Allen is interested in creating paintings that portray the unity of life on earth. With an emphasis on images from wild nature, her work is primarily fueled by the desire to build a bridge between our ancestral connection to the natural world and contemporary society, which is largely detached from nature. Acting from our current side of that bridge, she seeks to create a renewed respect and appreciation for the fantastic animals and plants that share the earth with us.

Kelly Allen describes her work as symbolic portraits comprised of a multitude of imagery culled from a wide range of visual sources. A common motif in her work presents a particular animal is surrounded by a carefully constructed arrangement of organic forms, graphic shapes, bold swatches of pattern and color, jewels, beads, and flowers woven together to create her compelling compositions.

Allen, a native of Michigan and an alumna of Humboldt State University, earned her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Humboldt State, graduating summa cum laude in 2003. She later went on to a residency at the Ox-Bow School of Art. In 2008 she earned an MFA with Emphasis in Drawing from the Kendall College of Art and Design.

Kelly Allen will present a slide lecture about her work on Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Art Building, Room 102. Admission is free to the public. The public can locate the Art Building by linking to humboldt.edu/humboldt/maps.

A reception for Kelly Allen will be held Saturday, Feb. 4 during Eureka’s monthly Arts Alive event. Celebrating its 14th year of service to HSU students and to the North Coast community, Humboldt State University First Street Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. and is located at 422 First Street, Eureka, Calif. Admission is free. Those planning group tours are encouraged to call ahead. For more information, call 707-443-6363 or visit the gallery’s website at humboldt.edu/first.

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Visit Kelly Allen’s website at: http://kellyallen.com/