Michael Allen was born November 11, 1972 in Lancaster, PA. As a youth, he regularly wandered into his grandfather’s studio to view his paintings of historically significant regional locations. However, it was under the formal tutelage of Matthew Daub, George Sorrels, and Evan Summer at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania the painter in him was awoken. In 1996, he earned his BFA. After several years painting and exhibiting Michael went on to receive his MFA from the University of Delaware in 2004. At Delaware he studied with renowned materials expert, Hilton Brown, as well as painters Robert Straight and Larry Holmes.
Allen draws inspiration from all aspects of his life, from the landscape to the intimacies of home. His works offer the opportunity to ponder the importance or implications of the relationships within the commonplace. They are recognized as evoking a sense of fluctuating time. In her 2007 essay for the Gettysburg Review, curator Molly Hutton eloquently stated:
“Allen seems compulsively drawn to transitional moments in the days (and nights) of both individuals and the environment. The paintings and drawings that result are successful visual interpretations of temporal interstices of daily existence. Allen’s way of looking at the world may be curious, but it nevertheless offers insight into how often the mundane narratives of life are constructed, moment by moment, incident by incident. It is for this reason, perhaps, that I am captivated by Allen’s representations of seemingly banal views and subjects like the fallen tree… Allen renders moments where the atmosphere (both physical and psychological) is rife with impending action.”
Michael’s paintings and drawings have been the subject of eight solo exhibitions including, Landscapes, at the Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA. His work has been included in a variety of museum and gallery invitational exhibitions including Visions of the Susquehanna: 250 Years of Paintings from American Masters, Art of the Gettysburg Review: Representation in Contemporary American Painting, and Transforming the Commonplace: Masters of Contemporary Realism. His unique observations have been featured in Poets and Artists, The Gettysburg Review, Art&Antiques Magazine, Art Calendar, New American Paintings, and International Artist Magazine.
Allen currently teaches for the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in the their Continuing Education department. He has also taught drawing and painting at the University of Delaware, Elizabethtown College, Mount Gretna School of Art, Harrisburg Area Community College, and the Art Association of Harrisburg.
His work has been acquired by The Lancaster Museum of Art, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, Lebanon Valley College, Elizabethtown College, University of Delaware, Kutztown University, Visions of the Susquehanna Collection at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage, as well as many private collections across the United States. He is represented by Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE and Lancaster Galleries, Lancaster, PA.
He works and resides in Palmyra, PA with his wife, Jessica Allen, and their son.
Poets and artists, The power of Drawing, issue 59, December 2014
Artist of the Month, Michael Allen, Painter, Dyslexic Advantage Blog, November 2014
Chambless, John, 'Inspired Landscapes' at Art alliance, Chester County Press, October 8, 2014