MyRaleigh

The Block Gallery

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Jun. 19, 2017 - 1:35 pm

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.

Location and Hours

222 West Hargett Street
M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
(open until 7 p.m, on opening reception nights)

Current Exhibition

PRECARIOUS EDIFICES

Ashlynn Browning and Chieko Murasugi

May 31 – July 21, 2017

Curated by Stacy Bloom Rexrode, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

“Abstraction is staggeringly radical, circumvents language, and sidesteps naming or mere description” – Jerry Saltz, American art critic

Abstraction isn’t easy. It can seem intimidating, unapproachable and nonsensical to the viewer, like a secret code known only by a few. We often expect to find connections between these compositions and the physical world. But what if we let go of this predilection? What if we see line, color and texture in the simplest terms and form? Precarious Edifices artists Ashlynn Browning and Chieko Murasugi create works that invite the viewer to stop and contemplate the placement of each mark.

Balancing opposing forces is an important aspect of Ashlynn Browning’s process. Bold color pairs with muted tones. Pattern and texture oppose smooth color fields. Architectural forms, such as bridges, bricks, walls and windows, often appear, presenting a psychological reference. Inner spaces are created in a manner that almost seems vulnerable but are encased by protective barriers. Browning states, “The forms in the paintings all have personalities and implied narratives. Their off-kilter stance and precarious posture are imbued with vulnerability, while the spiky, geometric forms that envelop and bridge them show a hardened strength in some ways, each is a self-portrait of sorts.” Browning engages the process of painting with complete openness, allowing each mark to build on the last.

Chieko Murasugi’s approach is intuitive and process-oriented. Though she sometimes starts with forms or symbols based in music or language, the layers of geometric shapes and colors build upon one another, creating their own conversations. She pulls extensively from her studies in visual perception by injecting ambiguous and seemingly random or conflicting marks and forms into her paintings. “These elements mimic the noise-ridden visual stimuli with which we are constantly bombarded,” says Murasugi.

Through a purposeful method of mark making, the artists of Precarious Edifices create a sense of tension and opposition by the utilization and reduction of the most formal qualities of art making – form, color and line.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

ASHLYNN BROWNING | ashlynnbrowning.com

Browning earned her BA in studio art and English from Meredith College in 2000 and MFA in painting and printmaking from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2002. She has received grants and residency fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, United Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Browning’s work was featured in the 2009 and 2015 Southern editions of New American Paintings, as well as in recent exhibitions in Columbia, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; and Washington, D.C. She exhibits nationally and internationally and is represented by Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, if ART Gallery in Columbia and Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta.

CHIEKO MURASUGI | chiekomurasugi.com

Murasugi was born in Tokyo and educated in Canada, receiving her BA in psychology from McGill University in Montreal and BFA in visual arts and PhD in experimental psychology from York University in Toronto. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University she conducted research on the neural basis of visual perception. Subsequently, she maintained a full-time art practice in San Francisco for 20 years until she moved to the Triangle in 2012.

Murasugi works in her studio at Golden Belt in Durham and exhibits her abstract paintings locally and nationally. She received an Honorable Mention at the North Carolina Artists’ Exhibition in Raleigh this year and was awarded the Durham Arts Council’s 2016-17 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist’s Grant for painting. In August, she will become an MFA candidate in studio art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Call for Artists: 2018-2019 Block Gallery Exhibition Series

Block Gallery 2018-2019 Call for Artists

CALL FOR ARTISTS

2018-2019 Block Gallery Exhibition Series

Raleigh, North Carolina

The Office of Raleigh Arts invites artists and curators 18 years of age or older, residing or working in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange or Wake County for at least one year (by August 11, 2017), to submit work for exhibition in the City of Raleigh’s Block Gallery for exhibition years 2018 and 2019. Artists or curators who have exhibited or curated at Block Gallery or Block2 since July 2016 are not eligible to apply.

Application Requirements

Please submit the following for consideration (all written materials to be submitted as pdf or Word files). Jpegs should be no larger than 96 dpi and should not exceed 1MB. All files must include artist's name and title of work (eg: smith-painting2.jpg; smith-bio.doc).

  • Résumé, including current address and contact information (no more than 2 pages)
  • Artist Statement (not to exceed 1 page)
  • If submitting as a curator, a brief proposal not to exceed 350 words
  • 5 jpeg images of works (not to exceed 96 dpi or 1MB)
  • Image list corresponding to jpegs (artist, title, date, dimensions in inches)

Directions for Submission

As a part of the City of Raleigh’s sustainability initiative, we encourage the reduction of paper use. To that end, please submit materials in one of the following ways:

  1. Submit through our Wufoo form
  2. Email documents to stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov Subject line: Block Gallery Call for Artists
  3. Upload files to our dropbox site. For access, please email stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov

Submission Deadline

All materials must be received no later than Friday, August 11, 2017 at 5pm EDT. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline so that any unforeseen problems with the materials can be addressed.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

  • Artists applying to 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. Artists represented by a commercial gallery are eligible to apply individually.
  • All artists included in curators’ proposals must meet the eligibility requirements for artists who apply individually.

