Jenna Pirello: Shapeshifters opens April 22nd at the new Moss Galleries in Portland

April 14, 2022


April 14, 2022


(Portland, Maine) Jenna Pirello: Shapeshifters opens on April 22 at the new Moss Galleries at 100 Fore Street in Portland. The exhibition will be on view through May 21. 


Jenna Pirello’s latest body of work, Shapeshifters, is a continuation of her signature process-based style, re-emerging here as a more gestural and more figurative body of work. Distinct forms populate the densely layered color fields, referencing cut flowers, lush landscapes, domestic moments, the moon, and the artist’s cat, Millie. In depicting these familiar forms, Pirello draws with a fast hand and extracts lines, repeats shapes, shifts scale, and overall collapses the image to represent the ways moments are experienced by the artist, filtered through a noisy brain with a constant flow of interrupting information.


“It’s not about sense, it’s about sensation,” declares Pirello. Her process is reactionary, a deeply engaged game of call and response between mark, color, and form. She describes working into older paintings as having the juiciest results: “I like to start with already having a lot of information to respond to. I think of working into older paintings as approaching a frozen river that I can carve back into, cracking it open to commingle new ideas with the already existing flow of information in the painting underneath.” 


Jenna Pirello currently lives and works in Portland, Maine. She received her MFA in Painting from Yale University in 2014 and her BFA from Boston University in 2011. She was recently awarded a Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 2018. Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions throughout Boston and Portland. In addition to a feature in ArtMaze Magazine in 2018, Pirello was highlighted in the 2019 Northeast Edition of New American Paintings, a critically acclaimed juried exhibition and periodical dedicated to presenting work by new artistic talent.


Shapeshifters will be the first exhibition at Moss Galleries in partnership with Fairchain, a tech start-up that ensures that artists will see royalties from future sales of their artwork on the secondary market. Fairchain seeks to fundamentally change the way the art world works and specifically how it treats artists and their livelihoods.


Find a link to download hi-res images here.

Image caption: Jenna Pirello, Moonbeam, 2022, Acrylic on wood, 50 x 42 inches. Copyright the artist. 


About Moss Galleries:
In 2004, with the dream of being at the forefront of recognizing Maine’s role in American Art, Elizabeth Moss created Moss Galleries in Falmouth, Maine. Over the course of 17 years, Elizabeth and her team have established a gallery of national and international repute, recently being named one of the top 500 Galleries in North America by ArtInfo. The gallery represents a plethora of artists who create in a vast range of artistic styles ranging from abstract to traditional seascapes. Moss Galleries strives to highlight Maine artists and their role in the American art scene at large, as well as the importance Maine plays in each of their work. Moss Galleries has locations in Portland and Falmouth, Maine.
For more information, visit Moss Galleries at

Moss Galleries
Portland Gallery:
100 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

Falmouth Gallery:
251 US-1
Falmouth, ME 04105

For Media Inquiries, please contact: 
Kristen Levesque
Kristen Levesque PR & Marketing


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