibitions, Nancy Azara and her partner Djarla Bjork.

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Check out Portia and Jared’s websites and artwork at these links:



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