Kelly Allen

Kelly Allen • News Links

"Letting color riot: On Kelly Allen's paintings in UICA's 'Coming Home'", MLive

"Strange Hours: The Painted Collages of Kelly Allen", Hi-Fructose Magazine

"20 x 16: Artists Challenged to create works of specific size for new exhibit", Tampa Bay Tribune


Kelly Allen • Profile

kelly-allen

Driven by an insatiable urge to produce, Kelly Allen works in a variety of media to invent images ranging from photorealism to thickly textured, non-objective barrages of color. Expansion and exploration are the keys that unlock her creative process. Seeking to surprise, challenge, and excite the viewer, Allen’s work most often unites incongruous forms and objects to create a unique synthesis, developing new contexts and associations for the viewer to consider. Her subject matter envelops ecological concerns, cultural mythology, mental health and the human condition as she strives to examine what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. Understanding that each person brings their own concepts and history to a work of art, she offers her work as an invitation for completion by the viewer with the hope of igniting the flames of subconscious invention.

Kelly Allen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and London.


Kelly Allen • Statement

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about the fact that we, as humans, are animals. Interestingly to me, it’s not something many people enjoy discussing, so I tend to mull it over within the walls of my studio. Stripped of our objects and devices, we are all fleshy monkeys with the same base motivations, fears, and desires. I find this idea comforting, as it aids in unifying and grounding us. It helps me to understand how our species simultaneously commits terrifically horrible and inspiringly compassionate acts.

My various bodies of work stem from a collage sensibility, as I thrive upon creating new meanings and experience through the unification of images, colors, and textures pulled from the macro- to microcosmic realms. My surrealistic trompe l’oeil works employ a meditative practice focused on visual, symbolic investigation that contemplates unity. The abstract and non-objective works function to free the mind from the work of vocabulary, toward howls of elation and whispers of entropy.

I seek to satisfy my primal urges to create and surround myself with visually exciting images and objects and share them with others in order to feel connected. Through process, I contemplate the split between humanity’s evolution toward the understanding of unity and the expanding devolution toward narcissism and destruction of our very life source. The work is my companion on the bumpy road toward peace with humor and compassion, while minding the mania and sadness that comes from the weight of these heavy ideas. I wrestle with the temptations of seduction and destruction through the safety of color, texture, and form. In oils, acrylic, gouache, graphite, colored pencils, paper, fibers, and wood, I work to feed what’s hungry.


Kelly Allen • Biography

EDUCATION

2008      
Kendall College of Art and Design MFA: Drawing

2007      
Ox-Bow Artist Residency

2003      
Humboldt State University BA: Painting

1998
     
Memphis College of Art

GALLERY REPRESENTATION

LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Thinkspace Gallery, Culver City, CA

Bold Hype Gallery, New York, NY

Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco, CA

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"20 x 16", Cass Contemporary, Tampa, FL

2015
"Project P:ear", Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR

"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014      
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“Hop Skip & a Jump”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

“Out of the Polar Vortex”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2013      
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“Copro 20th Anniversary Exhibition”, Copro Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

“Seven”, StolenSpace Gallery, London, UK

“The Fun Begins”, Lux/Eros Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2012      
“You Are The World” solo exhibition, Bold Hype Gallery, New York, NY

“Hidden Seeking” solo exhibition, Thinkspace Gallery Project Room, Culver City, CA

“Make It All True” solo exhibition, Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery, Eureka, CA

“Pieces of Heaven”, Smashbox Studios, Los Angeles, CA

“Love/Hate”, Stolen Space Gallery, London, UK

“Corporeal Clusters”, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Wild At Heart”, Thinkspace Gallery, Culver City, CA

“Oakland Now”, Spoke Art, Oakland, CA

2011
“Wild Life”, Stolen Space Gallery, London, UK

“GOLD”, Project One, San Francisco, CA

“Impetus”, Joseph Gross Gallery, Tuscon, AZ

“Moment”, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Beyond Eden Art Fair”, Thinkspace/LA Municipal Art Gallery, Hollywood, CA

