The Blalock…past. The Blalock…present.


From January 15 to March 15, 1993, bill berry during his tenure as executive assistant to the college president, served as chair of the Rockland Community College (SUNY) African American History Month Committee. In that role, he developed and brought to life, “There is A World Through Our Eyes: Perceptions and Visions of the African American Photographer.” Curated by photographer, Collette V. Fournier, the exhibition was mounted throughout Rockland County using exhibition space at the Rotunda of the college, Rockland Center for the Arts, Arts Alliance of Haverstraw, Arts Council of Rockland, and the Blue Hill Cultural Center.  Featuring 23African American photographers, 5 Black lithographers and one sculptor, a native of Hungary, this show helped transform the overall cultural landscape of that county is terms of the diversity of creatives who were eventually given exhibition space. One of those “There is A World” photographers was Ellen M. Blalock. 

"A New Rite; White Face," by Ellen Blalock (c) 1993

At that time, The Blalock was a staff photographer for Syracuse Newspapers and complemented her resume as a visiting lecturer and visual arts coordinator. During that stage of her career, she worked for three newspapers in two counties; wrote prose/poetry, and participated in exhibitions from Seattle to New York. Ellen was a recipient of a New York State AOP Honorable Mention; served as artist-in-residency, NYSCA and received a Syracuse Light Works grant. But that was her past. 

Flash forward to the 21st century.

From October 26, 2019 to January 5, 2020, The Blalock’s story-telling persona took shape as she exhibited “Narrative Quilts” at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY. For that show, Ellen exclaimed, “I am an artist with a mission. I believe my job is to be a conduit to listen and tell the stories of people that need to be heard and represented; the ones whose lives and experiences have been marginalized. I am particularly interested in the African American experience in the Unites States.”

In 2021,The Blalock continues to shine and further expand her creative expressions. And for bill berry (who welcomed Ellen as an inaugural board member for aaduna in 2010,) her colleagueship, artistic value (in truth and honesty, bill owns early photographic work and a small quilt by The Blalock that graces his home) and enduring friendship continue to embolden his proactivity to support and expand the cultural pathway for poets, writers and visual artists to reach an ever-growing diverse public.

So, this forthcoming May 13th event is another step in the next phase of Ellen Blalock’s artistic journey. Register and get to know The Blalock.

EVERSON UP-CLOSE ARTIST SERIES- Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Artist Ellen Blalock's (@blalockellen) work tells stories of the ignored and underrepresented. Her choice of media include photography, video, drawing, fiber, and installation. Ellen will share about how she uses art to raise awareness of human conditions, social injustices, cultural diversities, and religious and spiritual beliefs. She'll also discuss the meaning and inspiration behind her piece “Bang Bang, You Dead!” (2018), featured in Who What When Where #AtTheE.


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