Owner, Jordan Faye Contemporary, Baltimore, MD
“Art is transformational, so when you take a space and you hang a gorgeous painting or place a sculpture, it’s more than just the object in the room, but the feeling and what it emanates. I love transforming space and I get to be creative, even if I’m not picking up a paint brush.”
While Jordan Faye Block '05 was in the Mount Royal program from 2003 to 2005, she had an epiphany about many of her fellow artists. Some of her peers were not very comfortable with the marketing and promotion of their work. Block, on the other hand, enjoyed selling the talents of others and helping them to succeed, and in 2006, she decided to do so on a professional basis.
Through the Jordan Faye Contemporary gallery in Baltimore, Block represents 15 artists at different stages in their careers. She works passionately to give them a broader audience through gallery exhibitions, art fairs, and the Internet. She also promotes emerging artists through The Salon Series, exhibitions in which any artist can present his or her work in a professional gallery setting while learning the intricacies of selling, marketing, and curating artwork.
For Block, selling artwork is not just about the money . It’s about finding people she believes in and showcasing them.
She has also taken her craft on the road, participating in art fairs in Miami, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. “I want to focus on getting my artists into museum shows outside of the Baltimore area if that will help their careers,” she said.
One of Block’s greatest challenges has been wearing a number of hats. To get the business started, she had to create a business plan, decide which artists she wanted to show, visit studios, collaborate with artists, find a location, and market the gallery—tasks not always considered to be part of a working artist’s life. Yet her artistic background at MICA helped prepare her for success. For example, her art background has boosted her marketing efforts. She has been able to create more effective marketing materials because she has the eye of an artist, she said.
MICA also introduced Block to a network of people, some of whom she represents, including Janna Rice ’95 (Photography) and Kate MacKinnon ’92 (Painting). While at MICA, she learned firsthand the intricacies of life as an artist, which helps her better understand the needs of those she represents. While someone with a s trictly business background might talk about art from a purely intellectual standpoint, Block knows what it’s like to work in a studio, trying to get an artistic vision onto a canvas.