March 27, 2009

mikeblakeBorn in Ashville, North Carolina, Gretha “Mike” Blake was forty when she first developed an interest in sculpting. Before that time, Blake had concentrated on her family, including her husband and five children. Once her imagination was piqued by the art of sculpture, Blake never lost the desire to undertake sculpting herself. Enrolling in a small class about ten or fifteen years ago, Blake was forced to give it up when her husband became ill. It was not until 2004, following her husband’s death in 2000 and her move into Stratford House that Blake took up sculpting as a serious hobby. Buying her own supplies and books, Blake set up studio in a bright room in Stratford, where she experimented with clay forms. Shortly afterward, Diane Kendrick, Art Director at Averett, started working with Blake to develop Blake’s skills. Now eighty, Blake has an impressive collection of unique clay busts that depict different people in various poses and moods. This spring, the Danville Museum will be displaying a collection of Mrs. Blake’s sculptures in the Boatwright Gallery.