Cathie Bleck

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"Dawn" II, 2012 Inks And Clay On Clay Panel 8"X8" © Cathie Bleck
"Sacrifice II", 2015 Ink And Clay On Panel 30" X 18" X 1 Inches © Cathie Bleck
"Sacrifice I" Detail, 2015 Inks And Clay On Panel 46" X 90" © Cathie Bleck
"Sacrifice I" Detail, 2015 Inks And Clay On Panel 46" X 90" © Cathie Bleck
"Sacrifice I" Detail, 2015 Inks And Clay On Panel 46" X 90" © Cathie Bleck
"Inheritance II" Detail, 2015 Inks, Gold Leaf And Clay On Panel 30" X 60" © Cathie Bleck
"Inheritance II", 2015 Inks, Gold Leaf And Clay On Panel 30" X 60" © Cathie Bleck
"Soar", 2015 Inks And Clay On Panel 4" X 9" © Cathie Bleck
Quick Facts
Waukegan, Illinois
Lives in
Cleveland, OH
Works in
Chicago, IL
University of Illinois
Representing galleries
Bonfoey Gallery, Yves LaRoche, Packer Schopf, Wolfs Gallery
scratchboard, clay board, spiritual, surrealism, figurative, conceptual
Cathie Bleck Artist


Artist Statement

“When I was a girl I fell in love with darkness.  The tools I work with-pen, ink, knives and clay-became natural choices for someone drawn to observe and record the world in close detail.  My art explores the space and tension between opposing forces. These forces in our lives can be profoundly good or extraordinarily bad. I don't see darkness as a place of fear, rather choosing to associate it with a sense of risk and excitement, about possibilities that could be good or very bad; a state of mind. 

I see and feel the most important part of being human as those moments when we have the courage to be reborn, rise up and overcome adversity.  What I find myself drawn to in art is depicting these exploring moments of transformation.  Not the condition before or after, but the state when something happens and we are moving through our lives.  That is the point in time when we experience courage, love and transcendence.  This 'movement' of life is a culmination of many pieces which fit together in a complex puzzle that shifts a little here and there, morphing over time.  My intent is to interpretate this outcome by utilizing interconnected forms, intense contrasts of tone and imagery, emphasizing the necessity for all species to maintain an equilibrium in a world of constant change."


Through the exploration of symbolic narrative imagery, carved into earth’s clay, I etch away at the dark exterior of a clay surface,revealing the level of colors within.

I have been experimenting with the life of clay  and it's soul, texture, power, and palette help invent styles. By using kaolin in its liquid form I make my own paint pigments and use various tools such as etching knives, razors, sandpaper and sponges to scrape and wipe away the clay and inks.  Exposing the clay to different temperatures creates unique effects as well as building up dimension as the clay begins to harden, thus the artworks are somewhere between 2D and 3D."





1978   BFA, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, studied under Edward Betts, Carl Rehger and Tom Kovacs

1981   Oxbow Workshop, The Art Institute of Chicago


Museum solo exhibitions


2008   Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH: Sept14-Nov 7 (show extended)

2008   New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT: Feb 8-May 3 (show extended)


Museum Group exhibitions


2011   "WomenArtists@NewBritain", New Britain Museum of American Art, CT

2011   "Picturing Health", El Paso Museum of American Art, TX

2009   Japanese American National Museum, Kokeshi Show, LA

2008  "Picturing Health", Kalamazoo Institute of Art, MI

2007   Associazione Culturale Teatrio, "43 Woman Illustrator's Worldwide", Egg's Castle, Naples, Italy

2007  "Picturing Health", Florence Griswald Museum, Old Lyme, CT

2007   "Picturing Health", Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA

2006   Associazione Culturale Teatrio, "43 Woman Illustrator's Worldwide", Villa Poniatowski, Rome, Italy

2004   Santa Monica Museum, "Dialog", CA

2001   Centro Cultural Recoleta, “Nine Artists from Ohio”, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Gallery solo exhibition

2015      "Avance" Firecat Projects, Chicago

2013      "frAGILITY" New Works on Papyrus,  Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago

2009     "Undercurrents" Billy Shire Fine Arts, Los Angelos

2009     "Aqua Regia" Meta Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2007    "Time Lines" Intown Club, Cleveland, OH

2007    "Elemental Stories" Durst Organization at Conde Nast, NY

2007     "Elemental Stories" 1155 Avenue of the Americas Gallery, NY

2006      "Open Spaces" : Cleveland Heights Arts Collaborative, Cleveland, OH

2006     "Open Spaces" : I Space Gallery, University of Illinois at C-U Chicago Gallery, Exhibition + Book Launch, Chicago, IL


