The Block Gallery

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Feb. 11, 2016 - 1:26 pm
Wendy Collin Sorin, Functional Shift #13, 2015, collage/labels, 22” x 30” Harriet Hoover, Searching the Carpet for Little Devil, 2014, paper collage, 18.25” x 17.5” Harriet Hoover, Happiness is a Choice, 2015, paper collage, 45” x 38” x 2” Wendy Collin Sorin, Functional Shift #46, 2015, collage/labels, 15” x 22”

Located on the first and second floors of the Raleigh Municipal Building, The Block Gallery offers five to six exhibitions each year featuring works by artists who live or work in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange or Wake County. Exhibitions are scheduled through a call for artists, juried by a selection panel of visual arts professionals, Raleigh Arts Commissioners and City staff.

Current Exhibition


Artists Reception: First Friday, March 4, 5-7pm

Curated by Stacy Bloom Rexrode, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

As implied by the title of this exhibition, works by Harriet Hoover and Wendy Collin Sorin are compiled of elements that, once unearthed, reveal small treasures that might otherwise go unnoticed. Ordinary materials of everyday life are used to explore language and personal narratives of space. A sense of discovery is triggered in the viewer by these process-generated works, with their visual references to fine woven textiles with densely overlapped materials creating the illusion of being woven together. Each artist utilizes a grid-like pattern in numerous works, revealing slight disruptions that demonstrate the presence of the human hand.

Harriet Hoover is a natural assembler, gathering her source materials from such unlikely inspired spaces as her studio floor and highly traveled sidewalks. Her creative process often begins with walking and being in a space and studying the history, current events or culture of a particular place. She gathers remnants of personal accounts left by others and herself and investigates the patterns of individual geography, real and imagined. These three-dimensional paintings are tied to the histories of the collected materials and to the idea of mark making as language. Such is the case in Letters to Ruby and Friends, 2014. Presented like an antiquated codex containing hand-inscribed messages with its repetition of marks, one can imagine the patterned lines as an ancient code waiting to be deciphered. Each work is a compilation of laborious collections brought together in masterful constructions by Hoover, who sources materials with the enthusiasm of an archeologist on a dig.

There is an energy that reverberates in the works by Wendy Collin Sorin. Colorful patterns are created by slicing and dicing office supply labels, quite literally breaking apart language and creating these text-based mosaics. The original intention of the materials is lost and translated into these labor-intense constructions, as seen in Functional Shift #12, 2015, with its pulsating colors and densely woven line formations. Sorin’s work focuses on a meditation on the grid, the passing of time, and the deconstruction of language, all while addressing the more formal concerns of each work.

The works in this exhibition challenge the viewer to really see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Each artist tempts us to question the trace materials we leave behind when we exit a space, or to be seduced by the unique qualities in everyday objects.

Images above (left to right):
Wendy Collin Sorin, Functional Shift #13, 2015, collage/labels, 22” x 30”
Harriet Hoover, Searching the Carpet for Little Devil, 2014, paper collage,
18.25” x 17.5”
Harriet Hoover, Happiness is a Choice, 2015, paper collage, 45” x 38” x 2”
Wendy Collin Sorin, Functional Shift #46, 2015, collage/labels, 15” x 22”

Artist Calls

The Block Gallery is scheduled through July 2017.

Eligibility requirements for the Block Gallery are as follows:

  • Applicants must be eighteen years of age or older and residing or working in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange or Wake County for at least one year by the application due date.
  • Artists applying to the Block Gallery must have participated in two juried or invitational shows in the past five years.
  • Commercial gallery representatives are not eligible to apply on behalf of artists or as curators, although artists represented by a commercial gallery are eligible to apply individually.
  • Curators may propose an exhibit for the Block Gallery or for the Block Gallery's second-floor cases. All artists included in the curator's proposal must meet the eligibility requirements for artists who apply individually.


The Block Gallery was designed to serve as one of the city's premier exhibition spaces. Managed by the Office of Raleigh Arts, the gallery has introduced close to 200 artists to area residents and visitors since its inception in 1984. Dedicated in 2006 to honor community leader Miriam Preston Block, its marble walls and impressive staircase provide an ideal setting for art.

In accordance with the mission "to connect local artists to community through ongoing exhibitions and public outreach," the Block Gallery fosters great artists and great art.

Exhibited Artists



Denee’ Black

Jaclyn Bowie

Brandon Cordrey

Melinda Fine

Arron Foster

Brian Gonzales

Scott Hazard

Shannon Johnstone

Judy Jones

Anna Kenar

Jon Kolkin

Susan Martin

Jennifer Page

Brandon Sanderson

Rodica Simon

Felicia van Bork

Erik Waterkotte


Ryan Cummings

Gabrielle Duggan

Ross Ford

Titus Brooks Heagins

Becky Joye

Joyce Watkins King

Mary Kircher

Gracelee Lawrence

Cindy Morefield

Nora Phillips

Stacy Bloom Rexrode

Michael Schwalbe

Meg Stein

Sarah West


Marty Baird

Nancy Baker

Susan Brabeau

Luke Miller Buchanan

Jason Craighead

Jessica Dupuis

Kiki Farrish

Amy Friend

Richard Garrison

Heather Gordon

Julie Anne Greenberg

Greg Kemp

Ann Marie Kennedy

Gretchen Morrissey

Kenneth Eugene Peters

Anna Podris

Holden Richards

Shaun Richards

Kristianne Ripple

Ann Roth

Ginny Runge

Carol Joy Shannon

Mary Storms

Anthony Ulinski

Sally VanGorder

Jimmy Williams


Susan Brabeau

Teddy Devereux

Gerri Fernandez

Ron Flory

Adam Hajnos

Lucartha Kohler

Janine LeBlanc

Lydia Anne McCarthy

Chance Murray

Keith Norval

Christina Preher

Ellie Reinhold

Ian Sands

Julian Thomas

Nathan Wellman

Mia Yoon


Daniel Allegrucci

Nancy Baker

Wolf Bolz

Marina Bosetti

Jenny Eggleston

Kiki Farrish

Heather Gordon

Greg Kemp

Ann Marie Kennedy

Soni Martin

Susan Martin

Steve McClure

Gretchen Morrissey

Teresa Pigeon

Ann Roth

Brandon Sanderson

Aditya Shringarpure

Mike Sonnichen

Christopher Williams

Jimmy Williams


Jason Arthurs

Kathy Brancato

Gabriella Corter

Gene Furr

Brian Gonzales

Mary Shannon Johnstone

Judy Jones

Mary Kay Kennedy

Eduardo Lapetina

Georges Le Chevallier

Maureen McGregor

Tricia McKellar

Julie Niskanen

Alison Overton

Kenneth Eugene Peters

Anna Podris

Kristianne Ripple

Mikel Robinson

Garrett Scales

Kristan Five Skinner

Susan Soper

Bill Wallace



Adam Graetz

Michael Iauch

Drew Robertson


Kia Mercedes Carscallen

David Colagiovanni and Melissa Haviland

Travis Donovan

Marc Russo

Seoun Som

Jeff Whetstone


Lynden Harris

Jessye McDowell

Ali Colleen Neff

Wenhua Shi

Francesca Talenti

Nicole Welch


A/V Geeks

Lincoln Hancock

Miles Holst

Tim Kiernan

Irene Moon

Location and Hours

222 West Hargett Street
M-F, 8:30am - 5:15pm (open until 7pm on opening reception nights)

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