Reception for local artist Gregory Block is Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Reception for local artist Gregory Block is Friday

Block uses coffee to create images

Margaret Hair

A reception for local artist Gregory Block is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at RED Contemporary and Center for Visual Arts located in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort.

— Gregory Block set out to make something that would look old.

Starting a series on display now at RED Contemporary gallery in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Block, a Routt County resident, chose coffee as his medium and his muse.

Block said he initially was drawn to coffee because of its gritty texture and yellow-brown hue. Using those qualities, Block hoped to give an antique, grainy, photographic look to a planned series of works depicting barns and cabins in the Yampa Valley.

That idea morphed into a study of all the ways coffee can look when it's applied to canvas and all the ways branches can look during the winter. A reception for Block's series of coffee works is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at RED Contemporary.

"I'd always seen branches in the winter as (conveying) some kind of natural calligraphy, in the dark branches against the white snow," Block said. Playing with the shapes of branches from aspen, lodgepole pine and scrub oak trees, Block used coffee to create abstract, minimalist images.

A 2005 graduate of Soroco High School, Block went on to major in biology and minor in studio art at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After returning to the school for a few months as a visiting artist, he is back in Routt County. Block's work is on display locally at RED Contemporary and Center for Visual Arts through March. 10. He plans to open a solo show in April at bistro c.v., he said.

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Block's background in science, which took up most of his time in school, comes through in his creative process. For the series of work at RED Contemporary, Block guesses he did about 250 sketches, preliminary drawings or other works before landing on a cohesive look.

"I would say throughout whatever I'm doing artistically, I carry with me a scientific approach to it in my emphasis on experimentation and always following different leads to be open to new ideas," he said.

The resulting series of work has a "style that I felt very comfortable with" and an outlet for Block to feel he was "setting a lot forth on the canvas," he said.

"I intend the experience to be like one looking at clouds, in which you don't sit there and determine that what you're looking at is something that you're familiar with, but rather these changing shapes in a constant shift … (are) seen as a jumping-off point for your imagination," Block said.

If you go

What: Art reception for new work by Gregory Block

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday

Where: RED Contemporary and Center for Visual Arts

Cost: Free

Call: 819-8994