Two person exhibitions

2014   "Rarely Home" with Amy Casey, Maria Neil Art Project, Cleveland, OH


Selected Group exhibitions

2015 "Your Pencilled Masses, Yearning to be Free" CHG Circa Corey - Helford Gallery, LA

2015  BLAB, curated by Monte Beauchamp, Copro Gallery, LA

2014  Egregore', Yves La Roche Gallery, Montreal, Quebec

2014  Ampersand's 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Austin, TX

2014  BLAB, curated by Monte Beauchamp with hard cover catalog, Copro Gallery,  LA

2014  "FILTERED", Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

2013  25th Anniversary Exhibition, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2012  Ursaline College Wasmer Art Gallery, 15 Women Artist's Northeast Ohio, OH

2012  BLAB, curated by Monte Beauchamp with hard cover catalog, Copro Gallery, LA

2012 "Juxtapoz Turns 18", Curated by Gwyneth Vitello and Greg Escalante, Copro Gallery, LA

2011   25th Anniversary Exhibition Billy Shire Galleries, LA

2011   "After Life", BLAB exhibition, Copro Gallery, CA

2011   "15 Women artists in NE Ohio", Convivium 33 Gallery, Cleveland, OH

2011-2012   "Monumental Miniature Books II", International traveling exhibition,

2010   San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, CA, curated by Mark Murphy, San Diego, CA

2010   "Phantasmagoria", Meta Gallery, Toronto

2010   New Hampshire Institute of Art, Amhurst Gallery, Manchester, NH

2010   "Sea No Evil" Exhibition fundraiser for Sea Sheperd Marine Conservation

2010   Pratt Manhattan Graduate School, NY

2010   "Manifest Equality", Los Angeles, CA

2009   Aqua Wynwood : Art Basel curated by Mark Murphy, FL

2009   "Scribble 8” curated by Mark Murphy, San Diego, CA

2009   "Sea No Evil" Sea Shepard Marine Conservation, Curated by Jeff Soto

2008   “Influence” with Tom Balbo, William Sommer + Paul Travis at Metropolitan Galleries, Cleveland, OH

2008   Gen Art Vanguard : Art Basel : curated by Mark Murphy, Miami, FL

2008   "Manifest Hope" Democratic convention, Invited artist, Denver, CO

2008   "Mapmakers" Meta Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2007   "Green" Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2007   Art Now Fair : Art Basel : curated by Mark Murphy, Miami, FL

2007   SILA, Billy Shire Fine Art Gallery, Los Angelos, CA

2006   "The Ripple Effect" Parsons, The New School, New York, NY

2006   Picture Mechanics Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN

2006   Art on Paper, Enid Lawson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London

2004   PictureMechanics Mmodern Gallery, Palm Springs, CA

2003   PictureMechanics Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN

2003   "Heaven and Hell" Philadelphia Sketch Club Philadelphia, PA

2000   American Greetings Corporation, "Three Artist's from Ohio", Cleveland, OH

2002   "Prevailing Human Spirit" United Nations, New York, NY

1993 "World Conflict", The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA



2015  Selected for MOCA Cleveland Studio Visit with Adam Lerner, curator MOCA Denver

2014  Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Illinois C-U college of Art & Design

2013   Cleveland Institute of Art, Stone Lithography Artist Residency, Cleveland, OH

2011   "Art Therapy Studios" Artist residency at Metro hospital, Cleveland, OH

2010   "8 Hour Projects", Allegheny College, PA

2005  Gold Medal, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, NY



2015  Kent State, OH

2014  California College of Art and Design, CA

2013  Kent State, OH

2012  Ursaline College, OH

2010   Pratt Manhattan Graduate School, NY

2009   Art Institute of Chicago, IL

2009   Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

2008  Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, PA

2008   New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT

2007   Intown Club, OH

2006   I Space Gallery of University of Illinois, C-U at Chicago, IL

2007   Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.

2007   Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

2007   Otis Parsons, Los Angeles, CA

2007   College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI

2004   Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

2004   University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

2003   The Illustration Conference ICON3, Philadelphia, PA

2002   American Institute of Graphic Arts, Austin, TX

2002   Belmont University, Nashville, TN

2001   The Illustration Conference ICON2, Santa Fe, NM

2001   American Institute of Graphic Arts, San Diego Y Conference, CA

2000   University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2000   American Institute of Graphic Arts, Seattle, WA

1999   The Illustration Conference ICON1, Santa Fe, NM

1999   Art Center Dayton, OH

1997   San Jose State University, CA

1993   American Institute of Graphic Arts, Cleveland, OH

1991   Northern Illinois University, IL




Partial list: Victoria & Albert Museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Library of Congress, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Art Association, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation, Honeywell Corporation, Bauerlien Steel, UCLA, Cypress Funds, Chicago Tribune, St. Louis University, Zygote Press, Art Toy Museum-CA and private collections of Martha Stewart, Henry Adams, Marianne Berardi, Milton Glaser, Brandi Carlisle


