Steamboat Springs painter Gregory Block to be featured in upcoming documentary
October 20, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs painter Gregory Block has been selected as one of eight to be featured in an upcoming documentary about Colorado artists.
Producer Heather MacDonald, of video production company FuseMedia, said the aim of the documentary Colorado ArtBeat is to profile artists of all ages, in various points of their career, hailing from across the state, creating a slew of types of art.
"And those doing artwork that spoke to us personally," she said.
"We want to give exposure to Colorado artists," producer and editor Chris MacDonald said.
The MacDonalds are based in Aspen. FuseMedia has been creating film and television for more than 25 years and has been nominated for two regional Emmys. In 2006, FuseMedia produced 10 video profiles of artists in the Roaring Fork Valley.
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The Indiegogo campaign for the documentary is set to begin Nov. 1 and last 30 days, aiming to raise $5,000 per production cost of each profile. Artists have donated pieces to be given to supporters at various levels.
Filming should take place in the early months of 2017 and be finished up by May. Each artist will be featured for 10 to 15 minutes in a profile exploring their lives and their work. The film will be submitted to Rocky Mountain PBS. The MacDonalds are planning to turn Colorado ArtBeat into an ongoing series to be put out annually.
Block moved to Steamboat with his family when he was 11. After graduating from Soroco High School, he got a biology degree from Colorado College, graduating in 2009. He displayed work across Steamboat, including Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts and The Depot.
At a retrospective for Quang Ho, curator for Denver's contemporary Gallery 1261 in the Golden Triangle Arts District, the two began chatting; the curator soon saw Block's work and offered him a spot in Gallery 1261.
"It was a complete dream come true," Block said.
Last Friday marked the start of Block's third solo exhibit at Gallery 1261. The exhibit will remain open through Nov. 5.
The style Block has been focusing on for the past several years is still life in oils. Many of these pieces feature scenes, painted in such precise detail and true lighting that the brain of the viewer might first assume what's within the frame is a photograph. Titles of these paintings include Lobster and Lemons, Chicken Soup, Chicken 'n' Biscuits and Peach Cobbler.
Other examples of Block's work include abstracts painted in coffee and collages of globes, tiled from the remnants of beer cans that exploded after being tossed into a bonfire. While these pieces may sound irreconcilably different, a common thread connects them.
"In abstract, each line and direction is there for a reason, to tell a story," Block said. "In still life, you select objects to create an interesting composition that draws you in, and viewers can use their imagination to create a story around those objects."
For example, in his painting Chicken 'n' Biscuits, Block imagines viewers might wonder who's making these biscuits, and who made such a mess, and how their spouse or roommates might react to that mess; whether it’s more chicks or sourdough starter incubating in that shiny silver bowl.
"Everybody can read into that setting with whatever they want to," he said. "It's the objects telling the story."
Other artists set to be featured in the documentary include large-scale installation artist Patrick Marold, of Denver; scrap-yard metal sculpture Mark Cesark, of Carbondale; photo-based artist Linda Girvin, of Aspen; geology and landscape-based sculpture Joshua Goss, of Greeley; potter Michael Wisner, of Snowmass; atmospheric painter Laura Guese, of Denver; and glass artist Robert Burch.
To learn more about and/or support Colorado ArtBeat, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/colorado-artbeat-series/coming_soon.