Brush strokes in green, blue, yellow, and pink criss-cross each other.

Art Unblocked Exhibition on Display until May 14

View Online and at the Block Gallery

Image above: Easter Colors, Wiley Johnson, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 44", $299

Arts Access, in partnership with the City of Raleigh's Block Gallery, is hosting Art Unblocked 2021, an exhibition that features works of art created by emerging and established artists with disabilities. The exhibition is on display until May 14, 2021

Art Unblocked 2021 is a part of the Arts Access 2021 Series of Fortunate Events (SOFE), which highlights the diversity and creativity that exists within the disability community. Arts Access uses SOFE as a platform to promote the work of artists and performers with disabilities. 

How to See the Exhibition

  1. View the online gallery.
  2. Visit the Block Gallery Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. Visitors must undergo a quick health screening at the front desk upon arrival and practice the Three Ws.

Purchasing Artwork

This is a 0% commission show. All proceeds from sales will go directly to the artist. Please contact, call 919-833-9919 x 2, or fill out this form with purchase inquiries and you will be connected with the artist.

April Featured Artists

Each month of the exhibition Raleigh Arts will feature works from six of the 18 artists. View April's featured artist below:

Kristen Hodsdon

NBC Peacocks
acrylic paint, feathers, glitter
33” x 33”

NBC Peacocks is a square piece featuring two glittery peacocks drawn facing inward towards each other with a glittery heart and the word "love" in between them. The background features swatches of blue, orange, red, yellow, turquoise, and purple, with red, green, yellow, orange, and blue feathers attached surrounding them.

Wiley Johnson

Easter Colors
acrylic on canvas 
24" x 44"

This artwork is acrylic paint on a rectangular canvas, with a width of 44 inches and a height of 24 inches. This abstract work is a joyful explosion of the colors associated with spring. A layered effect is achieved with wide, lively brushstrokes in many directions. The layers and visible chunks of paint within the brush strokes create texture and dimension. I will describe the layers of color, starting with the base layer and moving towards the topmost layer. Within each layer, I will describe from left to right.  

The deepest layer, most noticeable at the edges of the work, features darker tones in purples, browns, and blues. These patches have a somewhat muddy, earthly feeling. The next layer features a bright white patch, dominant on the left side. On the right side, wide strokes of green, the color of fresh, sprouting grass, crowd from the right side towards the center.  

Moving to the next layer, on top of the white patch, bubble gum pink is predominant, adding a playful energy. Above the pink, sky blue strokes bring contrast. On the right side, dark blue strokes add depth to the grassy green, with a similar feeling of energy moving from the edges towards the center of the work. 

Finally, the topmost layer brings a sunny yellow, most dominant on the left side. The yellow strokes unify the darker areas of green and blue on the right with the brightness of the white and pink on the left side. Spring is here!

Written by Karen Edwards, Arts Access Audio Describer 

acrylic on plywood 
18” x 9.75”

Life is an original abstract painting on plywood, 9.75" W x 18" H x (1.25" D with backing).  The sides are painted green to complement the painting. The colors of aqua blue, light green and reddish brown are vertically oriented with multiple lines of off-white oriented horizontally.

River in the Sky
acrylic on canvas 
14" x 11"

River in the Sky “pops” with abstract vertically oriented red, white, and blue on an 8” W x 10” canvas. There are small amounts of gold, light green and pink oriented horizontally.

Glenda Lang

Anatomical Horse Chart Print
23” x 29”
To order, contact the artist at with Horse Chart as the subject

This vet-approved anatomical horse chart shows "Parts of the Horse" on the top half of the print and  "Common Areas of Injuries and Lameness" on the bottom half.  Each print is signed by Glenda Lang, a local artist and rider.  

Underwater Mural Study 
acrylic on canvas

View details of the completed mural

Bernard Liles

graphite on paper
26.25” x 20”, framed 

The title of this work is Peace by Bernard Liles. It is a large black and white graphite drawing that is 26 ¼ inches inches tall and 20 1/8 inches wide.  The artist uses line drawing to show multiple figures engaging in what looks to be a battle with a large devil figure at its center.  There is not a sense of horizon in the picture, the figures could be on a field or floating in the air.  They all look as if they are moving towards the devil.

The Bottom third of the drawing is framed by waves. Under the waves, you see elongated fish shapes. At the top of the waves, you see the head and tail of a what could be a sea creature. The creature’s tail looks like it is bursting through the wave with droplets of water coming out with it.

In the middle section of the drawing, just above the ocean, you see elongated, lizard and horned dragon-like creatures that are moving towards the devil figure from both sides. In the midst of those creatures, you see the back of a human figure in a long gown. They have a sword with waves of energy coming off it in their right hand, and a lightning bolt in their left hand. The figure has a high collar around their neck, like a wizard, and has three horn-like shapes on their head. In front of the wizard figure, facing out towards the viewer, you see the devil figure. It has claws on its feet and hands and it is very muscular. It is the largest figure in the drawing. To the left and right of the devil, at shoulder level, there are human-like figures holding curved swords, with waves of energy surrounding their heads.

The top third of the drawing includes the chest, neck and head of the devil, as well as two figures to the left and right of it. The devil figure has two long horns coming up from its shoulders, and 6 horns coming off of its face symmetrically. It looks to have a goatee, or two horns coming from its chin as well. The figure to its left is a many-legged creature with small circles on its skin. It is the only figure in the drawing that shows such texture. The creature appears to have a long tongue coming from its mouth, with a circle in front of it. The figure to the devil’s right, and at the uppermost part of the drawing, appears to have both wings and horns as well as a tail. It looks like it is flying.

