Bob Allen


For almost four decades, I have been involved in the arts in a variety of meaningful ways, in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Phoenix. My primary professional career was in the performing arts – as administrator, festival producer and multi-arts presenter. I also enjoyed a later career in city government. Throughout those years, I also pursued a parallel path in making my own art.  


Originally from Louisville, I studied art at Bellarmine College and, after a stint in the Navy, finished up at the University of Kentucky. I create work from a number of sources – personal stories, current events, an arresting image, a curious word/phrase, great literature, cheesy ads, vintage textbooks, service manuals and a litany of catholic references I can’t seem to shake. My goal is to reinterpret these elements into something altogether fresh and new by any means available. I enjoy a colorful palette, painting with acrylic directly onto a square canvas and then building texture. Often I collage found images into the evolving composition, overlaying with stencils, repetitive patterns and handmade paper. I like to cut-up & rearrange things, hide & reveal information, access ghost imagery, create artificial framing devices, play with forground and background, layer & fragment found words or text. I have a strong sense of design and color, enjoy the curious juxtaposition and like visual wordplay.