“Dig for Fire”, C.A.V.E Gallery, Venice, CA

“Culver City Art Walk”, Thinkspace, Culver City, CA

“LAX/PDX”, Together Gallery, Portland, OR

“ArtOfficial Truth”, Project One, San Francisco, CA

“10th Anniversary ArtWorks Exhibition”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“Warhol Reimagined”, Project One, San Francisco, CA

“Exposed”, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Fractured”, Bold Hype Gallery, New York, NY

2010      
“Everything is Everything” solo exhibition, Medicine Agency, San Francisco, CA

“San Francisco Fine Art Fair”, Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“The 50th 111 Minna Sketch Tuesdays”, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“The Meat Show”, Medicine Agency, San Francisco, CA

“The Bread Show”, Tartine, San Francisco, CA

“Redial”, Experimental Exhibition, Byrneboehm Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

2009      
“Giving Presence” solo exhibition, Byrneboehm Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

“Mutant Anxiety”, Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Fresh Start 2009”, Santa Monica Art Studios, Santa Monica, CA

“Little Hang Ups”, Byrneboehm Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“Art Prize”, Grand Rapids, MI

2008      
“I Know What You Did Last Summer”, The Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, IL

“You Rule Me”, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

“Kendall College of Art and Design MFA Candidate Spring Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, MI

“Art Battle For Community”, Grand Rapids, MI

“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“The 80th Regional Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

2007      
“A Little Surprise” solo exhibition, Fwd Space, Grand Rapids, MI

“Getting Closer”, Byrneboehm Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

“A Common Line”, Gallery 214, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL

“Odd Couplings”, Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell, MI

“Drawing No Conclusions”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

2006      
“Muskegon Museum of Art Contemporary Showcase” solo exhibition, Muskegon, MI

“The Telephone Show”, Byrneboehm Gallery,Grand Rapids, MI

“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“The 78th Regional Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

2005      
“Art Battle V, Live Exhibition”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“Submission”, Fuse Gallery, New York, NY

“Festival 2005 Regional Arts Competition”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

“Countdown to Ecstasy”, Thirdstone Gallery, Saugatuck, MI

2004      
“WSYIWYG” solo exhibition, Division Avenue Arts Council, Grand Rapids, MI

“280 Studios Art Battle IV”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI

“On The Verge”, Gallery Arcadia, Grand Rapids, MI

“Dia De Los Muertos”, Free Radical Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

2003
     
“The Crochet Series” solo exhibition, Foyer Gallery, Arcata, CA

“280 Studios Art Battle”, 280 Studios, Grand Rapids, MI

“Regional Invitational Exhibition”, First Street Gallery, Eureka, CA

2002      
“Annual Junk Art Exhibition”, Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, CA

“Annual Juried Exhibition”, Reese Bullen Gallery, Arcata, CA

HONORS AND AWARDS

2007
West Michigan Scholarship, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist’s Residency

2006
Scholarship of Merit, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

2005
First Place, Art Battle V, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art

Honorable Mention, West Michigan Regional Competition

2004
Second Place, 280 Studios Art Battle

2003
First Place, 280 Studios Art Battle

205 Painting Award, Humboldt State University

2002
Berry Painting Award, Humboldt State University

PUBLICATIONS

2011
Hi-Fructose New Contemporary Art Magazine, Vol. 19

2008
Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation, Oxford University Press

2007
On-The-Town, Joel Holland

The Muskegon Chronicle, Marla Miller

2006
The Grand Rapids Press, Sylvia Krissoff

On-The-Town, Joel Holland

Grand Rapids Magazine, Curt Wozniak

The Grand Rapids Press, Gail Philbin

The Kendal Portfolio, Pamela Patton

2005
The Lowell Ledger

On-The-Town, Joel Holland

The CNA News, Tommy Allen

2004
On-The-Town, Joel Holland