Art & Artists

Meet several of the artists that Thrive Atelier works with & some who have been working with Jordan Faye Block (for over the last decade). We’ve shown and curated their work at many galleries, art spaces, universities, and museums across the Unites States, as well as exhibiting internationally. 

. . . the imaginary and the real must be, rather . . . two faces that ceaselessly interchange with one another, a mobile mirror.
— —Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical (1993)

Jenee Mateer

an excerpt from her Recently Published book Break Boundary: Places Real and Imagined

How to begin? I discovered the term “break boundary” when reading Marshall McLuhan’s influential book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). Coined by Kenneth E. Boulding (1910–1993), who was a co-founder of the General Systems Theory, the term refers to the transformative point at which a system suddenly and irrevocably changes from its original state into something new. I often think about water, land, and sky in relation to this term and about how photography is evolving as an art form and medium for self-expression. Given that technology allows us to manipulate the photographic image in drastic ways, at what point is a photograph no longer a photograph? Technology allows us to change our environment as well. At what point will we have shifted the ecological balance of our waters, lands, soils, and atmosphere so much that we irrevocably effect significant change in climate and weather? How will such change affect our collective DNA and notions of the expanding universe? Thoughts about these things inform the photographs that are presented in this book. The book encompasses two photographic series (Parts I and II), in which I wanted to see how far I could push my photographs of water, land, and sky and still maintain a sense of the natural landscape. Together, the two series, each introduced by a poem, are meant to engender curiosity about the world and insight into one’s relationship to it. In thinking about a title for this book, I realized that the term “break boundary” applies to both series. It also alludes to breaking waves and the horizon that divides land, water, and sky as well as the point of transformation where photographs of real places become imaginary. As an artist, I have long been interested in color and light, in creating images that reveal the relationship between environment (and place) and the understanding of self. In this collection of photographs, I explore my various connections to water, land, and sky. Like many others, I am drawn to water and never tire of looking at it—whether an ocean, river, or lake—and all of the photographs in this book come from one of those water-based settings. In such places, the play and movement of sunlight and clouds create endless variations of color and form and invite quiet yet profound contemplation about what we see before us.

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Lawrence Cromwell

I sit down, I start to draw, if I don’t have a thought or an idea I begin to make circles or draw chairs or milk cartons or spell out words that come to mind.

As I work an image an idea will enter my mind. I draw it and these images in turn will hopefully lead to a stream of associated images and words that I try to draw in turn.

When discussing my work I often refer to it as an  “evolution” outlining it’s origin as an interest in themes of accumulation and repetition. This was originally expressed as a cataloguing of simple mutations of form that would describe shapes and paths on the surface of a painting through repetition and accumulation. The invention of these mutations was often precipitated by drawings; the role of drawing has increasingly became more important in my work as it often outlined the flow or the space between one idea and another.

Currently drawing has become the dominant element of my work. In some of the earlier work the drawings had worked as a kind of linkage or associative pathway from one form to another in a painting. Often now, the process of drawing has become the principle vehicle to explore ideas of density of thought and tangles of consciousness.

Often the imagery of the drawings will suggest narrative structures. I often investigate these both as short animations and as three-dimensional maps (mobiles).

I think of my work as a mutating meditation on the tangle and chaotic pulse of consciousness that swings from the poignant to the prurient. Strings, loops and drops of thought intertwine in associative play. Themes of domestic anxiety, consumption and accumulation intersect with transient and dematerialized expressions of repression and compulsion.

Sardonic, self-effacingly perverse and whimsically meditative.


Lori Larusso

While based in the experience of daily interaction with our immediate surroundings, my work examines looming traditional and cultural expectations that resist forces of change while also promising something better. These pieces question, in part, the everyday search for meaning and fulfillment. Representations of generic middle-America allude to the common feeling of disconnect, as well as the struggle for validation and happiness in daily life. 

Lori Larusso earned her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) graduate interdisciplinary program, the Mount Royal School of Art and a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), with a minor in Women’s Studies. She has been awarded national and statewide awards, including multiple residency fellowships. Recent awards include a Visual Artist Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation, Willapa Bay AiR, and The Studios of Key West. Lori exhibits her work nationally and internationally. Lori currently lives and works in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.


John Bodkin

Bodkin's combinations of pattern, color, and form result in dynamic, highly tactile works. Although his work varies in size, he creates large-scale paintings that confront the world with rushes of color and texture, creating an irresistible magnetism that envelopes the viewer in a rich sensory experience.

John Bodkin is a classically trained, highly accredited artist who has been professionally painting for 52 years. He has a BFA from Ringling School of Art, and an MFA from the University of Tulsa. He has taught in several Universities & multiple State colleges as well as schools in China. Bodkin has exhibited widely in the United States in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Miami and Baltimore. In the last ten years he's had eleven solo exhibitions, with the last one being in China. His paintings have been selected by the Department of State to hang in multiple U.S. Embassies to represent American art and artists to other countries. Bodkin's work is in more than one hundred and sixty corporate, institutional and private collections. His dedication to his practice - painting and drawing everyday - is evident upon visiting John in his Gambrills home and studio where he lives & works with his partner & wife Beth. 


Jordan Faye Block

As an artist, designer, and curator – Jordan Faye Block earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and brings 18 years of experience in running art galleries to this new endeavour. Ms. Block received her BFA in Printmaking from Plymouth State University where she co-founded the PIP Gallery. Ms. Block has continued to make work throughout her 15 years in Baltimore, her newest body of work will be shown this June at Grey Matter Art Space with Baltimore-based painter Alex Kondner. Her large-scale paintings, drawings, and monotype installations have been shown in group exhibitions in New York, Baltimore and Chicago. She founded Jordan Faye Contemporary in 2006, curated 180 exhibitions, and brought her artists work to Miami, the Hamptons, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Ms. Block continues working with artists developing their careers, as well as assisting collectors in building their collections, in addition to providing installation and curatorial services for them.  She lives & works in the Station North Arts District.


Julia Ribeiro

Julia Ribeiro was born in Westchester, New York 1992. After studying psychology at Loyola University New Orleans and later studying animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Julia eventually landed on painting as her preferred medium, profession and passion. Julia’s paintings develop an abstract language that is deeply connected to her surroundings as well as the psyche. Associative color, dynamic forms and haptic surfaces evoke specific memories of experience while also offering the viewer space for contemplation. Julia received her MFA from the LeRoy E Hoffberger School of Painting in 2018 and is now based in New York City.