James Allen

James  Allen

James Allen

James Allen Biography


James Allen Description

James Allen was born in 1977 in Illinois. He earned a BFA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2000. Currently he lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Allen’s artwork is included in Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed, published by Chronicle books in August 2013. His work was exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum in The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book in 2009. He is in Public collections at UCLA, Johns Hopkins University, Ringling College of Art and Design, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He has exhibited across the country.

This almost surgical focus of dissecting books results in a wholly new object infused with a graphical history that evolves as the artist exposes each layer of the book while cutting around interesting images or text. Finished book excavations often appear as cross sections of the book, carved to create an alternate universe previously hidden between the covers. 

James Allen Resumé


Education BFA 2000 University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


2014 Fresh! , 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR
Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books, Issaqua, WA
2013 Group Show, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR
Group Show, Outerlands Gallery, Vergennes, VT
2012 Petit Tableaux, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA
2010 Dream, Artist Trust Benefit Auction, Seattle, WA
Dress Envy, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA
Home, The Canoe, Seattle, WA
2009 The Book Borrowers, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
2008 Excavations, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA (solo exhibition) 2007 The Edge of Excess, Foundry Art Center, St. Charles, MO
Seattle Erotic Art Festival, The Fenix, Seattle, WA
Artists Only, Victrola Coffee and Art, Seattle, WA
2006 12th Annual International Exhibition, SOHO 20 Chelsea Gallery, New York, NY
Juror: LILIAN TONE, Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art
Artfutura 2006: Transformation, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Juror: JAMES RONDEAU, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago
2005 Randomness, Chance, and Chaos, OK Hotel, Seattle, WA
Masters Mystery Art Show, Florida International University, Miami, FL
2004 Gravity Racers: 10th Anniversary Show, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2003 Characterism: Pop Art, USA & Japan, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Painters Show, Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY
Pier Show 11, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY
2002 Wearable Sculpture Fashion Show, The Oriental, Milwaukee, WI
Pier Show 10, Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY
2000 Digital Printmaking, Woodland Pattern Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
How Memory Works, One Nation Gallery, Milwaukee, WI (solo show)
Lavender, Milwaukee High School for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
Lens-Bot, Institute of Visual Art, Milwaukee, WI (solo installation)
Wearable Sculpture Fashion Show, Thai Joes, Milwaukee, WI
1999 Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin Parkside, Kenosha, WI

Public Collections

UCLA, Louise M Darling Biomedical Library, Los Angeles, CA
Johns Hopkins University, Milton S Eisenhower Library, Baltimore, MD
Ringling College of Art and Design, Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library, Sarasota, FL
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Golda Mier Library, Special Collections, Milwaukee, WI


Selected to participate in Portland Community College Art Beat 2014
Artist Trust Fellowship, Washington State 2011
Honorable Mention, Seattle Erotic Art Festival 2007
Honorable Mention, Artfutura 2006:Transformation


Art Source Portland, Cover Art, 2014
Huffington Post, PHOTOS: 7 Stunning Pieces of Book Art, 2013
Chronicle Books, "Art Made From Books: Altered Sculpted, Carved, Transformed", 2013
Louis Varichio "New Art Gallery Opens in Vergennes" Addison Eagle, May 10, 2013
Michael Upchurch, "'The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book,' at BAM",
Seattle Times, February 27, 2009
Jonathan Shipley, "Breaking Books Open", City Arts, March 2009
Deborah Stone, "Quilts, books take center stage at BAM", NW News, March 9 2009
Danielle Dreger-Babbitt, "BookBorrowers exhibition at Bellevue Arts Museum is worth checking out",
Seattle Books Examiner, April 4, 2009


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