“Retrospective 25,” an art exhibition sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, will be on display Oct. 1 through Nov. 16 in the Miriam Preston Block Art Gallery at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St. “Retrospective 25” is a special exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Municipal Building Art Exhibition program.
The exhibition will showcase work from 25 artists who have exhibited throughout the years, providing a snapshot into the history of the Block Art Gallery and overall development of the visual arts scene in Raleigh. Paintings on view will include the work of deceased artists — including George Bireline, Joe Cox, and Claude Howell — as well as recent work by living artists such as Marty Baird, Luke Miller Buchanan, and Joyce Watkins King. The artwork spans painting, fibers, ceramics, photography and mixed-media.
The opening-day reception for “Retrospective 25” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Block Art Gallery. Mayor Charles Meeker will cut the anniversary cake at 6 p.m.
The reception will also feature a screening of Sally Van Gorder’s video, “Sift,” on the second floor of the Upchurch Government Complex. “Sift” documents young women in Doha, Qatar, juxtaposing their stories as they describe their experiences with still and moving images of the desert, sea, and urban landscape of Doha.
“Retrospective 25” presents the work of the following artists: Marty Baird, George Bireline, Tina Bromberg, Luke Miller Buchanan, Joe Cox, Jason Craighead, Richard Garrison, Ann Harwell, Claude Howell, Herb Jackson, Mary Shannon Johnstone, Joyce Watkins King, Philip Lopez, Gayle Stott Lowry, Kathleen Rieder, Thomas Sayre, Brian Shawcroft, Nona Short, David Simonton, Tom Spleth, Georgia Springer, Wayne Taylor, Anthony Ulinski, Doug Van de Zande, and Sally Van Gorder.
The Block Gallery, founded in 1984 as the Municipal Building Art Exhibitions, has showcased the work of more than 150 local artists throughout its history. Connecting local artists to community through ongoing exhibitions and public outreach, the Miriam Preston Block Art Gallery is located on the first and second floors of the Upchurch Government Complex. The gallery is managed by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, and was dedicated in 2006 to honor Miriam Preston Block, a former Raleigh City Council member and community leader. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. except on holidays.
Established in 1977 as the official advisory body and advocate for the arts to the Raleigh City Council, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission proudly holds the distinction of being the first municipal arts commission created in North Carolina. Serving as the leading force to champion the arts with Raleigh citizens and their representatives, the Commission’s myriad activities foster, support, and promote the arts in the Capital City.
For more information, contact the Arts Commission office at 996-3610 or email Sarah Blackmon, gallery coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.