PORTLAND — The Union of Maine Visual Artists is pleased to host the upcoming exhibition “Bodies Of Work. by Haley Linnet, Aidan Fraser, Quinn Evans and Natalie Nelson”, at its Portland Chapter Gallery in the Portland Media Center, 516 Congress Street, March 3 – 31.

“Bodies of Work” aims to expand the canon in which femme-presenting bodies have been under or misrepresented in art. This group of women and gender nonconforming artists present work that explores the lived experiences of bodies that are femme-presenting, fat or nonbinary.

The exhibition incorporates Portland artist Haley Linnet’s lifesize sculpture “Tampon Insertion”, which is accompanied by both written and recorded accounts of 19 people’s experiences with menstruation, which span generations, genders, and races. Alongside the sculpture are works by Portland ceramicist Aidan Fraser, whose work focuses on femme bodies and aims to highlight “the often unmentionable — scars, nipples and pubic hairs” in 24k gold luster and encourages body acceptance.

Yarmouth artist Quinn Evans’ work honors the beauty of her subjects through a lens that is honest about the exhaustion that can come from navigating life in a gendered hierarchy. Evans’ passion for figurative work is rooted in her desire to foster empathy and restorative dialogues. 

Maine-based photographer Natalie Nelson showcases photographs that further challenge the idealized femme body. Nelson insists through her images that “one size doesn’t fit all. The beauty of shape is that of uniqueness and empowerment. Size does not determine intelligence or worth. We have the power to decide how the world sees us.”

Through showcasing art based on authentic and mundane lived experiences, Bodies of Work subverts norms that disconnect us from self-love and our bodies. This group of artists holds the identities of white, cisgender, nonbinary, queer, straight, middle class, working class, and able-bodied, and are creating artwork from these limited lenses.