The Art Area at Kentucky State University is sponsoring a solo exhibit of work by Louisville artist Elmer Lucille Allen that opens Thursday, Feb. 16, in Jackson Hall Gallery and continues through March 10, with an artist's reception at 5-7 pm Thursday. The public is invited and Mrs. Allen will give a gallery talk about the work exhibited.
Allen is an artist who works primarily in clay and fiber. Her most recent fiber work was in a juried exhibition in January of 2006 at the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts (The Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artist Exhibit). ?In 2003 Nancy Gall-Clayton wrote a play about the life of Elmer Lucille Allen called Alice Moments: Echoes, Ripples and Light, which was performed by the Pleiades Theatre Company.
She is a 1949 graduate of Central High School, Nazareth College (now Spalding University) and the University of Louisville. In 1997 she retired as a senior analytical chemist from Brown-Forman Worldwide Beverage Company. Allen was the first African American Chemist hired at Brown-Forman.
She has received numerous awards some of which are: the 2004 Woman of Distinction, Center for Women and Families; the 2004 Community Arts Lifetime Local Achievement Award, Louisville Arts Council, Inc.; the 1991 African American Women Literary Series recognition of artistic contributions of 12 AA women; 1988 Keeping the Arts Alive Award, Education Arts, Inc.; the 1986 Governors Community Artists Award and a 1981 or 1982 Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achiever.
In 2001 she was inducted into Jefferson County Office of Womens Hall of Fame.
During the spring of 2005, she was approached by Wayside Christian Mission to help establish a gallery that would be open on the first Friday of each month. As a result, Wayside Expressions Gallery was born and the first exhibition was in April of 2005.
Her work is part of the art collection of Spalding University, Louisville, KY; Brown-Forman Worldwide Beverage Company, Louisville, KY; Womens Center, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY; Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN; and Teaching Collection, Baker University, Baldwin City, KS.
Some of the private collectors are Arturo Sandolov (noted fiber artist), Ed Hamilton, Robert Douglas, Ph. D., Owsley and Christy Brown, Bill and Lindy Street, Lois Mateus, C.J. Pressma, Bette Levy, and Judy Miner. She is represented by Chapman Friedman Gallery, 624 West Main St., Louisville. The exhibit Mrs. Allen's is part of KSUs celebration of Black History Month.