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Block Gallery - Celebrating 30 Years

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Jul. 24, 2014 - 2:45 pm
Block Gallery "Unraveled" Exhibition (l to r): Nora Phillips, Naranja y Gris, 2013; Gracelee Lawrence, Component Heights, 2013; Mary Kircher, Immersion, 2013; Becky Joye, Pendulum, 2012

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

UNRAVELED | July 17-September 5

I am interested in textile because it is always in motion. Anytime you touch something, there is bound to be a change. The idea of a sheet that you can shape and reshape…all that fluidity is behind the concept.
~ El Anatsui

Throughout human history, fiber arts have provided a platform for creative expression within the boundaries of function. Since the mid-20th century, fiber artists have pushed their medium beyond the confines of its utilitarian roots to create a viable and exciting fine art form. The artists of Unraveled combine traditional textile techniques and materials with innovative concepts to produce varied and exciting bodies of work.

Inspired by the natural world, Mary Kircher’s works are evocative of environments ranging from coastal marshlands to phenomena such as the aurora borealis. In addition to her passion for the environment, Kircher has a deep love of the traditional weaving process. She begins her elaborate ikat weavings by hand dying wool to create a color palette; she then creates her organic designs on a loom. Kircher breaks with tradition by exposing rippling areas of the weft, imbuing her tapestries with added textural interest and symbolically representing the existence of urban space within the natural wilderness.

Nora Phillips uses thread to create a sense of movement and dimension in her abstract paintings. Paint is applied to the canvas, which is then sewn in curvilinear patterns that enhance the undulating shapes of her painted compositions. In addition to the sewn elements, Phillips emphasizes the textile nature of the canvas by pushing areas of the flat surface outwards to create actual depth through the flexibility of the fabric. Loose threads are draped over these bulging forms, further heightening the fluidity of her designs and materials.

Becky Joye’s Amusement series presents viewers with the whimsical reimagining of urban architectural structures. Through the use of saturated color and carnival-inspired mechanics, Joye transforms neglected structures into a vibrant fun park. Each piece, drawn and painted on paper, incorporates sewn elements that reveal the constructed nature of her imaginative creations and function as a delicate counterpoint to the strong geometric shapes of her structures. In its bold use of shape and color, the series packs a powerful visual punch that captures the playful energy of amusement rides held together by the fragile thread of youthful nostalgia.

Case Study installation artist Gracelee Lawrence’s feminist critique of art making explores semantics, statistics and symbolic materials. Standing and suspended steel sculptures are embellished with nylon threads, creating a stark contrast of texture and shape. The varying heights of the steel components represent data reflecting the prevalence of the word “sculptress” in printed publications from1850-2000. The length of the threads correlates directly with these heights, working to obscure or reveal the underlying sculptures.

Images above (l to r): Nora Phillips, Naranja y Gris, 2013; Gracelee Lawrence, Component Heights, 2013; Mary Kircher, Immersion, 2013; Becky Joye, Pendulum, 2012

2014 Exhibitions - Celebrating 30 Years

Celebrating Block Gallery’s 30th anniversary, our 2014 exhibition series explores Triangle area artists working in diverse mediums and our new Case Study series highlights installation art in our 2nd-floor cases. Opening receptions feature area performance artists.

Surface Matters | February 6 - March 21
Opening Reception Thursday, February 6, 5-7pm

Pushing the boundaries of tradition through symbolic explorations of texture and surface.
Artwork by Cindy Morefield, Stacy Bloom Rexrode and Joyce Watkins King

Constructs | April 3 – June 26
Opening Reception Thursday, April 3, 5-7pm

Exploring the complexities of memory, dreams and human experience through mixed media.
Artwork by Sarah West and Ryan Cummings

Unraveled | July 17 – September 5
Opening Reception Thursday, July 17, 5-7pm

Reimagining traditional techniques and materials in whimsical textile art.
Artwork by Becky Joye, Mary Kircher and Nora Phillips

Carolina Folkways | September 18 – November 14
Opening Reception Monday, September 29, 5-7pm

Celebrating North Carolina’s visual folk traditions.
Opening coincides with the launch of IBMA’s 2014 World of Bluegrass Week

National Arts Program | December 4, 2014 – January 15, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, December 4, 5-7pm

Artwork by City of Raleigh and Wake County employees and their families.
Co-sponsored by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and the Raleigh Arts Commission

Artist Calls

Artist Calls

The Block Gallery is scheduled through 2015. The next Call for Artists will be conducted in the summer of 2015 to schedule the following year.

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.

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

2014

Ryan Cummings

Becky Joye

Joyce Watkins King

Mary Kircher

Cindy Morefield

Nora Phillips

Stacy Bloom Rexrode

Sarah West

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

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

BLOCK2 EXHIBITED ARTISTS

2013

Adam Graetz

Michael Iauch

Drew Robertson

2012

Kia Mercedes Carscallen

David Colagiovanni and Melissa Haviland

Travis Donovan

Marc Russo

Seoun Som

Jeff Whetstone

2011

Lynden Harris

Jessye McDowell

Ali Colleen Neff

Wenhua Shi

Francesca Talenti

Nicole Welch

2010

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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