Selected Commissions


World Wildlife Fund, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. State Dept. Earth Day Image 2007 and World Ocean Day Image 2012, Sony Records, Motown Records, Time, New York Times, New Republic, Esquire, Atlantic, Martha Stewart, Oprah, Warner Bros. Records, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, Abrams, Simon & Schuster, Knopf, Harper, Doubleday, Random, Knopf, Sterling, National Geographic, Habitat for Humanity, National Institute of Health, The Lila Wallace Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Alan Guttmacher Foundation, National Forest Service, Poetry Foundation, The Carter Foundation,  UPS, Federal Express, Tetley, Good Earth Teas


Featured publications/television interviews


-2015 Juxtapoz Blog, "Avance" Exhibition at Firecat Projects, Chicago August-September 19, 2015

-2015 Hi Fructose Magazine, "Cathie Bleck Celebrates Nature with Works on Scratchboard" by Nastia Voynovskaya

-2015 My Modern Met "Artist Scratches Away Pigments to Reveal Spectacular Scenes Celebrating Nature"

-2015 USPS Featuring four US postage stamps

-2014 Light Seeing Eyes Feature  Interview

-2014 Escape Into Life : Featured Artist

-2013 Taschen Books, Collectable edition, 100 Illustrators with linen slipcase, international selection published four continents

-2012 Juxtapoz Magazine/August 2012/Interview by Gwyneth Vitello, president and publisher of Juxtapoz

-2011 Taschen Illustration NOW 3, 2010, Profile and Selected intro double page spread

-2009 Cathie Bleck Interview, Mark Murphy Blog

-2009 Fairfield, Douglas, "Santa Fe New Mexican" Pasatiemo Arts Magazine, "All's Fairey in national politics"

-2009 Escape into Life : Featured artist watch : www.escapeintolife, November 4, 2009

-2009 Poetry Foundation, Fred Sasaki : Harriet the Blog, "Transformations", September 30, 2009

-2009 FlavorPill featured artist August 2009

-2009 Juxtapoz Magazine, March 2009

-2009 Cleveland Free Times, Scene Magazine, January 20, 2009, Michael Gill “Art we can believe in” featured artist Manifest Exhibition at the 2008 Democratic convention, Denver, CO

-2008 Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 19, 2008, Evelyn Theiss, Arts Section “Artist Cathie Bleck tells stories with powerful works”

-2008 Chicago Tribune, November 2, 2008, Teri Colby, Travel Section: Midwest Events with image featured from The Butler.

-2008 Northern Ohio Live, October, 2008, Brooke Willis, Art Exhibits:“Flora, Fauna and Fantasy”, review The Butler Show

-2007 CT, September 02, 2007, Judy Birke, "Picture of Health" group show Florence Griswold Museum, mention

-2007 Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 27, 2007, Steven Litt, Review of Heights Arts at the Library exhibition "Open Spaces: Cleveland", "Strong photos, shapely forms"

-2007 Applause Television show, WVIZ-PBS Cleveland, half hour segment interview with Dee Perry

-2007 Communication Arts Magazine, June/July 2007, Book Review, RH, "Open Spaces: Chicago"

-2006 Chicago Tribune, 8/18/2006, "On The Town"Featured artwork "Mother Nature's Son Three" I Space gallery by Doug George

-2006 Chicago Reader, August 5, 2006, Featured artwork "When We Became Human" Friday section

-2006, September 5, 2006, Katherine R. Lieber, Review of "Open Spaces: Chicago" I Space Gallery

-2006 Time Out Chicago, August 24-30, Issue No. 78, Ruth Lopez, "Scratching the Surface" feature article on "Open Spaces: Chicago" I Space Gallery

-2006 London Times, January 28, 2006, Rebecca O'Conner, "What's It Worth" mention and featured artwork "Bottle Man" from Art on Paper show


Selected Profiles:

-Taschen Books, Collectable edition, 100 Illustrators with linen slipcase, international selection, 2013

-Juxtapoz Magazine/August 2012/Interview by Gwyneth Vitello, president and publisher of Juxtapoz

-Taschen Illustration NOW 3, 2010, Profile and Selected intro double page spread

-Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper/Arts Section/Dec 2008/ by Evelyn Theiss

-Communication Arts Magazine/September/October 1999 issue/profile of career

-Step In Design Magazine/Premiere redesign July/August 2002 issue/sketchbooks

-3x3, The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration, Vol 3




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