Written by Lalenja Harrington, Arts Access Audio Describer 

Jennifer Markowitz

ECT 2018
hand embroidered on deconstructed cotton pillowcase with 3D moths hand embroidered around wire
10" x 20"

ECT2018  is embroidery and wire on a standard size white pillowcase. In the top right corner of the pillowcase, we see an embroidered one-inch square Duke Health shield logo, a stylized letter ‘U’ that is solid outline on the left of the letter, and fork-shaped prongs facing upright on the right half of the letter. Underneath this logo embroidered vertically are three words: Duke University Hospital. The logo and lettering are in Duke royal blue. 

Just left of the center and near the top of the pillowcase is a large chaotically embroidered, partly singed oval. It is the outline of a face that is cocked slightly to our right. At the top of the oval head, one at noon and the other at 10 o’clock, are two nodules of densely bundled black wire. From each, extending to the left is a single thin wire that kinks and curves until it ends dangling in space over the left-hand side of the pillowcase. 

The face is pockmarked with stitched outlines in white thread of insect and moth parts. The eyes and almost closed mouth of the face are burn holes edged with seemingly random hand stitching. From the mouth come four wire butterflies. These butterflies are wrapped in thread and the wires hold them off the surface of the pillowcase. The shapes are precise and accurate. Two of the butterflies include the delicate veins one might see in real-life paper-thin insect wings. 

Four more butterflies seem to be in flight from the mouth up to the Duke Health logo in the upper right. One small gray butterfly seems to be escaping off the top edge of the pillowcase just above the two-wire nodules. Most of the butterflies are white but one on the forehead, two near the mouth, and one flying towards the logo are deep red. 

From the mouth, a series of small gray singes curve down to the bottom right-hand corner of the pillowcase where there are two burn holes. In between the last singe and the thumb-sized burn hole are the stitched initials and date, “JLM ‘20”. Directly underneath the head is embroidered three lines of text. The first line reads, “Electroconvulsive therapy.” The second line reads, “(ECT)”. The last line reads, “March 2018.”

 Written by Jan Tu, Arts Access Audio Describer 

Lost Edges I 
hand embroidered on silk
7" x 9"

There are three hand-embroidered figures on silk in various states of wholeness. The silk is a light gray on the left side and a dark, but dull green on the right side. All figures appear to be facing away from the viewer, with white skin, dark hair, and each wearing white dresses. Moving from left to right across the silk, the first figure is the least whole with missing arms, neck and head. This figure is grounded with two feet on the bottom edge of the silk. The second figure is higher on the silk, to the right, and towards the middle. This figure is more whole, but still missing part of her head. The third figure is on the far right edge of the silk and is the most whole, fully embroidered. 

Lost Edges II 
hand embroidered on printed silk
8" x 10"

There are two figures hand embroidered on gray silk. The edges of the figures are nearly identical and take up the majority of the composition . The figures vary greatly in the color of the stitched thread, the density of the stitching  and the amount of negative space (in this case, holes in the fabric) contained within each figure. The figure on the left is comprised mostly of stitched contours, or outlines, of the figure. There is minimal stitching on the interior of the figure, but what is there is red and is net-like near the right shoulder and linear in the center of the figure. The figure on the right is stitched on the interior, with the exception of the top of the thighs, genital region and lower stomach. That space in the figure is empty. The remainder of the figure is heavily embroidered with small, black stitches. 

Beth Blacher Mastick

acrylic on canvas 
30" x 24"
$300 donation to Fifty Sandwiches

Beth Blacher Mastick painted Jonathan in 2019.  It is a 30” tall by 24” wide acrylic on canvas portrait of an older African American man. Seen in this head-and-shoulders portrait, the man looks straight out at us from slightly yellowed eyes, his lips closed but sagging slightly on his left, and not expressing any particular emotion. His moderately short yet shaggy grey beard extends from his sideburns down his cheeks and around his chin. A thin line of whiskers appears immediately below his lower lip, leaving a gap of skin on his chin before meeting up with the rest of the beard. Light reflects off his chin and full lower lip. His thinning eyebrows also have a touch of gray.

His left eye is clearly visible to us, while the right eye remains in shadow. He appears to be wearing a hearing aid in his left ear. A bright yellow cap trimmed in red, but with no lettering or imagery on it, rests slightly askew on his head, the bill extending over his face, casting a shadow on his forehead. The man wears a dark brown shirt that extends all the way to his neck.  A cream-colored jacket covers most of the shirt. Halfway up the painting on the right side, the name JONATHAN is written sideways in reddish-brown outlined block letters, parallel to the edge of the painting.

Written by Fred Barck, Arts Access Audio Describer

acrylic on corrugated cardboard
22" x 28"
$200 donation to Fifty Sandwiches

Leroy is a portrait of what appears to be a middle-aged or older black man, torso up. He is centered in the composition and the cardboard panel has an off-white background. He is wearing a lavender V-neck shirt and a lime green ball cap with a bill. He is facing the viewer, but his eyes look toward his left. His black hair is slightly visible coming out from his cap. He has gray and black facial hair, trimmed close to his face. 

acrylic and house paint on canvas
30" x 24"
$300 donation to Fifty Sandwiches

Andre is a portrait of what appears to be a middle-aged or older black man, only his face visible. His face takes up the majority of the canvas. The background is divided in half - the left half is painted red and right half is painted blue. Andre is facing and looking directly at the viewer, mouth slightly open with bottom teeth visible. Andre has black hair, cut short, with a visible black mustache. 



Megan Bostic
Programs Manager, Arts Access
919-833-9919 ext. 2

Stacy Bloom Rexrode
Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Raleigh Arts

Block Gallery