FIRST FRIDAY // Block Gallery Collab

This FIRST FRIDAY we are going all out with our first group show {{ Hyper Natural }} curated by Block Gallery.  All year we have been focusing on stepping up our art game and bringing you the best off-the-beaten-track shows in Oakland, and this show, a collaboration with Block Gallery, is definitely one not to miss [not to toot our own horn, but really, toot-toot this show is stellar].

6-9PM | 461 A 9th ST | OLD OAKLAND 
in the alleyway

The show features new works by:

Pete Belkin |  Evan DeSpelder | Brynda Glazier | Maciej Makalowski | Andrew L. Rogers

Since the discovery of the cave drawings, created 40,000 years ago, the recording of nature has been the nexus of art.  Today, with the rapid onset of technology, we find ourselves inundated with imagery and the lines that define our understanding of what is “natural” are becoming more and more blurred. With significant shifts in how we associate colors and interact with our environment, we are continuously challenged to recall our histories and evaluate the ever-changing notions of authentic versus synthetic.

Hyper-Natural is a survey of works by Pete Belkin, Evan DeSpelder, Brynda Glazier, Maciej Makalowski and Andrew L. Rogers that explore the contemporary subjectivity of nature. Not unlike the original cave drawings, each work employs available materials to document the happenings of our time.


Pete Belkin

Pete Belkin  Cats and Dogs, 2013 Video Installation
Pete Belkin
Cats and Dogs, 2013 Video Installation

Cats and Dogs, two channel sculptural-video installation,
Shot on location in Yosemite Valley, summer 2013.
The Mountain Lion, an artificial specimen in a manufactured landscape reacts to the boundaries of the camera lens.  Caught in the act, frozen in a moment’s notice, it is a symbol of our wild side.  With a loud roar it roams the land.  The term  Coyote derives from the Aztec word cóyotl, meaning trickster. This hound’s intention is to cross the road in front of him.  Hoping to cross to the other side, this coyote is in search of the next frame. Trapped inside of a stump, its presence lingers. While the canine is a found object, the feline is a carefully staged presence; illusive yet fleeting.   Both are California native residents.

Evan DeSpelder

Evan DeSpelder Tulip Mania, 2012 Oil on canvas 32" x 35"
Evan DeSpelder
Tulip Mania, 2012
Oil on canvas
32″ x 35″

This series of paintings contextualize the role manipulation plays in society. The portraits of Ed Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud who thought skewing public opinion was a necessary part of democracy, and Charles Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab financial institution and one of San Francisco’s leading art collectors, alludes to a psychological and economic tug-of-war. When placed in relation to the distorted Tulip Mania painting based on a traditional Dutch still life, an element of commodity is introduced to the series. These three distorted images work to further the historic, financial and critical discourse of contemporary painting.

Brynda Glazier

Brynda Glazier Transcendent Potato, 2013 Anaglyphic collage on panel 24" x 24" 500.
Brynda Glazier
Transcendent Potato, 2013
Anaglyphic collage printed with archival ink
24″ x 24″
Anaglyphic Collage Series

The subjects exposed in a stereoscopic anaglyph inhabit a similar platform to the dioramic method. Its place, though observed in 3D is as contained and one-sided as a stage, puppet show, or screen. They exist in the realization of drama and function, trapped in a place where character and environment meet for a reason. I am interested in what can be found as well as, concealed through this variable window.

Maciej Makalowski

Maciej Makalowski     Untitled, 2013   Polaroid photograph and magazine page 11"x17" framed
Maciej Makalowski     Untitled, 2013   Polaroid photograph and magazine page 11″x17″ framed
Polaroid Collage Series

Polaroids combine with the landscapes torn from Arizona Highways Magazine depicts a sense of raw interventions, freedom and instantaneous pleasure of the moment. The works speak to notions of time and culture.

Andrew L. Rogers

Andrew L. Rogers Lena, 2013 Oil and spray paint on hydrocal 14" x 2" x 13"
Andrew L. Rogers
Lena, 2013
Oil and spray paint on hydrocal
14″ x 2″ x 4″

These small, painterly,  wall  mounted sculptures are reminiscent of stones,  precious  metals, and crystals find themselves bashfully diminutive in scale. Modestly self-­‐aware of their place in art history, the pieces are hopelessly optimistic.  These sculptures are a homeopathic and altruistic attempt at correcting, healing, rectifying the shortcomings of contemporary visual art.



This exhibition was inspired by an interpretation of Kate Ellen’s, owner of Crown Nine, mission to create jewelry that marries the industrial with the natural through the use of ancient techniques.  Crown Nine is a unique jewelry boutique that was founded in December of 2011 and is located in the heart of Old Oakland. Crown Nine carries the work of Kate Ellen Metals in addition to 20 other jewelry designers.

BLOCK GALLERY is a site-specific exhibition program working to forge collaborations between art and our everyday spaces. By connecting curators and artists to alternative venues, our exhibitions aim to engage with the context of our locations, expand the paradigms of exhibition making and activate the art experience.