MyRaleigh

The Block Gallery

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Aug. 28, 2017 - 12:17 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
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
(open until 7 p.m, on opening reception nights)

Current Exhibition

Marks of Clarity

Kiki Farish and Erin Oliver

August 2 – September 15

Artists Reception | First Friday, Aug. 4, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Curated by Stacy Bloom Rexrode, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

“It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Nature has been a source of inspiration for artists throughout time. Whether they are in the presence of nature, trying to unravel its secrets or taking on the enormous task of replicating it, artists continue to find new and evolving ways to interpret it.

Marks of Clarity artists Kiki Farish and Erin Oliver use classical drawing and painting techniques inspired by nature to explore their individual conceptual paths. Both artists use gestural marks to find abstractions inherent in natural forms that allude to intricate landscapes. With intertwined textures and tones, they blur the lines between foreground and background, creating a bit of chaos while inserting areas for the eye to rest.

Finding a connectedness between humanity and nature is an ongoing process for Kiki Farish. She creates worlds that demonstrate the extremes found in nature and the human condition, such as beauty and destruction, fragility and strength, and temperance and aggression. Her compositions often incorporate words that seem hidden at first, implying the ambiguity associated with them. Farish employs flower cuttings as ciphers for conditions or characterizations found in society. “The flower cuttings are drawn from quiet observation,” Farish says. “Like those flowers, cuttings from patriarchal beliefs die slowly. New stories must be told linking us instead of ranking us over each other and nature.” She carefully selects her floral specimen by its symbolism, with historical roots in mythology, religion and medicine.

Erin Oliver investigates nature by exploring and gathering fallen materials, making mental notes of her experiences while in the environment. Back at the studio, working with paint, line or even cut paper, her process is fluid, reimagining the forms she encountered. “The initial marks are gestural and intuitive with no previous sketching made,” Oliver says. “Subsequent layers are composed in response to the preceding layers, and consideration is given to the negative spaces as an essential element.” Hidden pockets within a composition mimic secret hideaways, inviting viewers to imagine themselves within the space. These images seem to grow with each added line or created shape, much like passing time in a forest. Oliver explains: “The shapes are meant to be indistinct, reflecting forms breaking down and transitioning into other forms to create an ambiguous space, echoing our own grasp on the world around us.”

Both Farish and Oliver use information from an established muse for inspiration, with diverse results that often replicate those found in nature herself.

About the Artists

Kiki Farish | kikifarish.com

Kiki Farish was born in Jacksonville, Fla. She started grade school wearing a metal ID tag due to the Cuban missile crisis. Farish knew terror was minutes away, but life got in the way of any fear. The youngest of four siblings, she draws on family—including, now, grandsons—as a source of inspiration. Her drawings are emotive, conjuring moments of clarity amid the ambiguity of grays.

A 2014-2015 N.C. Arts Council Fellowship recipient, Farish also has been awarded a Jentel Artist Residency in Banner, Wyoming; a New York Mills Artist Residency in New York Mills, Minnesota; and a Penland Winter Residency in Penland, North Carolina. Her work has been exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Contemporary Museum of Art in Winston-Salem, Artspace in Raleigh, and Green Hill in Greensboro. She received an MFA from East Carolina University in painting and drawing and often serves as an art professor at Meredith College. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, the Raleigh and Rocky Mount municipal art collections and Fidelity Investments. She works in her studio at Artspace.

Erin Oliver | erin-oliver.com

Erin Oliver is an artist, educator and nature lover living in Durham, but she originally hails from the northeast. She is a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art with a degree in art education and teaches art in Raleigh while also exhibiting her painting and installation work throughout the state. Oliver has received grants and residency fellowships from Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt.; Penland School of Crafts in Penland; Playa in Summer Lake, Ore.; and the Durham Arts Council. Her work has been exhibited recently at Artspace in Raleigh, GreenHill in Greensboro, and the Carrack and Room 100 Gallery in Durham.

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), 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, Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. 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 eight to 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 W. 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.

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 a.m. to 10 a.m. - Early Bird Artists Breakfast
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - African-American history walking tour w/ Tom Hancock
  • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. - Hands-on activities for kids
  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Documentary screening – “Saint Agnes the Untold Story” and a discussion w/ Irene Clark; hands-on activities for kids
  • 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Watercolor workshop w/Linda Dallas

Events located on Saint Agnes site -

  • 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. - Sunrise photography session
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - I Was Born at Saint Agnes Composite Photography Session w/ Mike Aliff; I wish this was…Activity
  • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. - I Was Born at Saint Agnes Composite Photography Session w/ Mike Aliff; I wish this was…Activity
  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - I wish this was…Activity
  • 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Urban sketching w/ Scott Renk
  • 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - 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 African-Americans between Washington DC.. and New Orleans, serving not only North Carolina but 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 Sept. 27 through Nov. 10, at Block Gallery located in the Raleigh Municipal Building. Submit a .jpg no larger than two megabytes with the artist’s name, title, medium, size and price. Artists agree to donate 30 percent 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; or,
  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, Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. 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, Sept. 1 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 eight to 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 nearly 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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