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James Allen currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon where he shows at Russo Lee Gallery. He has shown his work at museums and galleries across the country including Bellevue Arts Museum, Morris Museum, Whatcom Museum, Cameron Art Museum, and Brooklyn Central Library.  His book excavations are also in special collections libraries at UCLA, Ringling College of Art and Design, John's Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, University of Puget Sound, Baylor University, Swarthmore College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Colorado Boulder. 


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2017       Northwest Bound, Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR (solo exhibition)

               Book Works: Recent Excavations, Pendleton Center for the Arts East Oregonian Gallery, Pendleton, OR (solo exhibition)

               Cut Up/Cut Out, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA (traveling exhibition)

               Built, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland OR

               Book Art: A Novel Idea, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

2016       Anesedora, Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA (solo exhibition)

               This Is Not A Book, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA

               Unbound Narrative, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC

               30 Years: New Work By Gallery Artists, Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR

               Portland Biennial Salon, Disjecta, Portland, OR

               Chasing Paper, Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego Oregon

2015       Book Excavations, Laura Russo Gallery, Portland OR (solo show)

               Ten Years of Artists Books, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn NY

               Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA

               Measures of Depth, George Fox University, Newberg, OR

               Codex Book Fair, Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA

               10th Annual Art of the Book, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

               Art MRKT San Francisco Art Fair, Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA

2014       Bound and Beyond: Structure in Book Art, UWM Union Gallery, Milwaukee WI

               Altered Books and Mixed Media, Guardino Gallery, Portland OR (solo exhibition)

               Altered Visions , 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR

               Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books, Art Up Front Gallery, 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

               Artfutura 2006: Transformation, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

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)

               Lens-Bot, INOVA Gallery, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 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

UCLA, Fine Art 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

University of Colorado, Special Collections Library, Boulder, CO

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

University of Puget Sound, Collins Memorial Library, Tacoma, WA

Baylor University, Waco, TX

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Education   BFA, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2000



Regional Arts and Culture Council Professional Development Grant, Oregon, 2014

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


       Kaitlyn Bolduc, "Portland Artist Turning Old Books Into Rare Sculptures", KPTV, September 6, 2017

       Michael Upchurch, "Cut Up/Cut Out Surprises With Art on the Edge", Seattle Times, July 14, 2017

       Allyn Cantor, "James Allen: Northwest Bound", Preview: The Gallery Guide, May 2017

       Justin Lacy, "In Cameron Art Museum's Unbound Narrative", Star News, August 16, 2016

       Kori Hirano, "James Allen, Book Excavator", About Face Magazine, July 2016

       Katrina Sarsen, "Oregon Art Beat, Season 17, Episode 1", Oregon Public Broadcasting, October 2015

       Driftwood, "Artist On Artist", August 2017

  • 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, "Book Borrowers exhibition at Bellevue Arts Museum is worth checking out", Seattle Books Examiner,  April 4, 2009

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