Tom Block's "Cousins" Mixes Abstraction, Philosophy

Silver Spring, MD, August 31, 2005
Gazette Newspapers

A group of small acrylic paintings on paper, combining areas of color, line drawings and bits of text, is on view at Space 7:10. Located inside the Kefa Café on Bonifant Street in downtown Silver Spring, this new art venue is just the sort of place where artist Tom Block prefers to exhibit his provocative work....

Growth, Struggles Reflected in Exhibit

Baltimore, MD, July 15, 2005
Baltimore Sun

...Tom Block of Silver Spring makes large, boldly colored portraits that depict individuals involved in the struggle for human rights around the world. Jessica Damen of Baltimore paints colorful, textured works focused on children and the experiences of growing up....

In the Struggle

Winston-Salem, NC, July 3, 2005
Winston-Salem Journal

Tom Block began his professional life as a writer, but over the past 15 years he has developed a parallel career as a visual artist. Since the late 1990s he has focused his artistic energies largely on the creation of serial artworks that explore social, political and philosophical issues, he said in a recent telephone interview from his home on the outskirts of Washington....

Tom Block: The Human Rights Painting Project

Greensboro, NC, July 28, 2005
Greensboro News-Record

....Thickly painted expressionist portraits of the survivors line the white gallery walls. Grim reality is balanced by rich color giving the work emotional vibrancy. Each work is accompanied by a brief written description of the travails of these victims. Many have overcome their personal anguishes to become champions for justice....

Art in the Service of Politics

Washington DC, September 9, 2004
Washington Jewish Week

Tom Block is an artist with an activist bent.

Art has traditionally "been prophetic and inspirational," says the Silver Spring painter, whose works are on exhibit at two local venues, with two more shows set to open next month.

Activism on Display

Richmond, VA, July 14, 2004
Style Weekly

Three exhibits at Artspace Gallery blend visual pleasure with food for thought in a compelling brew of eye-dazzling emotionalism. Michael A. Pierce's "Simple Equations" and Tom Block's "Human Rights Painting Project" confront power and hatred in vibrant works of art. Nancy Lea Strube provides comic relief with "Kisses" an exquisite series of colorful prints that celebrate the pleasures of lip-locking.


Richmond, VA, June 30, 2004
Style Weekly

Art that grapples explicitly with political subject matter is rare in this postmodern age. Earnest engagement with the world is antithetical to the cool relativism that has pervaded Western art since Andy Warhol got chummy with the Shah of Iran. Yet if any age cried out for spirited political art, surely it's our own.

Painter Mixes Art, Philosophy and Activism

Washington DC, April 29, 2004
Washington Post

When he painted his first piece, Tom Block had no idea that art would become a forum for his activism. He didn't intend for his painting of a grapefruit resting on a pedestal with a spotlight shining on it to seem edgy. But his teacher looked at his work and saw subtext, telling him it was a fascinating rendition of a grapefruit being interrogated.

Portraits of Pain

Montgomery County, MD, July 30, 2003
Gazette Newspapers

Tom Block is deeper than deep. He paints and writes on all manner of serious subject matter. Thank goodness, the guy has a sense of humor, especially when he proclaims he should have gone shirtless for The Gazette's photographer.

This self-described "wild-haired activist" is passionate, liberal and too, too smart. When Block jokingly calls himself a Jewish/Sufi, a trip to the online dictionary is in order. The Vassar graduate is even writing a book on the influence of Sufism -- Islamic mysticism -- on the development of Jewish spirituality.

Three Detroit Galleries Make a Commitment to Understanding

Detroit, MI, November 27, 2002
Metro Times

In the name of reconciliation, art takes up popular images and follows age-old rivers to their source this month at three Woodward corridor venues. Like a crash course in multicultural sensitivity, these large, poetically saturated shows engage us in what often feels like surrealist shock therapy or a tag-team match in an arena floodlit by abstract expressionism.

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