"We can't regard a thing as valuable if we can't see that it's unique. For that, we must get close & examine the layers. I magnify and defend the individualities in nature threatened by our normal, heedless distance.
2018 Executive Fellow
In a world that commodifies nature, Blake Conroy shows us the individuality of every living thing. After drawing and laser-cutting images of the same subject viewed from many different perspectives, he layers these multimedia sheets atop each other, forcing the viewer to look closely enough to recognize minute differences. Blake applies Aristotle to ecology, and disseminates his message through art: we must preserve and protect the richness of our world—replete as it is with unique, particular things.
After decades of helping other artists realize their visions, Blake Conroy is going all-in on his own art career, quitting his job at a leading foundry and supporting himself solely through art sales and commissions. As he continues to build his following through gallery shows and social media, he will focus increasingly on collaborations with other artists, which expose his work to fans of other disciplines such as woodworking and glassblowing.
Year 1 Accomplishments
Blake’s interactions with his Accelerator peers sparked his interest in joint projects—such as the striking furniture he co-created with woodworker Vicco Von Voss—and these pieces have earned him valuable commissions and wider recognition. Blake had a solo show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was accepted for another solo exhibition in Cincinnati, and was invited to display his art at several group events, including a national juried exhibition of works on paper.
Year 2 Plans
Blake will push the environmental aspect of his large projects. Having shown these in gallery settings with good reviews, Blake knows it is now time to pursue comprehensive collaborations with corporations and nonprofits that stand for biodiversity. By offering companion works to his large statement pieces, he will meet diverse needs across and within partner organizations, exponentially increase exposure to his work, and simultaneously to the cause about which he is so passionate.
Even as his art goes on view in Virginia, Blake will be heading overseas for a paid artist residency at Glo’Art in Belgium. He returns to the US in April, in time for a show at his gallery in Maryland. Concurrently, he is researching prospective target markets for his environmental B2B projects.