The owners of local online gallery Art Lovers Australia have plenty to be excited about right now. Successfully chosen as the 2019 key art supplier for hugely popular TV show The Block, Art Lovers Australia has been working hard alongside The Block contestants to ensure their rooms meet the judges’ high standards, with all contestants of the hit show automatically allocated a generous $10,000 from Art Lovers Australia to be spent on their online gallery of artists.
“We’ve loved working with The Block and all the contestants, helping them choose art for the huge spaces of The Oslo has been an amazing experience,” says co-director Nancy.
The online gallery allows them to support a huge number of emerging and mid-career artists. One such artist is Gold Coaster Kellie North, who not only had her artwork chosen and got to fly it down and meet the contestants herself, but also experienced the joy of being part of a winning room design.
“Nancy called me on a Thursday night and said the The Block contestants Elise and Matt would like to purchase some of my artwork to feature in their home on this season’s show,” she tells us.
“To be honest, I was silent for a moment, just registering what she said, then I said ‘Really, are you serious, how exciting!’ Then she proceeded to tell me they needed the pieces down in Melbourne within a few days and could we make this happen? ‘Of course we can make this happen!’ I said, and we did.”
As for when the contestants rang her to tell her their room won, you could say that Kellie was a bit excited.
“I tried really hard to maintain a level of composure as they told me but ended up jumping up and down in the pasta aisle at Woolworths,” she laughs.
Tania Blanchard of Tania Blanchard Creative is another Art Lovers Australia artist who has been featured on The Block – albeit in an earlier season.
“Keeping it a secret that my art was going to be on The Block was hard as I had to keep tight lipped for about three months. My art was one of the last rooms to be revealed,” she says.
The experience helped her professional practice enormously.
“Once the episode was aired my art went crazy,” she exclaims. “I got about 2,000 Instagram followers extra in one day and selling of my limited edition prints also sold really well. It’s was kind of a crazy, busy period for about three months after it was aired. Even though it was three years ago I still get asked about my The Block experience. It was a really positive one and one that I am extremely grateful for.”
Yet another Gold Coast-based artist who is being featured on this season is Jeska Valk, which we are revealing exclusively here and now. Well known in art circles for her astonishingly realistic, large scale portrait pieces, Jeska is humbled by the contestants’ choice.
“It was very exciting,” she tells us. “I got the phone call from Nancy and screamed at her! Then I rang my mum and screamed at her!” She laughs. “It’s been very exciting a lot of a rush around to get everything there.”
The work of all three talented artists can be seen at three upcoming exhibitions entitled the Reveal Series. The first, opening on Saturday 5 October, is an exhibition of three past winners of the Arts Lovers Australia prize, which includes Jeska. The second, opening on Saturday 2 November, is a whole exhibition from the 25 Art Lovers Australia artists who will have, by then, been publicly featured on The Block, with artists coming from all over Australia. The third is a solo exhibition by Tania Blanchard, her first in her own gallery.
To browse the art, read up on more The Block goss or simply find out more about the upcoming exhibitions, visit artloversaustralia.com.au.