Gazette Newspapers, "Taking a stand - Silver Spring artist highlights the struggle for human rights" (Montgomery County, MD, May 6, 2009):
"The Silver Spring resident isn't just any old painter hauling his easel out to capture another glorious Potomac River sunset. Rather, he insists on making art that has social relevance...."
Gazette Newspapers, "Paintings capture the faces of those who took a stand against human-rights abuses" (Montgomery County, MD, April 29, 2009):
"A dazzling array of colors sprang out from the canvasses lining the walls of the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center in downtown Silver Spring on Saturday evening. Bright, vibrant reds and oranges mingled to create deeply textured, haunting portraits of human rights activists from all over the world...."
Fayetteville Morning News, "Into the Realm of Social Impact" (Fayetteville, AR, April 10, 2008):
"In 2002, Maryland artist Tom Block set out to 'take my art out of the
gallery and into the realm of real social impact.' His Human Rights
Painting Project has been exhibited 25 times in the ensuing six years,
and 24 of the portraits - which he says 'capture the range of emotions
experienced in this battle' - will be on show beginning Monday at the
Anne Kittrell Gallery on the University of Arkansas campus in
Manhattan Magazine (New York, NY, Spring 2008):
"The 27 colorful, richly textured canvases of artist Tom Block’s series Human Rights Painting Project sent a strong and timely message to the Jasper community at an opening reception in February...."
Madison Courier, "Artist uses skills to call attention to human rights" (Madison, IN, January 12, 2008):
"Tom Block, whose vibrant, but sometimes disturbing paintings which
illustrate the struggle for human rights, considers himself an
activist first. An artist, second...."
PeaceTalks FM, Interview (Calgary, Canada, February 12, 2007):
http://peacetalks.fm/lounge.php (scroll to the bottom of the page)
Greensboro News-Record, "Tom
Block: The Human Rights Painting Project" (Greensboro,
NC, July 28, 2005): "....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
Baltimore Sun, "Growth, Struggles Reflected
in Exhibit" (Baltimore, MD, July 15, 2005):"...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...."
Winston-Salem Journal, "In
the Struggle" (Winston-Salem,
NC, July 3, 2005):"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...."
Style Weekly, "Activism on Display"
Richmond, VA, July 14, 2004): "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..."
Style Weekly, "Activision"
(Richmond, VA, June 30, 2004): "...Text is used effectively in Block's Human Rights
Painting Project, a touring exhibit of the Washington, D.C., artist's
portraits of activists, political prisoners and refugees, co-sponsored
by civil rights advocacy group Amnesty International. Here, biographical
placards augment the images, telling the story of each subject...."
Gazette Newspapers, "Portraits of Pain"
(Montgomery County, MD, July 30, 2003): "...When he embraced the life of an artist, though,
Block also embraced a particular vision of the artist's role in society.
He had a social conscience and he wasn't afraid to use it. His goal
was to raise awareness of social issues through his work as a
Gazette Newspapers, "Silver Spring Artist puts Human Face on Suffering"
(Montgomery County, MD, April 3, 2002): "...Block
always has created 'art outside the narrow confines of the high art
world. I wanted to take a contemporary vision and take it to a wider audience,'
he explains from his home in 'multi-cultural Silver Spring.'..."
Sojourners Magazine, "Stirring the Imagination: Tom Block's Human Rights
Painting Project" (Washington DC, July-August 2002): "...Images like these
are not a substitute for words. But they do provide, at least, a partial
answer to the question, "Why should I be interested?"
Human Rights Painting Project Catalogue
(New York City, 2002): "...A
philosophical thinker and writer as well as a visual artist, Tom Block
is interested in the intersection of
philosophy, religion and art. In a 1998-2001 series of
paintings, drawings and collage, he explored the teachings of
the Sufis, Christian spirituality and Jewish mystics by
inventing a personal and contemporary visual language of sign
and symbol. Art, for him, was a way to unite the three major