Additional Information

Connecting local artists to community through ongoing exhibitions and public outreach, Block Gallery was dedicated in 2006 to honor Miriam Preston Block, a former Raleigh City Council member and community leader. Greeting all visitors to the Raleigh Municipal Building, Block Gallery’s marble walls and elegant staircase provide an ideal setting for showcasing original artworks. Exhibits change every 8-12 weeks.

Managed by the City of Raleigh’s Office of Raleigh Arts, the gallery is located on the first and second floors of the City’s Municipal Building downtown at 222 West Hargett St. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday except on holidays.

The Office of Raleigh Arts – a division of the City of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department – supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board and overseeing the Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers.

For more information on Block Gallery, visit www.raleighnc.gov or contact Stacy Bloom Rexrode, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at 919-996-4687 or stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov.

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.

Call for Artists: envision Saint Agnes

St. Agnes Logo Envision

envision Saint Agnes
a placemaking /artmaking event

Calling all artists, art lovers and creative thinkers!

Join us on Saint Augustine’s University campus for a day of making art and joy inspired by Saint Agnes Hospital. Bring your crayons, cameras, markers and imagination and put them to work honoring, portraying and recreating this historic Raleigh landmark.

April 8 Event Activities Schedule at 1315 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27610:

Events located (or beginning) in the Prezell Robinson Library -

  • 8 am - 10 am - Early Bird Artists Breakfast
  • 10 am - 12 pm - African American History Walking Tour w/ Tom Hancock
  • 12 pm - 1 pm - Hands-on Activities for Kids
  • 1 pm – 3 pm - Documentary Screening – “Saint Agnes the Untold Story” and a Discussion w/ Irene Clark; Hands-on Activities for Kids
  • 3 pm - 5 pm - Watercolor Workshop w/Linda Dallas

Events located on Saint Agnes site -

  • 6:30am – 8 am - Sunrise Photography Session
  • 10 am – 12 pm - I Was Born at Saint Agnes Composite Photography Session w/ Mike Aliff; I wish this was…Activity
  • 12 pm - 1 pm - I Was Born at Saint Agnes Composite Photography Session w/ Mike Aliff; I wish this was…Activity
  • 1 pm – 3 pm - I wish this was…Activity
  • 3 pm - 5 pm - Urban Sketching w/ Scott Renk
  • 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm - Sunset Photography Session

*Enjoy some curbside cuisine at the more than 6 food trucks on the sites.

The Site – Saint Agnes Hospital

Built in 1908 from stones quarried from Saint Augustine’s campus, this four-story structure was the second home of Saint Agnes Hospital (1896 -1961). Known as “The Healing Place”, Saint Agnes served the African-American community for 65 years providing both nurses training and medical care. In 1922, it was referred to as the only well-equipped hospital for Negros between Washington DC and New Orleans, serving not only North Carolina but adjacent Virginia and South Carolina. Today, the empty shell remains a beautiful edifice that reminds us of its valuable past and beckons toward a vital future.

The Next Step

Submit your Saint Agnes inspired art to be considered for the envision Saint Agnes exhibition scheduled for September 27 – November 10, 2017 at Block Gallery located in the Raleigh Municipal Building. Submit a jpg no larger than 2MB with Artist’s Name, Title, Medium, Size and Price. Artists agree to donate 30% of all sales from this exhibition toward creating a student designed public artwork that celebrates Saint Agnes.

Directions for Submission

As a part of the City of Raleigh’s sustainability initiative, we encourage the reduction of paper use. To that end, please submit materials in one of the following ways:

  1. Submit through our Wufoo form
  2. Email documents to stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov. Subject line: Saint Agnes Call.
  3. Upload files to our FTP site. For access, please email stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov.

Submission Deadline

All materials must be received no later than Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 5pm EDT. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline so that any unforeseen problems with the materials can be addressed. Notification of the jury selections will be sent by Friday, September 1, 2017 with delivery and exhibition details.

Additional Information

Connecting local artists to community through ongoing exhibitions and public outreach, Block Gallery was dedicated in 2006 to honor Miriam Preston Block, a former Raleigh City Council member and community leader. Greeting all visitors to the Raleigh Municipal Building, Block Gallery’s marble walls and elegant staircase provide an ideal setting for showcasing original artworks. Exhibits change every 8-12 weeks.

Managed by the City of Raleigh’s Office of Raleigh Arts, the gallery is located on the first and second floors of the City’s Municipal Building downtown at 222 West Hargett St. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday except on holidays.

The Office of Raleigh Arts – a division of the City of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department – supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board and overseeing the Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers.

For more information on the Block Gallery, contact Stacy Bloom Rexrode, Block Gallery coordinator, at 919-996-4687 or stacy.bloom-rexrode@raleighnc.gov.

History

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

BLOCK GALLERY EXHIBITED ARTISTS

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

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