Block Gallery - Celebrating 30 Years

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Oct. 07, 2014 - 3:34 pm
(l to r): Michael Schwalbe, Bill Wallace; Gabrielle Duggan, Wept Tree (detail); Titus Brooks Heagins, Untitled

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

CAROLINA FOLKWAYS | September 18-November 14

Photography by Titus Brooks Heagins and Michael Schwalbe
Case Study Installation by Gabrielle Duggan

Then let all those who love us, love the land that we live in,
As happy a region as on this side of heaven,
Where plenty and peace, love and joy smile before us,
Raise aloud, raise together the heart thrilling chorus.

Hurrah! Hurrah! The Old North State.

~ William Gaston, “The Old North State”

The diversity of North Carolina’s many folk traditions is clearly evident in the sights and sounds of the Old North State. Carolina Folkways brings together two documentary photographers who turn their lenses on the people and traditions that continue to enrich the colorful fabric of North Carolina’s cultural heritage. Capturing the labor, passion and pride that imbue the work of contemporary North Carolina craftspeople and musicians, these images record the ways in which folk practices, deeply rooted in tradition, have adapted to modern life.

Titus Brooks Heagins has photographed all over the world, drawing attention to people often thought of as “other.” For Heagins, photography is a powerful medium for social and political awareness. The photographs on view at the Block Gallery represent his work for the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina project sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council. This series celebrates the places and musicians that have defined communities in Eastern North Carolina for generations. The ten photographs on view were framed through the generous support of the North Carolina Folklife Institute.

Michael Schwalbe, professor of sociology at NC State University, created his series A View to the Making: Portraits of North Carolina Craft Artists at Work to document the skill and creativity that North Carolina artisans use to transform raw materials into objects of beauty. Accompanying each photograph is an excerpt from an interview that Schwalbe conducted with the artist. Through careful recording of words and images, Schwalbe presents the viewer with a genuine portrait of each craftsperson.

Case Study installation artist Gabrielle Duggan’s work creates immaterial tensions by emphasizing the ephemeral qualities of her media – thread, cloth and other organic materials. This tension is heightened through an underlying conceptual framework that explores the clashing dichotomies present in gender, labor, class and art. Duggan’s use of fiber and thread offers a symbolically harmonizing force working to create a tenuous balance that is constantly at risk of unraveling.

Image (l to r): Michael Schwalbe, Bill Wallace; Gabrielle Duggan, Wept Tree (detail); Titus Brooks Heagins, Untitled

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.


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



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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