Virginia Schaffer Block is a native of New Jersey and presently maintains her studio in Upper Montclair. She holds a B.A. degree in Art Education and a M.A. in Visual Arts from William Paterson University along with a NJ Teaching Certificate.
Ms. Block is one of the five co-founders of Studio Montclair and served as its first president from 1997 – 2002. She is now the Director of the SMI Virginia S. Block Gallery at Academy Square.
Other community involvement includes working with the Essex County Mental Health Association in 1998 to organize and participate in “The Mask Project” in which local artists worked one-on-one with the agency’s clients to create a work of art. She was a member of the art selection committees for the New Jersey Transit Arts Committee for the Montclair Station Project in 2001 and for the Orange Road Parking Deck in Montclair in Spring 2007. In 2004 and 2005 she was Co-Chair of the Montclair Art Museum’s annual Fine Art Auctions. Ms. Block is currently the recording secretary to the Advisory Board of The George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University.
Painting professionally since 1979, she has had numerous solo shows and been included in over 75 invitational group exhibitions throughout New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C. and the Midwest. Juried shows are also numerous, including The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, The Kansas City Jewish Museum, and the NJ Center for Visual Arts. Ms. Block’s work has also traveled with exhibitions to Athens, Greece in 1996 (with NAWA) and Graz, Austria in 2003 (with SMI).
Ms. Block is an elected member to the following national and local organizations: NJ Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America, Audubon Artists Inc., serving as Director of Aqua Medium (1993-95), National Association of Women Artists, serving as Traveling Painting Exhibition Chair (1985-86), and National Newsletter Editor (1986-89) and Works On Paper Jury (1997-99).
Ms. Block’s work is included in hundreds of corporate and private collections throughout the east coast and the mid-west. She has had a long and varied art career, including working as an art teacher, package and logo designer, and director of incentive marketing for an advertising company. Throughout this time, she has continued to develop her career as a fine artist.
Block has been represented by galleries in Washington DC, PA, NJ, NY and Florida since 1980.