Jere Allen: Ebb and Flow
April 18 – June 28, 2015
I (Jere Allen) was born in Selma , Alabama in 1944 where I lived until completing high school. I worked a year at Chanel 12 TV in Montgomery, then joined the United States Marine Corp. After completing my commitment to the Corp, I attended Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. In my second year while taking my first formal painting course, I fell in love with painting, largely due to the enthusiasm and encouragement of Fiore Custode, whom I considered a dynamic artist and teacher. During that same year I became the studio assistant of Frank Rampolla and was influenced by his art, attitude, intellect and drive. It was during the hours in Frank Rampolla’s studio that the figure became for me a passion that continues to this day. In 1969, I received a Four Year Fine Arts Certificate from Ringling School of Art and continued with a BFA degree. It was during this time that I began to understand the ups and downs of working in the studio alone, but worked to build my portfolio for graduate school. I received my MFA from the University of Tennessee. I am a Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Mississippi where I taught painting and drawing for 28 years. I now work in my studio where I strive to live up to the words of Charlotte Flemes of Der Kunstkreis in Hameln, Germany: “Jere Allen belongs to those artists who observe critically and present a deeper meaning to their works without succumbing to the Zeitgeist…” My paintings employ a reactive method in the search for an elusive notion that has perplexed me for many years. The images, symbols, and compositions stem from personal, social, political realities and are often a foil to assist in the realization of that notion. This exhibition, Ebb and Flow, was pared down to thirty-four of the past forty-nine years that I have been pursuing art. I have attempted to include many works from my collection that have an exhibition history. It is important for me to note that the inspiration for each piece is only the nascence and hopefully will be supplanted by the completed work.
I am included in Who’s Who in American Art and studied on a Group Studies Fulbright Grant in Costa Rica, Central America, received the 1993 Visual Art Award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. My work has been shown in 35 states including exhibits with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (1979-1981). I have exhibited internationally in Outward Bound: American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century which traveled throughout Asia and have had a number of solo exhibits throughout Germany. My work hangs in the permanent collections including the Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon; The Mobile Museum of Art: City of Hameln, Germany; Huntsville Museum of Alabama; Robert I. Kahn Gallery of the Temple Emanu El, Houston, Texas; Tougaloo College; and many private collections.I am grateful for the emotional support of my parents, Dr. & Mrs. Newton Allen, my wife, Joe Ann Marshall, who has supported me throughout my quest, and my children, Paige Allen and Jeffrey Allen.I am also fortunate to have had wonderful mentors–Frank Rampolla, Fiore Custode, Kyle Rislow, Morris Mitchell, and my brother Walter Allen, who was not only a great teacher but a strong influence in my art and in my will to be an artist.